Tips for Maintaining Your Colorado Springs Rental Property: From Landscaping to Appliances - Article Banner

There’s no such thing as a maintenance-free rental property. 

Taking care of your investment in order to maintain its value and draw reliable tenants to it has to be a priority, whether you’re renting out a new construction home or units in a building that have seen better days. 

Maintenance is about aesthetics, but it’s also about protecting the condition of your investment. It’s about ensuring everything is functional so you can provide a good rental experience to your tenants. Responsive maintenance leads to better tenant retention. 

Throw out a word like “maintenance,” and we could be talking about anything. Today, we’re getting specific. We’re looking at what exactly needs to be maintained in your Colorado Springs rental property, from landscaping to appliances. 

Outdoor Spaces and Landscaping

Landscaping leads to curb appeal and curb appeal is the all-important first impression you’re making on potential tenants. 

It counts. 

Keep your lawn looking good, and make sure your outdoor space, yards, pools, and balconies are also in great condition. They should be safe, attractive, and updated from time to time to reflect the highest safety standards and maintenance precautions. 

Your outdoor maintenance plan should include:

  • Mowed and watered lawns
  • Bright, working exterior lights
  • Windows and doors that lock and handrails that are in good shape.
  • Plants, flowers, and shrubs are weeded, trimmed, and watered regularly.

How is the exterior paint? You don’t want your property or your building to be faded, chipped, or dirty. Most homes need fresh outside paint every five to 10 years.

Sprinklers and Gutters: Pueblo Property Management

Let’s stay outside, and talk about the sprinklers you may have in your yard as well as the gutters and the roof. These maintenance items will be especially important in the winter. You know what Colorado winters are like.

You’ll want to maintain your sprinklers by blowing them out before freezing temperatures arrive. This protects your irrigation system against freezing and damage. To avoid burst pipes, you can drain the entire system and shut off the water supply when you’re sure you won’t need to water your lawn again until spring arrives. This is important because if you allow your system to freeze, you’re looking at a repair cost of at least $500. Not a bill you need to pay.

Take the hose off your hose bib. To drain the pipes, you’ll have to force compressed air through your underground irrigation system. This will create a way out for excess water that may not discharge through a manual or automatic draining system. Make sure your system can handle the pressure that’s required and if you’ve never done this before, consider hiring a professional.

Clean out the gutters at your property seasonally. You’re looking for any debris that might have gathered there throughout the summer and fall. If your gutters are clogged, you run the risk of attracting pests and pushing water into the property. That’s going to lead to bigger and more expensive problems. 

We recommend having your roof inspected routinely. Look for signs of water intrusion, missing shingles, or other problems. 

Maintaining Colorado Springs Rental Property Appliances

To repair or replace. That is the question.

Upgrading your appliances is a great way to attract better tenants, retain your current tenants, and increase your rental value. You don’t have to splurge on stainless steel; just make sure they match. Appliance upkeep is a good part of your preventative maintenance plan. 

Instead of repairing the dishwasher or the refrigerator every time there’s a problem, know when to replace it instead. Energy-efficient appliances are going to perform better than the older models, and you’ll have fewer repair calls from tenants.

Floors and Walls 

Keep floors and walls in excellent condition. These literally keep your property standing. 

When you’re making upgrades or responding to repairs, remember that you can do better than temporary fixes. If you’re holding this property for several more years, you want to invest in the right repairs. 

As an example – pay attention to paint quality. You’ll likely do a lot of repainting over the years, especially during tenant turnovers. Invest in paint that’s going to stand up to tenants, pets, and weather. You’re looking for durable and reliable paint and wall coverings. No one wants to move into a home with wood paneling in the living room or peeling wallpaper in a bathroom. Keep up with design trends and ensure your property is attractive to a large pool of diverse tenants. 

Flooring is also an important part of maintaining an investment property. If you have hard surface floors, you’re likely going to have an easier time keeping them in good shape for several years. Laminate, tile, and even hardwoods are good investments. It saves you money because you don’t have to clean or replace the carpet every time one tenant moves out and another moves in. 

For rental homes with carpeted floors, you want to consider having those carpets professionally steam-cleaned at least once a year, or require your tenants to have them cleaned. Don’t hesitate to replace the carpet when stains start showing up or it begins to look worn and faded, especially in high-traffic areas. 

Maintaining Your HVAC System

Replacing the furnace is expensive. Repairing a cooling system is also expensive. These emergency repairs cost more than maintaining the HVAC system from year to year with an annual inspection and service contract. Reduce the risk of surprise repairs by working with a local HVAC technician who can conduct annual inspections and provide ongoing service to keep your system running efficiently and correctly. You’ll find yourself responding to fewer maintenance requests. 

Well-maintained HVAC systems operate more efficiently. And, when you have that annual contract with an HVAC company, you can usually expect discounts when something breaks or needs attention outside of their routine visits. You’ll have that relationship in place already, which will help if there is an emergency at your rental home that needs attention.

Routine Air Filter Changes 

Since we’re on the topic of that very expensive HVAC system, let’s talk filters. 

To keep your HVAC system running effectively and efficiently, you’ll need to have the air filters changed regularly. Depending on the age and type of your system, this may be a monthly task or something that you need your tenants to do every two or three months. 

Make sure your tenants understand that this is their responsibility. Some owners will provide the filters for their tenants and then charge them as part of the rent. Others will expect their tenants to go out and purchase the correct size and install the filters. Whatever you decide, make sure the requirement is in the lease agreement, and be sure your tenants understand the importance of following this protocol.

Pipes and Plumbing

Always stay on top of plumbing situations. You don’t want water running wild behind your walls, under your floors, or under your sinks. A slow leak may seem minor, but if it’s ignored for too long, you can find it quickly becomes a plumbing disaster. Conduct routine inspections where you check under sinks and caulk toilets and tubs. 

Take preventative measures when you’re thinking about pipes and plumbing. Most of the professional plumbers we work with recommend you drain your hot water heater every year. This will prevent rust and sediment exposure, which deteriorates the tank faster. If you’re willing to drain it annually, you can get more years of service out of it, saving you the cost of a new water heater every few years.   

While you could hire a plumber to come and flush the water tank, it’s not too difficult for you to do on your own. It simply requires that you drain all the water out of it. If you’re not comfortable doing it, contact a plumber and set up a service contract, or talk to a Colorado Springs or Pueblo property management company who may know how to help. You’ll cut down on tank leaks and problems when you’re giving it a close look every year. 

The Need for Licensed and Insured Vendors and Contractors 

Property Management PartnerA good team of vendors will help you maintain every part of your property – from that landscaping to those appliances. To save money and set up an effective preventative maintenance plan, you’ll need a reliable team of vendors. If you’re working with a property management partner, you won’t have to worry about finding the right vendors. You can leverage the relationships your management team already has in place. 

If you’re managing on your own, create a list of licensed and insured vendors and contractors who are committed to caring for your investment property. If there’s an emergency in the middle of the night, you don’t want to be looking for a plumber. You want to have someone reliable and responsive who will answer your call. 

Listen to the advice and recommendations these professionals provide. They’ll often have great ideas on how to keep costs down.  

This is our general maintenance advice. If you’d like some customized advice based on your specific property, we’d be happy to provide it. Please contact us at Muldoon Associates.