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Filters, Batteries, and Water Heaters. Oh My!

Man Fixing a Water Heater in Southern Maryland Rental PropertyIf you look at the different seasons of the year, fall would be the best one for you to perform regular maintenance on some of the hardest-working devices in your rental property. By doing important interior maintenance items during this season, you’re making the best use of the season’s time. You’re not only making sure everything is working well but you’re also preparing your home to run safely and smoothly all winter long. You can have your filters, batteries, and water heaters checked and cleaned or replaced. These things need to be done regularly to keep your tenants safe and your rental property operating in optimum condition.

It’s crucial that you change your Southern Maryland rental property’s air filters, and that you do it regularly. These filters keep your property’s HVAC system clean and running efficiently. This is the reason why changing air filters is an important part of seasonal maintenance. As the winter months draw near, your tenants would want to keep out the cold since they’ll be spending more time indoors. They would then have the furnaces work harder. This being the case, it’s clearly important that your filters must be kept clean. There are all sorts of HVAC systems and they use different filters. So, depending on which type of filter your system requires, you may need to change the filters as often as every 30 days, every three months, or even every six months. You may think that this is a task that you can delegate over to your tenant. But chances are they’re going to forget to do it or not change the filters often enough. This neglect in maintenance will put a strain on your HVAC system and will result in its life being shortened and the efficiency of the unit reduced.

Fall is also the best time to test and change the batteries in your rental property’s smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. These devices need to be functioning properly to ensure the safety of your tenants. For instance, there’s a fire and one of your tenants gets hurt. Then the investigation shows that one of your smoke detectors wasn’t functioning properly because it ran out of batteries. What’s going to happen next? It’s almost a certainty that you’d be getting sued. So, to put it differently, it’s critical that these devices are kept functioning properly.

There are smoke and carbon monoxide detectors that need their batteries changed every six to twelve months; others have lithium batteries that can last up to ten years— which is great because the useful life of a smoke or carbon monoxide detector is also ten years. But regardless of what kind of battery your devices have, you should still have them tested on a regular basis. And if any of the batteries fail the test, have them replaced right away. Hundreds of people are injured or killed in house fires every year, and, for some of them, the smoke detectors in their homes failed to go off to warn them. If you leave these tasks to your tenants, you can’t be sure that they would do it. What they would do instead, is run the risk of damaging your property’s smoke detectors— especially if they don’t have the experience with its maintenance. This would lead to replacement costs and increased liability.

Next, we have a water heater. It may be one of the most frequently used devices in a rental home but that doesn’t mean people remember it when they’re doing property maintenance tasks. It shouldn’t be neglected or forgotten. Cleaning your property’s water heater is important to keep it working efficiently. Over time, sediment builds up in the tank of a water heater, making it less efficient and even leading to clogged water lines.

These problems wouldn’t bother you if you just flush your water heater once every six months or so. The task takes time to do but it should be done so your expensive water heater unit can work efficiently. This may seem like another thing you’d want your tenant to do. But if you let them clean your water heater, you risk a lot of things. They may not do it correctly and cause even more problems.

Neglecting these maintenance items can have serious consequences and could result in expensive repairs in the future. But leaving it to your tenant to change or clean the filters, batteries, and water heater in your Southern Maryland rental property is not the best option. While it is true that you could do the jobs yourself, the best option is still to get a company like Real Property Management Gold to manage all the property maintenance you need to have done. We have a full range of maintenance services that will keep your tenants safe and your property in good condition. With us by your side, you can be free to focus on growing your real estate investing business! Contact us today for more information.

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