Hi, this is Tanya with Envy Property Management. With the start of the new year, as a landlord, you should also be looking at the tasks that need to be done for your investment properties. You know there are daily, monthly, and periodic tasks that need to be done in order to stay on top of your rental properties on a regular basis, ut today I want to talk about the top 8 things you need to be doing yearly to keep your investments up to date with the ever-changing world of rental homes.
As an investment property owner, it is always a good idea to regularly inspect your rental property and the beginning of the year is a good time to see when the last property evaluation was completed. At Envy Property Management we recommend quarterly property evaluations to ensure your property is being kept in adequate condition and up to standards. If your property hasn’t had a thorough inspection in the past year, now is the time to get it scheduled. You could miss some potentially serious problems that would have otherwise been noticed had you gotten into the home sooner. This also helps keep you financially protected, by regularly tracking the condition of the property and documenting what is normal wear and tear and what damages are tenant-related.
2. Change Furnace Filters
While inside your rental property doing a periodic inspection, always make sure you are checking your air filter. Your furnace is one of the highest ticket items to replace and if your tenants aren’t changing out the air filters this could shorten the lifespan of your furnace. It could also pose safety issues and cause fires in the home, which would also be bad for the landlord in terms of insurance, lawsuits, and property damage.
At Envy Property Management, it is the responsibility of the tenant to replace the air filters, and to make this as easy as possible, we have their new air filters delivered right to their door every 3 months. These filters are also dated so we can take note of when it was replaced and ensure the filter is in good condition.
3. Renew Your Rental Business License
At your investment property, you may be required to register your rental or have a rental license in order to lease it out to tenants. The renewal for licenses is typically on an annual basis. In some areas, if you fail to register, your tenant can get rewarded monetarily and that means you’ll end up paying your tenant.
Check your city or state guidelines on registering your rental property or business license. Most areas have resources online for landlords, offering registrations that are valid for a full calendar year. Registration fees apply.
4. Update Tenant Contact Information
It’s important to confirm any changes in contact information yearly with your residents. The numbers you collected at move-in may be different now. It’s important to confirm this information with your tenants annually, so you have their most accurate contact numbers. While you are verifying their phone number also get their email address and emergency contact information as well, just to be thorough and have multiple options for contacting your tenant if needs be. This will prevent future problems if there’s a pressing issue and you need to get in touch with them as soon as possible.
5. Check Your Insurance
The insurance industry can be a little tricky sometimes. Agencies will get you to switch to them with their super low rates, and then, once you’ve signed a policy, slowly raise your prices in the hope you won’t notice. It’s no wonder that every insurance company claims people will “save hundreds of dollars by switching!” That’s why it’s smart to shop around for better rates at least once a year. To avoid paying a higher premium than necessary, don’t automatically renew your policy when it’s up at the end of the year. Instead, shop around among various insurance companies.
With that being said, switching insurance companies can be a headache, so only switch if you will be getting considerable savings or significantly improved coverage. To determine which companies offer the best prices, look online or call a local insurance agent.
6. Ensure Your Keys Work
Tenants will change their locks for any number of reasons. However, as a landlord, it’s important that you have a working key for all of your properties, so you can gain access if you need to without a hitch. There is nothing more frustrating than having a maintenance person, who you are paying by the hour, to show up to do work, and the key you gave them doesn’t unlock the door. Check keys at your yearly rental property inspection to verify you have the correct ones.
So at a certain point every year, notify all your tenants that you will be performing a key check. Then take your master keys around to each unit and give them a try.
If you need to make a copy of a key, head to your local home improvement store for help.
7. Check Smoke and Carbon monoxide detectors
As mandated by law, every rental home must have smoke alarms, and many areas require carbon monoxide detectors as well. These are handy little warning systems, but they don’t last forever. And some tenants will just throw away smoke alarms or carbon monoxide detectors that are obnoxiously beeping rather than replace the batteries. This responsibility falls on the property owner. Making sure all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are in working order will keep your tenants (and building) safe by minimizing the risk of fires or other safety-related issues that could cost you valuable time and resources.
To ensure the tenants in each of your rental units are safe and secure, check these systems at least annually, if not bi-annually, and make sure they’re working properly.
8. Thank Your Residents
Finally, don’t forget that your residents are the lifeblood of your business, and without them, you have no business. Do something nice for your tenants at least once a year to let them know you care. This could be as simple as a holiday card or a simple thank-you for renting from you.
A big issue for cash flow on investment properties is tenant vacancy. By letting your tenants know you appreciate them, you’ll find that they stay longer and are more pleasant to work with the remainder of the year.
That’s it for today’s video. If you’re looking for a great way to simplify your life as an investment property owner, increase your profits, and make your tenants happier, give Envy Property Management a call today, 801-337-4337. Or visit our website at envypm.com where you can easily view our 3-tiered pricing plan so you can pick a package that best fits you and your needs.