Proper maintenance of your property will save you money in the long term and get you a better rent in the short term.
Here are some tips to remember.
Tools for the job
A bad workman blames his tools – a good workman knows how to use them.
You need a comprehensive range of tools so that you are not left empty handed when crunch time arrives.
So what does a good toolkit contain?
A good range of screw drivers of course.
Spanners, hammers and pliers.
Wire stripping pliers, wrench and a large supply of insulation and duck tape.
You’ll also need a handy supply of light bulbs (keep them dry and warm). Washers always come in useful and are a cheap and quick way to please an unhappy tenant with a leaking tap.
Sink unblockers, grout fillers and a collection of different sized screws and wall plugs.
A ladder is always necessary – a solid one if you need to reach the top of a house, (don’t stint here – it’s not worth it), a step ladder will generally suffice in an apartment.
Look after your floors well – they get the most abuse from inhabitants.
Often with floors prevention is the best solution and saves work and money in the long run.
Doormats are useful at each entrance to prevent excessive dirt getting in and asking people to take their shoes off before entering is not the worst idea in the world. It’s not always practical but it is effective.
Clean floors regularly, at least once a week. Sweep hard floors and clean them monthly with a specialist cleaner that won’t make them slippery. Vacuum carpets regularly and keep a good carpet stain remover handy – treat stains immediately. Carpets should be steam cleaned once a year – phone around for quotes and get the pros in to do it for you. The longer a stain stays in your carpet, the harder it will be to clean. Remember these words as you stare at that two year old red wine stain on your carpet.
Look, as cute as your kid’s scribbles on the wall may appear to you it will not appear so to the next tenant. And even though those holes in the wall may appeal to your industrial-chic style it’s not everyone’s taste.
Never forget it’s the walls that hold up your apartment or house. So look after them.
Don’t worry too much about surface cracks in the plaster or damage to the wallpaper or paint. These can easily be repaired with new decorations. The thing to really look out for it more intrusive damage to the wall, cracks and damp.
Widening cracks should be looked at by an expert as soon as possible. The earlier you deal with it, the easier and cheaper it will be to fix.
Rising damp or dry rot is also best treated quickly. Pay particular attention to the walls in your bathroom. You want to ensure that moisture and condensation isn’t settling into the walls causing damage.
Clean windows regularly and wipe down any condensation. Paint wooden windows at least once every three years to prevent weather damage.
Don’t put up with dripping taps, this wastes water and is easy to fix. Check pipes and taps regularly and deal with problems as they arise. If you have bought a house with inferior plumbing, consider getting it replaced before it bursts and damages your home.
Basic maintenance like replacing plugs you can do yourself – just remember to switch off the supply when needed. For anything else, including replacing faulty switches, consider getting someone in. Any electrical installations or major work should be done by a qualified electrician.