Preventative Rental Maintenance: Tips for Landlords in North Seattle, WA


Preventative maintenance is an important way to preserve the condition of your home and keep your tenants happy. Our Seattle property services includes a checklist that we use during turnovers to make sure we can prevent a lot of the problems that come up in the first month or two of a tenancy. We know that these are the most frequent calls we get. So, we take care of them before the tenant moves in, and that saves us money and reduces the maintenance calls we receive. Consider including these things in your own preventative maintenance routine.

Caulking and Drains

Caulk all windows, sliders, the bathroom sink, the kitchen sink, your tub, and shower closure. Scrape all the old caulking off, then clean and dry the area before you re-caulk. That will make it look better and keep it clean. You’ll attract a higher quality tenant. Your caulk will hold up longer, look better, and prevent leaks. It costs you about $4, so handle it. Then, snake the drains. You can buy plastic snakes for like 99 cents. Take one of those and stick it down your drains. This pulls out any hair and prevents buildups and clogs. Tenants won’t use harsh products and they won’t call you with a clogged drain.

Prevent Water Damage with Linoleum

Place some linoleum under the sinks. If you have cabinets under a sink, cut out some linoleum and staple it down. If there is a leak under that sink, you won’t end up with eroded wood. This will give you time to fix the leak and protect your property.

Check Vents and Appliances

Smoke and carbon detectors need to be checked for batteries. Take a look at their expiration dates as well. It’s a good idea to service all heaters, fans, the dryer vent, and the oven vent. Replace the filters and if necessary, clean them out. We snake the dryer vent to get lint out of there. When your tenant calls because the dryer won’t work, and it’s probably due to built-up lint. Make sure everything is working. Vacuum out old heaters, especially in the fall. As soon as the heat gets turned on, your tenant will smell smoke, and may think the heater is on fire. Usually, it’s just burning out the dust, but you want to get rid of it. Change out the lightbulbs and check the appliance bulbs too. These are missed a lot in the fridge and the oven.

Shelving and Hinges

My favorite one is the closet shelf. When the outgoing tenant doesn’t want to get charged for a loose or broken shelf, they will do what they have to do to make sure it looks fine. But if you tug on it, it might come crashing down. Test the shelves. Otherwise, as soon as your tenant puts coats away, everything could come down and a hole could be left in the wall. Cabinet hinges should also be checked in the kitchen and bathrooms. Shake the doors, and if the hinges are loose, tighten them up or replace them. If a hinge rips out and the door falls, it can hurt your tenant or break your cabinet. You’ll have to replace the whole thing.

preventative-rental-maintenance-tips-for-landlords-in-north-seattle-waWe are preventing these problems and reducing maintenance calls. These things also keep tenants happy – all in one simple checklist. Most of the time, you won’t have to do these things, you’re just checking them. If you have any questions about rental maintenance or anything pertaining to your Seattle rental property, please contact us at Olympic View Property Services.

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