Summers in the East Valley are hot and dry. Temperatures will be over 100 degrees nearly every day, and there will be either no rain or very little rain.
This will mean your rental property needs some preventative maintenance early in the season. When you own investment properties, you need to think seasonally. It’s an important part of protecting the condition of your assets. Whether you’re renting out one property or an entire portfolio, create a checklist of work you’ll want to do before we find ourselves in the middle of a very hot, very dry August.
To keep your property well-maintained, make sure you have a maintenance plan in place and a schedule for inspections and cleanings. Review your roster of preferred vendors and service professionals, and see if there are any gaps.
Or, contact your local Phoenix property management experts for some help in maintaining your property all year long, but especially in the challenging summers.
Here’s what our checklist for summer maintenance looks like.
Inspecting and Maintaining HVAC Systems
Air conditioning is essential in East Valley rental homes. It’s simply a habitability issue with average temperatures at around 104 degrees in July. Your tenants will use that air conditioning all summer long. The overtime your system puts in will have a lot of potential for problems. Get out in front of those problems with a service call from your local HVAC tech.
This is more than preventative maintenance; it’s basic preparation. Have your HVAC system inspected and serviced by a qualified technician. When you have a professional checking things out, you know that:
- Everything is working properly.
- If everything isn’t working properly, you can take the necessary actions.
- Your heating and cooling unit will last longer with regular inspections and service calls.
- You’ll save money later on potential repairs and replacements, which could be costly.
Your HVAC technician should be tasked with checking the compressor, the heat, and the ventilation as well.
When you’re thinking about your HVAC preventive maintenance checklist, think about how well you’re educating your tenants. Make sure they know how often to change the air filters. One of the most crucial aspects of any air conditioner is its ability to circulate air throughout the space it’s cooling. That cool air relies on a clean air filter that’s not clogged with dust.
Your heating and cooling system is probably one of the most expensive systems in your property. You want to maintain it so you can avoid expensive problems and desperate maintenance calls from residents.
Check in with your residents as summer arrives. It’s a good opportunity to find out if any minor repairs or replacements are needed. Make sure the thermostat works well and do an audit of insulation. Is cool air escaping? If so, seal up the doors and windows.
Lawn Maintenance and Landscaping for East Valley Summers
Summer is a good time to evaluate your landscaping and curb appeal.
We don’t see a lot of lush, green lawns in the East Valley, and you want to be sure your landscaping fits the climate and remains low-maintenance, especially if you want to attract and retain great tenants.
An inviting and well-maintained rental property exterior will attract potential tenants and contribute to higher rental values and property prices. When it comes to landscaping, there are a few tips you should keep in mind for Phoenix homes during the hot summer months.
- Focus on hardscaping rather than grass.
- If you do have plants at your rental property, put down a layer of mulch to keep them hydrated.
- Keep any potted plants or trees in the shade.
If you do have grass, it will need to be mowed and kept healthy. Contract with a professional landscaping service. This is a good relationship to review when you’re thinking about summer maintenance. When you get on a regular service plan, it won’t be too expensive, and you can include the cost in the rent when you’re setting your rental price.
Summer is when you really notice the state of your lawn, your landscaping, and your entire outdoor vibe. Invest in keeping things looking good. This will help your strategy for attracting and retaining good tenants.
Irrigation Maintenance: Gutters and Sprinklers
The amount of attention you need to pay to irrigation is dependent on what type of lawn you have. If there’s nothing to water, you’ve made a good choice: there’s little summer maintenance required.
If you do have an irrigation system of any kind installed, though, make sure you’re paying attention to it before you have scorching temperatures to contend with. Remember that you’ll have to water early in the morning or late at night.
Check the gutters at your property, if you have them. You never know what kind of debris and trash can gather in those spots. You want to remove any leaves, sticks, and other dirt and debris. When these things clog the gutters, moisture can get into the property, which is a headache you do not need. The gutter cleaning is not something you want to leave to your tenants. There’s a lot of liability when you ask them to get on a ladder and scoop environmental waste out of the gutters of your property.
If you have sprinklers, they will also need your attention in the summer months. Make sure there aren’t any leaks in your irrigation system or rusty spots that can lead to further deterioration or breakdowns.
Close any manual drains that were left open if the sprinklers were off for the winter. Adjust the spray patterns and the timing so your sprinklers will be ready to water your lawn.
Inspect and Update Your Floors
Seasonal reminders are helpful when you’re maintaining a rental home, and summer is a good time to check in on the condition of your floors. This will be especially useful if you have tile and grout that may need cleaning and stripping. This isn’t always an easy visit to organize if you have a tenant in place; but, if you happen to have a vacancy during the summer months, take care of this preventative maintenance measure when you can.
Clean and restore any floors that are tile, stone, travertine, marble, or limestone. If you have pavers, make sure those are in good condition. You’ll protect them and the value of the entire property by having those surfaces cleaned and restored.
Whatever type of floors you have in your property, use the summer maintenance checklist as a time to review their condition and consider upgrades. If the carpet is looking old and worn, think about replacing it. Or, install hard surface floors, instead. This is ideal, especially in the East Valley, and if you’re willing to make the investment in improved floors, you’ll find they’re easier to maintain. Tenants prefer them as well.
This is a good time to inspect the grout and caulk in showers, vanities, and countertops as well.
Check for Fire Hazards
Safety is also an important part of your summer maintenance checklist. If you look at fire prevention statistics, you’ll see that fires at residential properties are more common during the summer months. This is not the time you want to respond to a fire in the kitchen or the dryer. Make sure your tenants remain safe in their homes and protect your investment from fires with a few of these actions that can help you reduce fire hazards:
- Have your fire extinguishers checked.
- Share any evacuation or emergency plans with your tenant.
- Check the batteries and functionality of smoke detectors.
- Clean out lint in dryers if your property has in-unit laundry.
- Evaluate your electrical installations to ensure they are up to date and functional.
It’s easy to ignore minor problems, but you shouldn’t. Those outlets that don’t work can seem like a minor annoyance and nothing more. But, they could potentially lead to larger and more serious problems.
Pest Control is Preventative
Your East Valley tenants don’t want to live with bugs and critters.
Termites and insects can begin building nests in rental properties without anyone knowing. As they get comfortable and settle in, they ultimately begin to multiply. That makes it hard to control them. Avoid this danger by hiring an extermination company to help you manage this problem. Professionals can perform the job efficiently, especially in the summer when bugs are likely to be more noticeable.
Avoid infestations and retain tenants with a good pest control program. When you get on a regular schedule, the cost is manageable. This should be part of your summer maintenance plan, whether it’s reviewing your current pest control plan or investing in a new one.
Summer is an opportune time to catch up with any maintenance issues you may have ignored previously. Take the time to invest in summer maintenance. It’s good for your tenants and for your property.
We have good maintenance plans in place, and we’re always willing to customize them according to the needs of your property. Let’s talk about how we can help. Please contact us at TCT Property Management Services. We manage homes in the East Valley, including Mesa, Gilbert, Chandler, Scottsdale, and Phoenix.