Property Management’s Guide to Fall Maintenance
We are trading in our flip-flops for hiking boots, our air conditions for fireplaces, and our life jackets for football jerseys. Fall is quickly approaching and with that comes more time spent inside our Central Oregon homes. This provides for the perfect opportunity for a quick self-check of your rental property to make sure it is ready to face the storming that will almost with certainty come in late fall and winter.
As a property manager in Bend and the surrounding Central Oregon areas, BOTH our renters AND owners are Lava Ridge Property Management customers! That means it’s our job to ensure a clean, safe, affordable and well-maintained home, so the renter lives comfortably, and the owner knows their investment is being protected. In order to do this, we commit to a monthly drive-by of each of our properties, a quarterly maintenance program and thorough screenings of potential renters. On the flip side, this also means working with renters who are willing and committed to reporting serious issues with their rental so we can fix them!
While we encourage our renters to address simple fixes and maintenance issues in order to keep rents down—broken or burnt out light bulbs, sprinkler head repairs, clogged sinks, etc.—we actually encourage our renters to call when a potential maintenance or safety issue is found so that it does not turn into something catastrophic. Examples of this include the following listed below.
THINGS TO REPORT TO YOUR PROPERTY MANAGER ABOUT YOUR RENTAL
- Worn decks, fences, railings or gates that have loose slats, need re-staining, or have hardware backing out of the wood.
- Leaks around any of the irrigation, toilets, sinks, dishwasher, hose connections or any large puddles of water that never seem to dry up.
- Peeling or pulled caulking around the tub or shower base, toilets, backsplashes.
- Alarming sounds from owner-provided appliances.
- Any concerns regarding the fireplace, chimney, or debris/blockages to dryer vents, wood stoves or chimneys.
- Garage door issues outside of sensor alignment (NEVER ATTEMPT TO WORK ON A GARAGE DOOR! This is incredibly dangerous and must be handled by a professional)
- IMMEDIATELY LEAVE AND REPORT any smell of natural gas and call 9-1-1 or the gas company.
In addition to what we expect renters to report to Lava Ridge Property Management, we also expect renters to conduct quarterly seasonal maintenance to keep their home in safe and acceptable condition. As fall approaches we expect renters to complete the following tasks to prepare for the colder weather ahead.
RENTER RESPONSIBILITIES FOR FALL MAINTENANCE
- Change the furnace filter. If a furnace technician is required to reset the system due to a blocked filter, this fee will be charged back to the renter! If a furnace requires a technician to change the filter, please contact Lava Ridge Rentals to schedule a time to have a technician come out.
- Vacuum, clean and test baseboard/cadet heat (if applies) and furnace vents.
- Check window and door seals; report necessary required maintenance.
- Place foam vent blocks and spigot covers to the exterior of the house.
- Program thermostats for efficiency. Thermostats should NEVER be set below 50 degrees! Heat must be between 55 and 60 degrees to avoid frozen pipes (older homes should open cabinets beneath sinks in extreme temperatures to avoid freezing).
- Attend to fall landscape maintenance by trimming bushes and hedges, giving the yard a good clean up, mowing and edging the lawn one last time, disposing of trimmings and clippings and checking the irrigation for leaks and breaks. Lava Ridge property management will arrange for your irrigation winterization and blow out, but it is the renter’s responsibility to provide access to the gates and systems for the technician.
- Change out smoke detector batteries.
- If your rental has a ceiling fan with blades that reverse in direction, switch them out to a clockwise rotation to help with circulation and heat distribution.
- If you want to save money on your utility bills, a window insulation kit is available for just a few dollars at your hardware store and can help prevent drafts and excessive heat loss.
While minor maintenance and fall clean up are a renter responsibility, keeping our properties well maintained and safe is a priority for us. That is why rental properties at Lava Ridge are put on a quarterly maintenance program that includes the following items below.
LAVA RIDGE PROPERTY MANAGEMENT IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE FOLLOWING FALL MAINTENANCE
- Tree trimming.
- Sprinkler blowouts and winterization of irrigation systems.
- Major irrigation breaks and water leaks.
- Chimney maintenance and cleaning.
Keeping your home sweet rental in tip-top shape not only ensures your comfort and well-being, it also protects the property from damage and keeps investor costs down so rents don’t have to go up. We know each rental is our customer’s home, and we pride ourselves on caring for each property. We wish you a wonderful change in seasons in your beloved—and maintained—rental property!
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