Rental Property Maintenance List

Rental property maintenance is important and must be balanced with short-term cashflow. During the rush between tenants some trivial pieces of property maintenance get overlooked. These checks could save significant costs in the long run. I run through this list once per year or when a tentant moves out, whichever comes first.

You may also be interested to know which of these repairs can be written off your taxes. Fortunately, someone has already done a nice write-up on tax write-offs for rental property maintenance.

Before You Start Rental Property Maintenance

  • Ask tenants about problem areas; they often know best
  • Write down any items that don’t convey (window coverings, ladders, water hoses, drawer organizers, closet systems, programmable thermostat, shower curtains, etc)

HVAC Maintenance

  • Change HVAC filter
    • Test heat and cold
    • Change thermostat batteries
    • Schedule technician / Freon update as neccessary
  • Spread fire ant killer around outdoor HVAC unit

Plumbing Maintenance

  • Check plumbing for leaks
    • Bathroom sink
    • Bathroom tub/shower
    • Kitchen sink
    • Outdoor faucets
  • Check washer/dryer for leaks
  • Pour Drano or lye down all sinks, etc
  • Drain and flush hot water heater

Electrical Maintenance

  • Verify outlets work
  • Change batteries in smoke detectors
  • Check ceiling fans and pull-strings
  • Verify ceiling fan blows correct direction for season (down summer, up winter)

Inspecting Walls For Damage

  • Patch and fill any holes, remove any nails
  • Inspect interior walls for cracks
  • Check baseboards / trim / molding for damage or gaps
  • Inspect interior ceiling for cracks

Kitchen & Bathroom Maintenance

  • Replace basic shower curtain
  • Check tiles for cracks or missing grout
  • Recaulk around tub, shower, toilet, sink

Cabinet & Drawer Maintenance

  • Check for evidence of bugs / rodents
  • WD40 any squeaky hinges
  • Replace missing cabinet stoppers (so cabinets don’t slam shut)
  • Touch up paint as needed
  • Add drawer liners if needed

Maintaining Doors & Windows

  • Make sure doors have rubber stopper behind them
  • Verify windows lock properly
  • Replace blinds as needed (and wands)
  • Inspect caulking and weather stripping for leaks
  • Replace broken or cracked glass
  • Make sure key opens all doors (rekey as necessary)
  • Make sure all interior doors shut plumb
  • Add WD40 to squeaky door hinges
  • Repaint window sills as needed

Maintaining Driveways & Sidewalks

  • Spray for fire ants
  • Spray Round-Up to kill stray grass

Maintaining a Fence

  • Check for rot and stability
  • Restain if necessary

Exterior Property Maintenance

  • Verify doorbell works
  • Check roof for damage / leaks
  • Trim large branches
  • Inspect for deteriorating brick and mortar
  • Clean gutters if needed
  • Pull weeds if needed
  • Verify foundation is exposed around the house
  • Water the foundation if necessary (drought, etc)

Flooring Maintenance

  • Add coat of polyurethane to wood floor as needed
  • Replace carpet as needed
  • Patch any loose floor tiles
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