Fall in Orlando doesn’t necessarily mean a dramatic drop in temperatures and hillsides full of changing leaves. This is Florida, and Florida has a special weather pattern that differs greatly from the rest of the country. However, the changing of the seasons is always a good time to evaluate your maintenance needs. Even though the weather might not be changing or getting cold in Florida, the temperatures do drop during the winter months, and you want to use the fall season to ensure you and your property and are prepared. This is a job for both landlords and tenants.
When the fall arrives, make this a time to prepare your home for a change in weather. Even though you won’t have to worry about frozen pipes or ice issues with your Orlando rental home, you still want to make this part of your routine care. It will ensure your landlord’s investment property stays in good condition. It will ensure your home is well-maintained, and it will help you enjoy a comfortable fall and winter season in Orlando.
All of these things will be discussed with you when you sign your lease. We want you to make preventative maintenance measures part of your seasonal care, and we believe that fall is a great time to take care of several different things. As always, you can reach out to us if you need help or you encounter a problem that goes beyond what you are expected to handle.
Preventative Safety Measures During Seasonal Check-Ups
A large part of your fall maintenance should be checking for safety hazards. Maintaining a safe and habitable home is one of your landlord’s most important responsibilities, and you can help by keeping an eye on things and raising a flag any time you see a safety issue. If you make these five specific things a part of your fall maintenance plan, you can be sure you are keeping yourself up to date on the condition of your home. You’re also showing your landlord and property managers that you’re a responsible tenant who takes caring for a property seriously.
- Accident prevention
Accidents are costly for you and your landlord. They can be dangerous, and they can also cause major problems in the landlord/tenant relationship. Inspect the property during your fall maintenance check-in and look for things like loose handrails on stairs or steps. If you have a patio or a deck in the back, make sure there are no loose boards or nails and screws that are easily stepped on. Take a look at any carpet you have in your home. If there are any sections where the carpet or the flooring is loose or buckling, you’ll want to report it to your property manager because it presents a trip and fall hazard. Exposed tree roots in the yard could be a problem, and you’ll want to make sure nothing is slippery or broken.
- Electrical hazards
Electrical outlets should not be smoking, and they should not be warm to the touch. Some of the outlets in your home will be used by you and your family members on a daily basis, so if there’s a problem, you’ll be alerted. But, check out those electrical outlets that are not used regularly. Make sure they still work and make sure there aren’t any sparks when you plug or unplug a device. Test all of the outlets in your home just to ensure you don’t need the help of an electrician.
- Inspect fire extinguishers
There needs to be a fire extinguisher at the property, and this is a good time to inspect it. You want to be sure it hasn’t been tampered with and that it’s in a place that’s easily accessible if you need it to put out a fire. Make sure it’s fully charged and functional. If you have any questions about how to use a fire extinguisher, make sure you contact us. We want to be sure you understand what you have to do if there’s a fire at the property.
- Check alarms
Smoke alarms need to be checked at least twice a year, and if you schedule an inspection of those smoke detectors during your fall maintenance routine, you’ll have a good sense of whether they work or if you need to replace them. This is also a good time to check your carbon monoxide alarms as well as any security alarms that are installed on the property.
- Locate and check shut-offs
If you have not already walked through the procedures for shutting off water or gas, this is a good time to do review the process or learn what you’re supposed to do. Locate the place at the property where the gas and water valves are, and make sure you understand how to shut those things off if an emergency occurs. Your landlord or your property manager should get to the property immediately if there’s any kind of emergency, but if you are informed and equipped to do things like shut off the water when a pipe bursts or a leak occurs, you will be able to mitigate much of the damage.Review all the household procedures that you may find in your lease. If your property manager comes over to fix or replace something that may be a safety hazard, it’s a good opportunity to ask any additional questions you may have.
Keeping Your Orlando Rental Property in Good Condition
Once you have ensured that the property is safe and habitable, it’s time to inspect the routine maintenance issues that often pop up a few times throughout the year. We have five seasonal maintenance items that you should check while you’re conducting this inspection every year.
- Filters and vents
Your air filters work hard in Orlando. With heat being present most of the year, those air filters need to be changed every month. Take a look at the air filter. If it looks like it hasn’t been changed in a while, make sure you set up some kind of schedule to ensure you’re changing the filters every month. This routine process protects the condition of the home’s heating and cooling unit. It also contributes to a more efficient flow of air. This keeps your energy bills lower, and it’s always nice to save money there.This is also a good time to check the filter and the vent in the hood of your stovetop range. Vacuum all the heat registers such as air intakes, vents, fans, and radiators, if you have them. Clean out the areas under, behind, and between appliances. This keeps your fire hazard low and ensures a healthy living environment.
- Doors and windows
All of the exterior doors should shut tightly. Check the locks and look at other doors and windows in the property to ensure there’s an ease of use. If necessary, lubricate your door hinges and tighten up any screws that are loose. If you have weather stripping, check its condition on the doors and windows. A well-insulated home will save energy.
- Inspect floors
While replacing carpet and flooring during your tenancy might not be necessary, you do want to keep your floors clean and in good condition. Consider having your carpets professionally cleaned in the fall. This will keep them in good shape and increase the likelihood that you’ll get your security deposit back when you move out.
- Drains and disposals
Look for clogs, debris, and back-ups in the traps and drains in your dishwasher. You’ll also want to inspect the sinks, tubs, and showers in your property. Look at your faucets and make sure there isn’t any dripping or leaking. You may need to change some washers. Drop a few ice cubes in the garbage disposal to clean the blades. Then, flush the disposal with baking soda and hot water. Plumbing areas that aren’t used every day such as a laundry tub or a sink in a spare bathroom should be checked. Turn on the water and make sure there’s some water kept in the tap.
- Look at landscaping
Keep the outdoor space tidy and free of debris and mess. Tidy up the yard, patio, or balcony. If there are hoses and other outdoor things available to you, make sure they are working and stored.
- Filters and vents
These are just a few things you can do as a resident to ensure your rental home is kept in good condition. We want you to have a pleasant rental experience with us, and if you can use these seasonal inspections to ensure everything is working properly, it will help you and your management team.
If you come across any safety issues or need repairs during your fall maintenance check-up, please submit a maintenance request online, or contact our office to make sure we know about the things that need to be done.
Thank you for taking the time to conduct fall maintenance and take care of your rental property. We value you as a resident and want you to enjoy a safe, clean, well-maintained home. If you have any additional questions or have any maintenance needs, please contact us at Specialized Property Management in Orlando.