When summer is in full swing, residents of Florida know that the humidity and heat take a toll on properties and people. It is imperative that rental property owners take the time and energy to prepare their properties for the summer heat and humidity before summer hits. Current Results states that the average humidity in Orlando during the month of July is 78%, with a humidity of 91% in the morning and dropping to 64% in the afternoon. Completing a property summer checklist allows owners the opportunity to make repairs, adjustments, and changes to their rental properties before something breaks, causing a tenant to get upset or stressed. Below is a suggested list of items checked by Orlando rental property management professionals at Specialized Property Management while gearing up for summer.
Cooling and Air Conditioning Units
Perhaps the most important appliance or system to a tenant during the summer months of Florida is the air conditioner. No one likes to be hot and sweaty inside. In fact, a broken air conditioning unit coupled with the Florida summer heat and humidity is a quick recipe for angry tenants. Prevent the anger and stress by inspecting the HVAC units on the property. Repairing or replacing air conditioning equipment can be costly. By performing routine inspections and maintenance on HVAC units, property owners can significantly extend the life of their systems. Replace filters each month, clean dust and debris off of the fans and vents, and check that dehumidifiers are functioning properly. Dehumidifiers significantly help reduce the amount of moisture that is in the air that could otherwise cause mildew and mold growth.
While inside of the premises, it is wise to take advantage of your time and entry access. Orlando rental property management personnel should take this opportunity to inspect all general appliances including the refrigerator, stove, range hood, oven, microwave, and garbage disposal. Replace filters on the refrigerator and range hood as needed as well as clean the cooling coils on the refrigerator. Remember to unplug the fridge before touching the coils. Many range hood filters can be cleaned easily by soaking them in hot and soapy water. Doing so will remove grease and scum build-up. Turn on appliances to see that they function properly and are not damaged.
Performing routine general maintenance to a property is proven to increase the life of the property and cut down on major repairs. Take the time to snake bathtub drains and clear them of hair. Dust bathroom vents to remove dust build-up so that they can function fully and remove excess moisture. Removing excessive moisture from bathrooms will prevent mildew and mold growth on the walls, in the shower, and behind the toilet. Removing dust and debris from air vents and bathroom vents will help them to work better and be more proficient in Orlando. Rental property management teams should inspect the inside and outside of the structure. Look for any signs of moisture or water leaks, and perform a touch-up paint to the exterior of the house when the paint has chipped. Spring and summer are a time when residents want to open windows and air out the house. Inspect window screens for holes and make repairs as needed. Check window and door locks. Simpli Safe alarm company reports that the majority of break-ins occur during the months of July and August. People are traveling during summer, leaving doors and windows wide open, and letting their guards down. Burglars know this and this is when they strike. Protect your tenants and your property from vandalism and test that door and window locks are working properly. Lastly, while still inside of the premises, check the attic and crawl spaces for pests and rodents. Catching a pest or rodent problem early can prevent them from causing damage to a property. Take this opportunity of conducting general maintenance to wash the exterior of the windows.
Orlando rental property management pros understand that Florida winters are not nearly as extreme as other locations throughout the country, however, winter is generally a time when homeowners and renters can let landscaping projects fall by the wayside. Spring and summer are great times to show your lawn some extra love. Just because your property is occupied, does not mean that curb appeal should be forgotten. Continue to maintain a pleasing appearance to your tenants and neighborhood residents. Orlando property management services know that doing so will show that you care and value your property and your tenants. When the property does become vacant, if landlords have been responsible with maintenance, the previous tenants or neighbors are likely to notice and come to you with a referral for a replacement tenant. Fertilizing, aeration, overseeding, and pruning of trees and plants should be a priority on the summer checklist to bring some life back to the front and back yard. Inspect wood decks for splinters, touch up staining, and rotting wood. Turn on the sprinkler systems and check for leaks. Orlando rental property management companies are conscious of being water-wise. Make sure that your sprinklers are not causing overspray onto the patios or walkways, making them slippery to tenants. Pruning and trimming trees is also recommended and is known to deter intruders as overgrowth provides a covering for them from passersby. Purchase flowering plants that are labeled as perennials for a rental property. Perennials are flowering plants that live for two to three years before needing to be replaced. On the other hand, annuals die after just one season and need to be replaced yearly. Cut down on the number of flowers that you need to purchase to keep your property looking beautiful and colorful by purchasing perennials.
Florida residents can expect to experience at least one big hurricane each summer. The months that residents are most at risk for a hurricane are June through November. While Orlando rental property management companies consider Orlando as one of the “safer” cities from hurricane damage, it is still wise to be prepared. While it is still early in the season, take the time to check tree branches and their stability. Trim off branches that appear dead or weak. Remove what would-be hazardous debris in the event of strong winds and torrential rain. Inspect the roof for any holes or areas that could cause leaks. Check for missing shingles or mold growth. The heat and humidity in Orlando are a perfect mix for mold. It is easier and more affordable to make small roof repairs as needed instead of replacing the entire roof for thousands of dollars.
The safety of residents should be a top priority for landlords. Remove as much liability as possible to keep yourself out of the courtroom and to prevent paying fees for damages and lawsuits. While conducting inspections of properties, which should be done biannually, Orlando rental property managers should do a basic safety inspection of the property. This includes testing and replacing smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and batteries as needed. Wiggle the hand railings for both indoor and outdoor stairways. If the railing wiggles or sways, tighten it. If you do not already have a fire extinguisher in the kitchen, purchase one and place it in an easily accessible spot or near the oven or stove. A common place to store a fire extinguisher is in the pantry or under the kitchen sink. Tighten toilet seats and inspect glass shower doors to make certain that they are properly and securely affixed.
Completing a seasonal checklist is a perfect time to inspect for lease compliance. While inside the premises, take the time to look for signs of overcrowding. Overcrowding means that the legal tenants are allowing unauthorized guests to live with them. Look for extra beds in the house where beds are not designed to go as well as excessive clothing and furniture. Orlando rental property management pros know that all of these could be signs that unauthorized tenants are living with the legal tenants. If the lease agreement does not allow pets, look for pets or signs of pets. Check for dog food bowls, kitty litter boxes, animal droppings on the grass in the backyard, or dog beds. Check for general cleanliness of the property. Most lease agreements do and should require tenants to uphold general cleanliness including removal of grease from appliances, wiping countertops of scum and food debris, sweeping and scrubbing of the floors, and proper cleaning of showers, bathtubs, and bathroom sinks. Check to see that smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are still installed with batteries inside. Too often, Orlando property management services will find that residents have removed detectors from certain locations because they were beeping too much or were too sensitive. Removal of such detectors is against the law. Speak with tenants who have removed these devices and reattach them.
How Orlando Rental Property Management Pros at SPM Can Help You
Remembering to schedule routine and seasonal property inspections takes organization, planning, and time. Not to mention if landlords miss or forget an item on the checklist, it could cost them thousands in repairs or thousands in liability. Cover your back and allow SPM Orlando the opportunity to protect you. Leave the daily grind of property management to us, while you enjoy the benefits. Call us today at 407-618-3475.