We all love summer. The picnics, BBQs, pool time, family reunions, and home improvement projects are just part of what makes the season fun. Along with the home improvement projects completed on your own home, Dallas rental property management owners need to remember to perform preventative maintenance on their rental properties as well.
“We are pleased to help landlords and homeowners outside our client family be more effective and help their properties perform better,” explains the Director of Operations at Specialized Property Management Dallas/Fort Worth. “We work hard to stay abreast of the regulatory changes that come into play, and we have learned by experience the proactive steps needed to protect the property while protecting the owner from liability.”
You don’t want your rental house to scream, “NO ONE IS TAKING CARE OF ME!” Things like overgrown grass, numerous weeds, and junk laying on the lawn will deter possible tenants from renting your home. Failing to take care of the lawn and outside of your rental home means your property will sit vacant and you’ll lose money! Here at Specialized Property Management Dallas, we want to give you some tips on rental property summer maintenance and landscaping to keep your home looking great on the inside and outside.
Keep it “Cool” in Dallas Rental Property Management
Texas summers are no joke. With temperatures rising above 100 degrees on a regular basis, the A/C inside your rental home needs to be in tip-top shape for the summertime. Here are a few suggestions for making sure your tenants stay comfortably cool this summer:
- Check all fans, windows, and doors: Ensure all screws on ceiling fans are tight to reduce the risk of imbalanced blades. Remove unwanted buildup on fans and airways. Check all windows and doors for proper seals and no air leaks.
- Swamp coolers and central air: Have these units professionally serviced to ensure the best performance. Change filters inside to improve airflow quality.
- Check basement humidifiers, dehumidifiers, and dampers if you have them.
- Swimming pool maintenance: If your rental property contains a swimming pool, have it inspected for leaks and proper chemical balances.
Additional Inside Maintenance
Filters, vents, and hoses – oh my! These parts may seem small, but if not functioning properly they can really cause damage to the home. Vacuum out your dryer vents, change the furnace filters, and check the water hoses on the washing machine and fridge to prevent leakage. Prevent house fires by verifying all electrical outlets are working and do not have exposed or frayed wiring. Be sure to test all alarm systems throughout the home to see if fresh batteries are needed.
Sizzling Summer Maintenance Outside the Home
Once you are sure your tenants will be safe and cool inside, it’s time to check up on the property exterior. Follow these recommendations:
- Summer Texas thunderstorms can happen in a flash! Leaky gutters could lead to water damage in your home. Verify all gutters are clean and work well for drainage. Ensure the downspouts drain away from the foundation of your home.
- Wash, clean, inspect. Go around the home and wash the windows, clean the siding, and inspect wood for damage or rot. Have the roof inspected by a professional to verify no leaks or damage has occurred during the colder months.
The Landlord, the Tenant, and the Lawn
Whether you have acres of land to upkeep or even desert landscaping, landscape maintenance can be a gray area. Dallas rental property management companies agree that the job of landscape maintenance should fall to the property owner or manager and not the tenant, unless specifically spelled out as the tenant’s responsibility in the lease.
A well-kept yard can boost the overall appearance of your home and change the way the tenant cares for the property by seeing that you do the same. But, when it comes to maintenance, it’s more than just the lawn.
The Low Down on Tree Trimming
Trimming any trees on the property is an area of maintenance that should be completed on at least an annual basis. Tree trimming falls to the property owner or a professional tree trimming service. Trimming your trees has many benefits including:
- Reducing the risk of damage to your home by trimming branches that are too close to windows, siding, and the roof.
- Increasing the longevity of the tree by removing branches that can cause problems to overall tree health
- Ensuring the safety of those on the property from being hurt by a falling branch
If the trees on your property have been around for a long time, the roots may stretch precariously close to the foundation of your rental home. Dallas property management services suggest having an expert assess if any trees need to be cut down at the same time you arrange for tree trimming.
Taking Care of the Lawn Outside Your Rental Home
In Dallas, the most common lawn grasses are St. Augustine, ‘Common’ Bermuda Grass, ‘Celebration’ Bermuda Grass, Zoysia Grass, and Buffalo Grass. Each of these comes with certain advantages and disadvantages. For example, St. Augustine does well in a lot of sunlight, but it also requires a lot of water to maintain. If you live anywhere that imposes frequent water restrictions, this might be a concern. Figure out which grass will best suit your Dallas rental property management needs.
In Texas, it’s an ongoing battle trying to keep weeds from taking over the grass. Texas weeds are so persistent and annoying that sometimes it seems easier to give up than to try and pull out every single one. Whether you’ve got crabgrass or clover, you can’t just zap them with weed-killer since the Environmental Protection Agency phased out the most toxic, but also the most effective, highly potent chemical called monosodium methanearsonate (MSMA). So the best thing to do is to maintain a healthy lawn that will intimidate those pesky weeds. Fertilizing your lawn at the proper time of year, irrigating it, cleaning it, and mowing it consistently will show those weeds who’s boss.
As grass grows fastest during the summer months, make sure you have a plan in place to mow the lawn on a regular basis and prevent it from becoming overgrown. Aeration, overseeding, fertilizing, and pruning should be on the top of your list to bring life back into your landscape.
Plant Some New Flowers
When you go to your local greenhouse or supermarket to pick out some new flowers, talk to someone who knows which plants bloom when. You don’t want to spend your money on a bunch of flowers that will shrivel up and die a week after planting them. Bottlebrush plants are a good choice because they bloom over a long summer season and add that touch of bright red to your greenery. Another great flower that would spruce up any Dallas rental property management yard is lavender. Lavender smells wonderful, is a natural bug repellent, and doesn’t need to be constantly watered. Planting low maintenance flowers is a great way to spruce up your yard and save time in the long run. A bright, beautiful flower bed can attract a potential renter’s eye and make them want to stop in.
Instead of Traditional Grass, Use Mulch or Stones
If grass is too much upkeep for you, you can use mulch or stones in an outdoor area instead. The bonus of mulch is you don’t have to mow it, water it, or fertilize it, and it smells and looks nice. Stones are also a great option if you pick the kind that is durable in any weather. Stones can give your yard that extra touch of uniqueness, and also provide an extra place in the yard to place patio furniture. Dallas landlords can add potted plants, create an outdoor living space, or collect rain with water barrels for a low maintenance yard.
Summer Property Inspections are Important
Doing a seasonal inspection helps landlords and tenants know how their property is functioning, if tenants are in compliance with their lease, and to address any needed repairs. You should have a qualified, licensed home inspector check that all the appliances inside of the home are in good working order and note if anything inside or outside the home may need maintenance soon. Routine property inspections keep the curb appeal of your rental property high and your tenants happy.
Why Summer Maintenance is Important
Following these tips can lead to a smoother rental property experience for tenants and landlords throughout the summer. “Many of our clients simply don’t have the time or expertise to pay attention to the small, but important, details that will protect their long-term cash flow, so they trust us to provide full-service management of their rental property,” explains the Director of Operations at Specialized Property Management Dallas/Fort Worth. “A truly professional property manager will pay for themselves and end up increasing the return on investment by avoiding costly mistakes and addressing issues proactively.”
If you are not up for summer maintenance or have a full schedule of your own, contact a professional Dallas rental property management company to take the hassle out of summer maintenance! We’ll take the time to make the outside of your property as beautiful as the inside. At SPM Dallas we promise to maximize your profits while minimizing your headaches. Click here for a comprehensive list of all of our Dallas property management services! Put our team, experience, and ethics to work for you. Contact your Specialized Property Management Dallas team today at 214-233-7572!