Though cooler weather in Dallas really doesn’t hit until late October/early November, the fall season is the perfect time to perform some property maintenance to ensure your investment property is as prepared for the change in weather as you are. Your Dallas residential property management team has a few tips to help you complete important seasonal maintenance. We recommend some basic services to protect the home and prepare it for the changing fall/winter season.
Climate Control Maintenance
Heating systems and air conditioners can be a big expense if you don’t keep up with the maintenance.
“Some managers forget to think ahead to the next season early enough, so tenants are comfortable when weather changes start to turn cooler,” says the Operations Director at Specialized Property Management Dallas. “Getting the furnace ready before it turns cool means your tenants don’t have to wait to be comfortable in their homes when the weather surprises us with change.”
Fall in Dallas means you will experience 85 degree temps one day and want to turn the A/C on, and the next day you may want the heater on with it a chilly 45 degrees outside. It’s important to make sure the heater and A/C are in working order, and all filters are regularly cleaned or replaced. Bleed any air from hot water radiator systems, and remove dust and buildup on any fans or forced air vents. Now is a good time to cover any outside A/C units you might have as well. Specialized Property Management Dallas also recommends you check humidity levels if you have a basement and perform any needed maintenance on dehumidifiers or humidifiers.
Doors and Windows
Dallas experiences a lot of high winds during the fall, so you should make sure your windows and doors are all sealed properly to keep the freezing air out.
“You can use weatherstripping in your home to seal air leaks around movable building components, such as doors or operable windows. . . . Before applying weatherstripping in an existing home, you will need to detect the air leaks and assess your ventilation needs to ensure adequate indoor air quality.” – From energy.gov
The weatherstripping that you apply or replace on any door or window in your rental home should keep it sealed but not shut. The windows and doors should all open and shut properly if the correct weatherstripping is used. See this table at energy.gov for the different types of weatherstripping you can purchase and their various uses.
Dallas Residential Property Management: Fall Landscaping
You will probably have to mow the lawn more frequently and take care of weeding as the season changes to autumn. If you have large trees in your yard, be sure to rake the leaves on a regular basis or ask your tenant to do so to keep it looking spick and span. Fertilization, pruning and any other lawn care services enhance the curb appeal of your home. Trim bushes and trees, and remove any plants or roots that could pose a threat to your home’s foundation or walls. Don’t forget about your gutters, either!
“Clean your gutters twice a year to ensure proper drainage away from your home and your home’s foundation. Depending on the height of your home, you’ll most likely need an extension ladder to reach your gutters.”- from homedepot.com
Clean hoses and other outside landscaping tools thoroughly before storing them in the proper area. For better property management in Dallas, keep your home looking great outside no matter the time of year.
Got a fireplace? Hire a chimney sweep to have it looked over and ensure it’s in proper working order before your tenants use it. You probably have one or two fire extinguishers located throughout the rental property that should also be inspected to ensure they are properly charged. Check all carbon monoxide detectors and smoke alarms throughout the home and install fresh batteries or ask your tenant to do so.
Fall/Winter Maintenance Tenant Responsibilities
As a property manager, you have obligations to keep the property well-maintained, but your tenants do as well. Renters play a vital part in keeping a home a safe, clean, and comfortable place to live. Here are a few seasonal items they are responsible for:
- Make you aware of any safety hazards. Any items that pose a problem like bulky carpets or loose hand railings should be fixed.
- Check electrical sockets to ensure they are not warm to the touch.
- Review household safety and emergency plans.
- Locate gas and water shut off valves.
- Clean/replace filters and vents as needed, and vacuum under all appliances.
- Change furnace filters on a monthly basis.
- Ensure all doors and windows shut tightly.
- Clean all drains and traps to ensure proper drainage.
- Deep clean floors.
- Deep clean carpets and rugs.
- If you have a garbage disposal, clean it by running ice through it followed up with hot water and baking soda.
As with everything in Dallas residential property management, communication with your tenant is key. Regular fall maintenance keeps rental homes well maintained and retains their curbside appeal, but only if landlord and tenant responsibilities are made clear. “Property inspections and communication with tenants is always a good idea for being proactive with your property management responsibilities,” advises the Operations Director at Specialized.
Have a Scheduled Fall Maintenance Property Inspection
Regular inspections are a given for any good property management company. Dallas owners should be sure a fall inspection is done to check for things like lease compliance and any needed repairs that are not yet reported. Have a qualified licensed inspector walk around your property, checking both inside and out so nothing is missed. Regular fall and winter property inspections keep the value of your property high by ensuring the inside and outside of the home is safe, functional, and clean. Here are five easy steps from your Specialized team on conducting successful rental property inspections.
Though Dallas doesn’t get below freezing all that often during the winter, we do have those occasional snows and quick cold fronts that are likely to blast through every now and then. Even if you’ve never had a problem with your pipes freezing before, it’s a good idea to know some tips and tricks from Dallas residential property management about what to do before that rare winter storm hits.
Indoor and Outdoor Pipes
Pipes located inside of your rental house can be wrapped in heat cables or flexible tubular pipe insulation. Don’t just think about the pipes located underneath sinks. Before the temperature drops below freezing, also look around your attic for any exposed plastic or copper pipes that need to be wrapped. If your home has a pier and beam foundation, take care to insulate short runs of pipe that might be exposed. Heat cables can also be effective in keeping pipes from freezing, because they use a low electrical current to warm the lines. Not sure which to use? Talk to a professional if needed.
It can be easy to forget that outdoor water faucets also need protection from the cold. An easy tip is to purchase hard faucet covers for less than $5 to keep these spigots snug.
Pipe Maintenance for a Vacant Rental Home
What if you have no tenants currently living in your rental home? It’s a good idea to turn on the heat just above freezing temperature to prevent any type of damage. You can also open cabinets where pipes are located to let warm air in. Go around the home and turn on the faucets ever so slightly to let a tiny trickle of water flow through the pipes.
Why Work with Specialized Property Management Dallas
For better, professional Dallas residential property management, put Specialized Property Management Dallas to to work for you today! Our comprehensive management services help you minimize the headaches that come along with self-management and maximize your profits. Our team lives and works in the Dallas area, so we have the local expertise to help you, no matter what step of the leasing process you’re dealing with. We take care of seasonal fall and winter maintenance so you don’t have to. We have a 98% customer satisfaction rating because we take care of our clients like they’re a part of our family.
“I highly recommend Specialized Property Management (“SPM”). I managed a rental property in the DFW metroplex, myself, for close to 3 years. After SPM took over, that property’s revenue generation increased significantly; I no longer had the burden of maintenance and tenant calls; and SPM’s online portal made bookkeeping/tax prep a breeze. But what really distinguishes SPM (and prompted me to write this review) is their customer service. It. Is. Excellent. My account with them was for a SINGLE property. They treated me like I was their largest account, and I always felt like they were on top of even the smallest issues. SPM didn’t ask for my trust … they earned it.” – Google review from Steve Pocsik
Contact your Specialized Property Management Dallas team today at: 214-233-7572!