Suggested Annual Maintenance

5 Replies

Hey all,

I am an early stage investor (9 mos in the game) in Austin and Bryan/College Station. Currently owning 2 properties with 6 units (1 duplex, 1 quad).

I am curious to know what types of annual maintenance I need to do without the burning the bank. My goal is to ensure there is absolutely no deferred maintenance, a high-quality experience for my tenants, BUT also make the right decision on what I should and shouldn't do.

 Just to let you know where my thoughts are right now, I am thinking of the following:

Doing

- Bi-Annual HVAC maintenance 

- Annual Pest inspection 

- Bi-Annual interior/exterior inspection of each property

Not Doing

- Quarterly Pest inspection

Tenants are expected to do:

- Change A/C filters every 1-2 months

Please let me know, really need to round out my thinking here!

Thanks in advance.

Chirag

I think a lot of this depends on the age and construction of property, what amenities it has, and the environmental factors (geography / weather).  "interior/exterior" inspection is pretty broad, so think about what that actually entails.

Make sure you check fire suppression equipment (smoke alarms, extinguishers) as tenants love to pull those off the wall and throw them in a drawer.  Check faucets and under sinks for leaks.

If you are an over achiever, drain and flush the hot water heaters every year.  I rarely do this, but I'm not an over achiever.

@Chirag Shah We try do monthly drive-by's,  a quick inspection every 3-4 months (have a checklist for that), and a detailed one once a year (have a checklist for that too).

We have a twice a year HVAC maintenance contract with a servicer for $140, checking the AC in spring and the heating in autumn and making sure they are prepared for the season.

Pest control is the tenant problem, but I'm thinking to do it once every 3-5 years (mostly, for termites). Annual seems excessive to me, maybe biennial.

It's tenant task to change A/C filters at a max 3 months with a filter with a minimum 5 MERV. I ask the tenant to write on the filter the date changed. Let me know if you know a good method of ensuring this. During high AC season we ask to put vinegar+water solution in the AC drain pipe. I'm thinking to offer it as an add-on service for $30/month.

Roof inspection every 2 years.

We are tracking the lifetime of all mechanical and appliances (as a forecast of capital expenses) and have a log of all important events for a property, with reminders. And a log of repairs and tenant requests.

Depending on property and how on top you want to be, you might track:

  • Clean Windows
  • Pressure Wash Concrete
  • Power wash home (once a year?)
  • Roof inspection
  • Maintain grounds – weed, trim
  • Pest Control
  • Replace Furnace Filters
  • Furnace Inspection
  • Furnace Duct Cleaning
  • Chimney Inspection/Cleaning
  • Check & clean Dryer Vent
  • Washing Machine Hoses and Tray
  • A/C Inspection
  • Flush water heaters (annually?)
  • Trim trees touching roof or gutters
  • Winterize Outside Faucet/Sprinklers
  • Clean Gutters
  • Water Pressure Check
  • Winterize Outside Faucet/Sprinklers
  • Sprinkler Tune Up

Thanks @Brendon Woirhaye

@Costin I. exactly the list I was looking for. I wasn't sure if annual pest inspection was a must, but it seems that in multi-family one tenants lack of cleanliness, can impact anothers. In my lease, maybe I should consider writing that tenants are responsible.

Referring to your HVAC annual inspection - is the $140 for an SFR? I've been quoted for $260 for the same service for a duplex. Seems like the cost is similar.

I think it would be wise to begin developing a check-list. As you know, I am house hacking and will likely keep doing so with the next property. But once I am out, it's a must have. Do you have any references?

@Chirag Shah Interior pest control is tenant's duty, but if you feel that could become a problem, and in the case of multi-family, you might want to retain control over it - but then I would charge them for it, or make sure the cost of it is factored in your calculations and rent.

$140 is for SFR, and more precise, for an HVAC unit. But I don't think it should go 1x1 ratio - I would an additional $50 for a second unit. $260 to check two HVAC units at the same location seems excessive to me.

PM me if you need checklists and tracking spreadsheets.

Pretty good list. I would include sewer clean out as part of broader plumbing checks. Depends on any complaints from tenants, but stay on top of that system.