Property Maintenance Checklist

If you have an investment property you do not live in, often little things will be needing maintenance which your tenant may not even notice until it becomes a problem.  If you are even a little bit handy, here is an annual Property Maintenance Checklist you could do which might save you some tradie service calls ….

 

Outside your Property

  1. Check the approach to your property – are there any hazards?
  2. Check paving and pathways and driveways around the property, are they clean and not a trip/slip hazard? Is drainage OK, or is pooling water likely to be an issue?
  3. Check the vegetation around your property – are there any trees dropping leaves into your gutters or that are likely to have roots that will damage your property? Have any new ‘nuisance’ trees sprouted (birds drop seeds etc and another Chinese elm can be there quite quickly!).  Prune anything that needs pruning.
  4. Check your garden beds – are they weeded and mulched?
  5. Check that there is no build up or debris close to the sides of the property which might let termites in. Learn to identify termite mud tunnels and check for them – if they are there, do not disturb them, but call a professional.
  6. Check your hot water system for any leaks – release the pressure relief valve.
  7. Check your mains water supply – does the tap turn on and off easily. If not, call your utilities provider to come and service it (no cost to you).  If the house is vacant, you might want to take note of the reading, then do not run any water for 15 minutes then recheck it. If the meter has moved, you might have a leak.
  8. Check there is clear and easy access to your electricity, gas and water meters. Check that your safety switch on your electricity meter works properly.
  9. Look up, and check your gutters – are any holes or can you see that things are growing in your gutters – you may need to get a professional repair or clean. Look at the roof, does it still look in good repair?
  10. Check your downpipes – where do they discharge – are they discharging onto the ground and eroding your foundations? If so, you may need to change the point of discharge.
  11. Check for any cracks in the walls or foundations and take a photo and measurements so that you can tell if it is changing over time. Seek services of a structural engineer if you are concerned.
  12. Check fencing – if metal fencing is going rusty, you may need to treat and repaint before the problem gets away from you. Wooden fencing may require re-screwing or new palings or posts.
  13. Check pool fencing is compliant and ensure you have a current pool safety certificate. Do any pool pump maintenance that is recommended.

Inside your Property

  1. Doors – Test your locks – do you have keys for each lock, and do they turn easily? If not, some silicone spray or WD40 will help most modern locks.  Check the doors open and close smoothly and are not ‘sticking’ – if they are you may need to plane them slightly.
  2. Windows – check your windows open and close. If they require child safety barriers, ensure that these are compliant and secure.
  3. Smoke alarms – by law, smoke alarms must be cleaned and tested before each new lease or lease renewal so ensure this is done by you or by a professional. Ensure your property is fully compliant with the latest legislation.
  4. Taps – Test all the taps in the house – do they turn on and off easily? If not, you may need to change the washer and re-seat the tap (this is pretty easy with the right tools and parts you can get from any Bunnings).
  5. Sinks – Run water in the sinks. Check the drainage and check that there is nothing leaking underneath the sinks (a small leak can go unnoticed and cause major cabinetry damage and attract termites).
  6. Shower and bath – Check if the shower head needs a little CLR to clean it up and unclog it. Run water in the shower and bath – does it drain properly?  If not, you might need to get a bit of coat-hanger wire and pull out clumps of hair etc..  a bit gross, but saves you the cost of a plumber.  If you have access to under the house, check underneath all ‘wet areas’ to ensure there is no leaking happening in the walls.
    Check the silicone and grout in the shower and around the basin and bath.  If it is loose, water may get behind your wall and rot sets in.  Arrange to re-silicone or re-grout as needed.
  7. Toilets – Check around the back of the toilet, the taps and the hoses for any leakage. Also check the toilet is still firmly attached to the floor and not ‘rocking’. If the seat is looking worse for wear, it is cheap and easy to replace it with a new one.
  8. Mould – check the house carefully for mould. If mould is found, check if the mould is likely to be a result of poor ventilation, or some kind of leak.  You may need to address the cause.  If the mould is not severe you can usually treat it easily with a bucket, a couple of microfibre cloths, and vinegar (diluted a little with water).  Use one cloth to do the first sweep, and rinse it thoroughly.  Use the second clean microfibre cloth, soaked in fresh vinegar and water to go over the area again to take off any remaining mould spores.  If the mould is in something porous like carpet or curtains, you probably need to replace these.
  9. Kitchen and bathroom cabinetry – check if the hinges need adjusting or tightening and that the drawers operate freely. Check the silicone in the kitchen area also and re-silicone if needed.
  10. Appliances – if electricity is connected, check your hotplates, stove, oven lamps, dishwasher, air conditioners etc. Take the opportunity to change batteries in air con remotes and give the air con filters a clean.  Check your ceiling fans also.
  11. Power points – check if powerpoints are still securely attached and not loose. If electricity is connected, check if they work.
  12. Lights – if electricity is connected, check if all the lights work. If not, replace light bulbs.
  13. Garage – check your garage door opens and closes smoothly and quietly. If not, it may need a service.  Replace batteries in any garage remote.  Is there any slip hazard of oil in the garage?  If so, this will need to be soaked up and treated.
  14. Check your insect screens – replace damaged ones, ensure they are clean and the tracks are clean
  15. Check sliding doors and windows – clean tracks and spray silicone spray.
  16. Check your stairs and flooring for uneven areas, loose tiles or other hazards.

 

Let us know if you can think of other things we should add to our annual property maintenance checklist!

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