Updated: Oct 28
Need tips on how to improve your property’s energy-efficiency? Or are you looking for other property maintenance and cleaning tips? As a property owner or manager, every decision you make has to take your overhead into account. Things that a homeowner might pay for without hesitation—deep cleaning, professional consultations, or a plumber to help with small projects—you need to weigh and consider carefully.
In this article, we’ll review several property upkeep tips that have the potential to save you money and prevent future headaches—for both you and your renter.
Improve your property’s energy-efficiency
Many property owners and managers make the mistake of thinking they don’t have a stake in the property’s energy-efficiency. However, just because you’re not the one paying the electric or gas bills doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from efficiency improvements. A more efficient apartment, condo, or home is one that puts less wear-and-tear on its HVAC systems—which you pay for—and is therefore less likely to need summertime AC repair or winter heating repair. That’s exactly why you should schedule seasonal maintenance: the reduced risk of a breakdown is worth the upfront cost alone.
Efficiency improvements don’t necessarily have to be expensive or complex projects. If you have a caulk gun, some weatherstripping, and about an hour, you can make a positive difference. Add caulking around the windows and place the weatherstripping around the door frame. This will reduce the heat transfer—in during the summer, out during the winter—in the property, improving its efficiency, making your renter feel more comfortable, and lowering the stress on its cooling and heating systems.
Take on your own plumbing repairs
If your renter calls you about a clogged sink, toilet, or shower drain, don’t assume right off-the-bat that you need to call a plumber. Unless they tell you otherwise, you have no idea what they’ve tried—or haven’t tried—to do to clear the clog. Most residential drain clogs can be cleared out with just equal parts vinegar and baking soda. Poured down the drain, this chemical reaction will help loosen and dissolve the blockage.
Trapped hair in a sink or shower drain can be tougher to deal with, but is still possible to address with some DIY work. Take a metal coat hanger and, using a set of pliers, straighten part of it out so that you have a long rod with a hook at the end. Remove the drain cover and insert your homemade snake tool into the drain, twisting it so as to entangle the hair. From there, it’s just a matter of carefully pulling out the clog.
Of course, if you’re dealing with a clog that’s too tough for either of these methods, you should probably relent and call in a plumber. After all, you don’t want to waste your renter’s time trying increasingly complex ways to remove a clog. Just take a step back and bring in a professional so that the clog can be cleared out and your tenant’s life can get back to normal.
Make deep cleaning that much easier
Most property owners and managers hire cleaning professionals to come in between renters, especially to treat and deep clean the carpets. However, some cleaners don’t really get down to the finer details, such as long-term wear-and-tear throughout the property. The good news is that a little bit of time and elbow grease is all you need to improve the situation.
Correction fluid—the stuff you used in grade school to cover up mistakes in your writing—is a miracle worker for projects like this. You can use correction fluid to fix scratches, blemishes, or other types of damages in just about anything white. It’s perfect for cleaning up baseboards and walls. Start by thoroughly cleaning the baseboard with a washcloth. Then, use just a bit of the fluid to fill in gashes and scratches. Once dried, they’ll no longer be noticeable. You can even use correction fluid in the enamel tub to remove long-term scratches!
If your property’s sink faucets and shower heads have obvious signs of hard water damage, try this trick: fill a plastic bag with some lemon juice and then wrap it around the shower head or faucet, using the rubber band to seal it. Sitting in the acidity of the lemon juice should help remove that hard water staining and buildup, leaving the fixture looking brand-new.
Take the next step toward easier maintenance
If you’re looking for other “lifehacks” and DIY ways to maintain your property, talk to the more experienced property owners you know. Just like a grandmother who perfects baking recipes throughout the years, a long-time property owner or manager has likely picked up a few lifehacks in their many years of working with tenants and properties. Talk to them and get some ideas, inspiration, and advice.
We also recommend you check out the infographic below. It contains several property and home improvement hacks that can really help you better maintain your rental.
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