Being a landlord isn’t all about collecting rent at the end of the month. There are many important tasks that must be completed in order to own a successful rental property in Kansas.
An important chore among these tasks is property maintenance.
A well-maintained property is appealing to potential tenants, and attracts the right ones to your rental unit. It also improves their quality of living, making them less likely to leave, avoiding vacancies and high turnover rates.
Here is just a short list of other benefits that having a well maintained property will bring:
- Keep repair costs low. Repair and maintenance problems can become costly if left unaddressed. Regular maintenance checks can help prevent this.
- Enjoy a higher ROI. Not only does a maintained property attract the right type of tenants, but it can also help you charge more rent.
- Minimize tenant turnover. Tenant turnover is bad for business. Every day that your property is vacant means you’ll be earning zero income. Regular maintenance will help ensure your property remains in good condition and may help boost your lease renewal rate.
- Detect problems as soon as they happen. Routine inspection checks may help you detect issues early on. Not only will you have ample time to find a solution, but the repair costs will also be low as well.
- Meet all state regulations. As a Kansas landlord, the landlord-tenant law requires you to ensure your building meets the minimum safety, housing, and building codes.
With that in mind, let’s look at 4 maintenance tips for your Kansas rental property:
1. Take advantage of pest control.
Landlords must keep their property clean and free from pest infestations. The term ‘pest control’ covers a number of types of animal infestations and outbreaks.
Pests may include white ants, bees and wasps, snakes and possums, rats and mice, spiders, ants, cockroaches, and fleas.
Who exactly is responsible for pest control in a rental property?
Is it the landlord or the tenant? Generally speaking, as a landlord, pest and vermin control (termites, mice, and rats) are your responsibility.
The only exception is if the pest problem was caused by your tenant’s lack of cleanliness or poor housekeeping.
The following table provides a summary of who is responsible for what in regards to repairs and maintenance:
|Pests and |
|The landlord is responsible||The tenant is responsible|
|Snakes||If caused by the landlord’s violation of the agreement. For example, piles of rubbish left in the garden.||If present |
| Mice and |
|If present at the start of the tenancy||If present|
|Cockroaches, fleas and spiders||If present at the start of the tenancy||If present |
|Birds||If present at the start of the tenancy||To remove |
| Bees and |
|If present at the start of the tenancy||If present |
|Ants||If present at the start of the tenancy||If present |
2. Hire a professional landscaper.
What is the first thing prospective tenants see when they visit your rental property?
Landscaping. A properly groomed yard with curb appeal attracts high-quality tenants.
A professional landscaper can help you:
- Display lawn art. Gnomes are clichés, but other lawn art can enhance your current landscaping.
- Install a sprinkler system. This will ensure that every part of your yard receives the right amount of water.
- Keep gutters clear. Leaves and other debris often get trapped in your gutters.
- Include potted greenery. This is a simple way to add elegance to any yard without too much cost or effort.
- Prune hedges and trees. Prune and trim the hedges and trees to keep the landscaping looking nice and orderly.
- Mow the lawn. An overgrown lawn makes the entire place look in disarray no matter how beautiful the structure is.
3. Conduct regular inspections.
Regular inspections can have a significant impact on your property.
They can help look for things like water leaks, broken windows, rotting wood, and full gutters. Doing them catches issues early on before they potentially become serious and costly.
Most landlords in Kansas conduct four types of inspections:
A) When the tenant is first moving in. This helps document the condition of the property prior to the tenant moving in.
B) When seasons change. Each season brings its own set of maintenance challenges. In winter, for example, you may need to weatherize pipes.
C) When you are driving by.
D) When tenants move out of the property. This helps check for any property damage that the tenant may have caused during their stay at your property.
4. Care for your home’s foundation.
Your home’s foundation is an important structural element of your home. It supports everything above it.
How do you help keep your foundation in good condition?
Here are some tips:
- Avoid planting trees close to the foundation. Trees require nutrients, oxygen, and water to survive. When they absorb water from the ground, it may cause the soil to compact. This may cause your foundation to sink.
- Ensure your home has proper drainage. One of the leading causes of foundation failure is poor drainage. Ensure your gutters drain a safe distance away from your home.
- Ensure the soil surrounding your home has a uniform water moisture level. You can use soaker hoses for this. It’s especially important during the dry periods. Remember, though, overwatering may do just as much damage.
These are four things to keep an eye out for when it comes to maintaining your Kansas City rental property.
If you feel like a professional is needed, consider hiring a qualified property management company to do it for you.