Essential Maintenance Tasks for Apartment Owners

Written by Landlord Property Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

By Mike Peterson, Freelance Writer

In 2021, there were 400 deaths and 3,100 injuries caused by apartment fires nationwide, costing around $1.7 billion. While various factors led to these sad statistics, the lack of essential maintenance is among them. As an apartment owner, you must ensure that your property is well-maintained to look after the safety and well-being of your tenants and prevent these disasters from happening.

However, performing essential maintenance or starting “do it yourself” (D.I.Y.) projects to increase the property’s value can sometimes lead to unforeseen circumstances, like sustaining injuries. Let’s explore the maintenance tasks that every apartment owner should perform, along with essential safety and liability considerations and tips to increase the value of your apartment property.

Maintenance You Absolutely Need To Do

Regular maintenance is critical to keep an apartment building in good condition and safe for tenants. Here are some of the most important tasks you need to do:Check Plumbing and Electrical Systems. One of the most essential areas to focus on is your apartment building’s plumbing and electrical systems. Regular inspections and repairs of leaks or clogs will help prevent water damage. Research shows that nationwide home water damage costs are around $20 billion annually. Maintaining your apartment’s electrical systems also ensures that any outdated or faulty wiring doesn’t cause safety hazards and results in fires.

  • Maintain HVAC Systems. Another critical maintenance you need to perform as an apartment owner is on your building’s heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. Regular maintenance of HVAC systems can help improve air quality, reduce pollutants, and lower energy costs. According to the Department of Energy, replacing or cleaning air filters can reduce energy consumption by as much as 15%. And while annual maintenance of your apartment’s HVAC systems can cost you around $80 to $450 on average, it’s still marginally lower than the cost of replacing faulty or outdated equipment, which can be around $6,000 on average.
  • Ensure Exterior Maintenance. As the saying goes, “first impressions count.” And that holds true when it comes to apartment buildings. The outside of your building is the first thing any prospective tenant and visitor sees. If your income stream relies on rental payments from current and potential tenants, it pays to take care of the looks of your apartment building. Maintenance of the building’s exterior includes cleaning the windows, sidings, and roofs. Repairing cracks or damage to the apartment’s walls, foundations, or overall structure is also part of essential maintenance. Adding a fresh coat of paint or doing landscaping can’t hurt either. In contrast, it may improve tenant satisfaction, make the property more desirable, and increase its value.
  • Safety and Liability Considerations. As a responsible apartment owner, it’s crucial to consider fire safety, security, and liability concerns. Installing smoke detectors and providing accessible fire extinguishers in all units and common areas can help prevent and minimize damage in the event of a fire. Security systems like surveillance cameras, alarm systems, and intercom systems can deter theft, vandalism, and trespassing. Conducting background checks on your tenants and employees, like property managers, can also improve the overall safety of your apartment building. And while the safety of your renters and employees is paramount as an apartment owner, you should also protect yourself. Complying with safety codes and regulations, such as the minimum heat level, providing plumbing and hot water, and prohibitions of pest infestation, is essential to prevent accidents. Purchasing liability insurance can also protect against costly lawsuits. And accurate records of all your maintenance and repair costs can help provide legal protection against tenant disputes.
  • Improving the Value of Your Apartment Property. The benefits of maintaining your apartment building as a property owner include tenant safety and satisfaction, prevention of costly repairs, and compliance with regulations. However, many apartment owners often overlook another advantage of maintenance – protection of the property’s value.

Improving the value of your apartment can bring various benefits, including: (i) Increase Rental Income: A property with a higher value can command higher rent prices; (ii) Encourage Higher Occupancy Rates: A well-maintained apartment property can attract and keep more tenants; (iii) Increase Resale Value: If you decide to sell your property, a higher value can lead to a higher sale price and a better return on your investment; and (iv) Lower Maintenance Costs: Newer features and structures, such as modern HVAC systems, often require less maintenance. Simple renovations and upgrades, like additional storage space, energy-efficient systems, or more curb appeal, can increase the overall value of your property over time.

Some Final Thoughts

As a responsible property owner, you must perform regular essential maintenance as an apartment owner, especially if you want to avoid costly repairs and prevent disasters like fires. Performing routine maintenance tasks can also help increase the value of your property, providing a return on your investment. Most importantly, maintaining your apartment property protects your tenants and improves their satisfaction.