The leaves have fallen and temperatures are dropping as winter draws near. If you haven’t already performed routine fall maintenance at your investment property, it’s not too late to save time, money and the overall headache of long-term and costly problems that can occur. Here’s a useful checklist:

• Downspouts and gutters. Cleaning downspouts and gutters helps ensure proper drainage and extends the life of your roof. Roof repairs and replacements are costly and can result in displaced tenants and disrupted cash flow.

• Sealing cracks. Check for cracks around windows and doors, install weatherstripping, and caulk as needed. This will help keep tenants happy and warm, their hard-earned money saved for rent, not utilities.

• Outdoor plumbing. Make sure outdoor plumbing and irrigation is drained and properly winterized. Next to roof replacement, replacing broken pipes and irrigation can be very expensive.

• Heating systems. It’s important to have gas-fired heating equipment inspected by a professional who can check for lethal carbon monoxide levels and service systems to provide maximum efficiency and savings for your tenant.

• Chimneys and wood stoves. Have a local chimney sweep inspect these items annually. Soot, creosote build-up, and inadequate air flow all can affect the health and safety of your tenants. It is an easy way to prevent chimney fires as well.  Remove all bird nests from chimney flues and outdoor electrical fixtures.

• Trim tree branches that hang over the roof or gutters.

• Smoke detectors and carbon-dioxide monitors. These appliances should be checked multiple times a year and most importantly in the fall. Many heating sources can malfunction and be fatal to occupants. Having the proper systems and equipment in place to protect your tenant is a solid plan.

These fall maintenance tips will help keep your tenants safe and happy. In addition, your investment will last longer, providing an optimal return to your pocketbook!


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