Exterior And Interior Property Walks

Exterior Property Walks:  As a property management company we understand the importance of the property being maintained at a level that will help minimize costly repairs. We ensure the exterior of the property is walked monthly and any action items be remedied or that the owner is informed of the repair if the cost exceeds our approved repair amount of $500.00. Items that we are looking for are listed below

  1. Properly manicured Landscape that includes watering, bushes trimmed, lawn mowed, weeds removed from flower beds
  2. Condition of the fences, slats, posts and gates.
  3. Monitor foundations; ensure the dirt around your foundation properly slopes away from the foundation and not towards it. Fill in any holes around the foundation and if necessary, add dirt backfill around the foundation to ensure that water drains away from the home. In Texas a good watering system is important for the foundation. If a sprinkler system is not present you should install a soaker hose around the foundation to keep the ground moist and minimize movement. Watering the lawn and foundation is the responsibility of the resident and we will enforce this policy.
  4. Inspections of your gutters to ensure they are free of leaves and debris. Failure to do so can allow water to back up in the gutters and overflow which could lead to water penetration into your home. Add extenders to your downspouts so they don’t empty next to the foundation
  5. Exterior wood; Failure to keep these areas painted could lead to softness and wood deterioration which can quickly become a costly repair.
  6. Check all windows and doors for gaps and seal them with a weather proof sealant to prevent water penetration. These areas need to be sealed to prevent water intrusion and serious damage. This will also help prevent heat and cooling air from escaping
  7. Routinely inspect any trees on your property for dead limbs or limbs that may be hanging down. Also keep an eye on the base of your trees. Any trees that are rotted at the bottom need to be removed before they fall on your house or a neighbor’s house. Trees not only will cause damage to the property, but dead limbs can become a liability issue if they fall and injure someone.
  8. Monitor your roof for damaged or missing shingles. You should be especially vigilant after bad storms and high winds. Damaged or missing shingles can allow water penetration which inevitably leads to damage on the interior of the property. This dampness will allow mold to grow, which can hide in your attic or behind the drywall as a result of even a small roof leak. Mold can become a serious and costly problem to correct.
  9. HVAC units- Check that all vegetation is cleared away from the exterior air conditioning unit to allow for proper air flow and function. During monthly visits check the A/C condensation line. Typically the drain on the outside is a secondary line. If it’s draining water that usually means the primary drain line is clogged and needs to be cleared. The constant draining could cause discoloration on the brick or siding.

Taking a little time regularly to stay on top of routine property maintenance and you will save yourself a lot of time and money in the long run.

Interior Property Walks:   You are paying the management company to be your eyes and ears and it is extremely important that they are strict about scheduling regular interior inspections. Many owners don’t understand how much damage a bad resident can cause in a short period of time. There is a natural tendency to assume that as long as the rent is being paid on time and there are no complaints everything is going well.

Don’t make assumptions or take anything for granted. Not only will regularly scheduled inspections allow you to catch problems quickly, it is also very effective at deterring undesirable resident behavior.

Interior inspections are conducted every 6 or 7 months. Our inspectors follow predefined checklist of items for each inspection. All residents are sent a letter notifying them of the date for the inspection. In addition they are called 24 hours in advance to remind them of the date. Each resident is advised of the inspection during lease signing.

Below are some important items to check when conducting an interior inspection:

Interior Inspections:

  1. Doors and Windows – Security checks on all doors and windows to ensure that they lock and are in full operation. Check for missing or broken seals, cracks, gaps, and drafts.  Check to ensure door stops are still in place to prevent wall and baseboard damage.
  2. HVAC – Inspect the air filters to make sure they have been changed on a regular basis. Check the condensation drain line for any clogs and the registers to ensure that they’re free of obstructions that can hinder airflow.
  3. Plumbing : When checking plumbing we are looking for two main problems, rust and leaks. Both of these problems could cause the pipes to break, costing you hundreds of dollars.  Check exposed pipes, sinks, faucets, showers and bathtubs, and toilets for signs of water leakage or rust.  Flush toilets to ensure proper operation and check supply lines for deterioration.
  4. Ceilings – Check your ceilings for discoloration, which would indicate that water has leaked inside the home. Also check for significant cracks in the ceiling and surrounding walls, indicating foundation movement.  It’s typical for minor settlement cracks to appear but all cracks should be monitored.
  5. Electrical – Check the breaker panel for loose breakers, exposed wiring, and tripped breakers.
  6. Appliances – Make sure all appliances are in good working conditions. Check the dishwasher and garbage disposal for proper operation and possible leaks.  Also check the garbage disposal to ensure it is free of debris.  Check the operation and cleanliness of the stove top and oven.
  7. Hot Water Heater – Ensure that nothing is being stored around the hot water heater to prevent damage to the unit. Test the water to ensure proper operation of the hot water heater.
  8. Floors – When inspecting the flooring in your home you should look for water damage. Check for black spots near the baseboards, damp carpet, wood that has warped, and the overall condition of the flooring.
  9. Bathtubs – It’s important to ensure bathtubs are properly caulked and maintained by the resident to prevent leaks and mildew buildup.
  10. Garage Door – Check for proper operation of garage doors and ensure that auto reverse is working properly.
  11. Pest Infestation – Look for signs of active termites as well as other pests such as roaches.