Tip of the Month - January 2009

Interior Maintenance

Source: Profitably Managing your Rental Properties
R. Dodge Woodson

Bad plumbing can be messy and costly.  Faulty wiring can be deadly.  Inspect a rental unit’s electrical system at the same time you inspect the plumbing.  If the unit has its own fuse panel, check the fuses to see that they are the proper size:  A Tenant trying to fix a blown fuse may replace it with one that is wrong for the circuit, and an oversize fuse could lead to a fire.  Make provisions in your lease to prevent Tenants from creating electrical safety hazards.  If you see extension cords running all over the unit, insist that they be removed.  Any electrical appliances you supply should be inspected as warranted.  Keep them in good working order to avoid expensive repair bills or premature replacement.

Windows and doors that stick can annoy your Tenants.  Doorbells that do not work are also a nuisance, and cabinet drawers that are hard to operate sent a Tenant into a tailspin.  These may be little things but they can add up to make a hostile Tenant.  By going through your units on a regular basis, you can control the small complaints.


IF your rental property has fuses, you should plan an update to a circuit breaker panel, 150 AMP service: experience has shown that refrigerators, microwave ovens, dryers, etc. should be dedicated circuits-GFI outlets placed as per code requirement.  Your electrical updating should only be performed by a licensed electrician and all work inspected.  All breakers should be clearly labeled.

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This web page was updated on 12/26/2008.