Fall finally arrived here in Memphis this past weekend.
We got to leave the heat and humidity behind us with a pleasantly crisp dip into the 40s. I personally like the changing seasons, especially spring and fall, as they are the most dramatic. Spring brings an end to the bitter cold, and fall brings an end to sweltering heat.
As a landlord, the changing seasons present challenges and opportunities. The sudden change in temperature, either from hot to cold or cold to hot, means heaters or air conditioners will be turned on for the first time of the season.
Most of the time, the heat or air kicks right in without a problem. But there are always a few that will require some repair. Because of this reality, I expect an increase in maintenance calls with the changing seasons.
It seems to happen so predictably every year that I have begun to refer to these time periods as "spring and fall break."
Knowing that spring/fall break is coming, I use the changing seasons as an opportunity. They present a biannual reminder to us to inspect and do some routine maintenance and try to get ahead of the Break.
There are a couple things you should be sure to remember to do.
4 preventive measures to take when the weather begins to change
1. Make sure smoke detectors are working properly
If your tenants are like mine, when the battery goes dead and the detector starts to beep, they just pull the battery out instead of replacing it, rendering it useless.
2. Change filters on HVAC equipment
Yes, we tell our tenants to do it, but they never do.
3. Check for leaks
Remember to take a look under sinks and anywhere else that may be susceptible. It is amazing how many leaks never seem to get noticed and reported to us.
4. Take a look at heat and AC
If winter is on the way, fire up the heat and make sure it is working properly.
If summer is approaching, fire up the AC and make sure it is cooling. We also like to hose off the condensers and make sure they are free of grass and weeds.
Taking these simple steps twice per year when the seasons change can really cut down on maintenance calls, increase the life of your equipment and save you money -- and, from a safety standpoint, possibly even protect your tenants from a dangerous situation. As an added bonus, these items will usually result in lower utility bills for your tenants, meaning they might not have as hard a time getting you the rent payment.
So enjoy the cooler weather, but use it also as a reminder to check on your properties and tune them up for the coming winter. Both you and your tenants will be glad you did.
This article originally appeared on Bigger Pockets and is Copyright 2014 BiggerPockets,