Preventative maintenance for your real estate isn’t simply good advice it’s more like an insurance policy. Any property you owned, whether it’s real or not should be taken careproperty maintenance for landlords of and not allowed to fall into a state of disrepair. Real estate that is kept in good shape is not only easier to rent but it can attract higher rent than its peers if properly maintained.

If you own more than one investment property you can probably perform all of these tips on your own but if you have two or more investments that you own, it’s best to hire out a property manager to help. Otherwise, proper maintenance might be put on the back burner.

Foliage. Mature trees add value to a home as well as save on electricity bills in the summer but it’s important to make sure there aren’t any limbs approaching the property. Limbs that are actually touching or graze a roof or wall can be considered conducive to termites as well as knocking loose shingles and need to be cut back.

Pest Control. Speaking of termites, enroll in a monthly pest control program and have the property inspected for wood destroying insects once per year.

Chimneys. Chimneys should be visually inspected and cleaned once per year. Chimney cleaning is usually the most delayed maintenance item and can be a bit messy, but built up creosote can cause a fire. Fires started by chimneys can cause a lot of damage quickly.

Smoke Detectors. Replace the batteries in all smoke detectors once per year and ask your tenants to regularly check the detectors in between. It’s probably the most cost effective maintenance you can perform.

Hot Water Heater. Over time, hot water heaters can build up residue in the bottom of the tank. Flushing out the hot water heater gets rid of the built up gunk, increasing the longevity of your unit.

Shingles. The roof should be inspected (be careful) for broken or damaged shingles caused by weather or foliage.

These are all simple maintenance items you can do yourself and making sure your property is always in tip-top shape can eliminate those emergency repair calls from your tenants.