Property Inspections (Main Points to Look For: Roof, HVAC, Parking Lots, Walkways, Range Exhausts)
The areas that tend to require the most inspection when looking over a potential residential real estate investment are pretty consistent no matter where or what type of home you might buy. The same parts of the home that might make potential tenants interested in the property are the same ones that can easily turn them away if not maintained and regularly serviced. Should you find these focal points to be more than you can handle on your own, it is a good idea to hire a property manager who can check them regularly to keep the house marketable and full of good renters. Specifically, the parts of the property to target in the Toronto area for regular preventative maintenance include:
HVAC – This is a big one because without regular maintenance a residential heating, ventilation and air conditioning unit can cost between $5,000 and $12,000 dollars to replace depending on the size of your property. You can expect to replace pieces and parts from time to time and some of them (condenser coils, evaporation units) can be expensive, but they are a drop in the bucket when it comes to replacing an entire system. Sometimes the problem can be as simple as just replacing a fuse, which is a good reason to have a property manager with vendors under contract that can make quick fixes if necessary to keep your tenants comfortable.
Walkways – If you do not have accessible points of ingress and egress from the home, tenants will quickly pass over the property as most will not be interested in doing the work themselves to clear a path. This also represents a safety hazard in the event that fire or rescue personnel need to get into the property for an emergency. In addition to decreasing your chances of signing a renter, you could potentially open yourself to a lawsuit should someone become injured while try to get in or out of the property.
Roof – Roof replacement can also be a major expense that is easily avoided with some preventative maintenance. A property manager can perform regular inspections and replace shingles or fascia before they allow water to penetrate the attic and cause major damage. This attention by your management group can extend the life of your roof by more than 10 years and reduce your roof costs by over $0.10/sq. ft. A full residential roof replacement could cost between $10,000 and $20,000 depending on the size, so having a property manager perform preventative maintenance can be the difference between owning an asset or a liability.
Parking – Having nice off-street parking in a city as big as Toronto can really help seal the deal with a tenant on the fence about signing a lease. The same can be said for reserved parking spots. As a residential landlord, you should do everything you can to make sure those spots are well-maintained and available for your tenants to use. Additionally, it is a good idea to hire a property manager in the area to keep those spaces free of debris and plants that could cause them to crack a breakdown over time. You can also rely on a management group to keep parking lots safe during inclement weather which can save you from a costly lawsuit.
Overall these are the features that require the most attention in the Toronto area and should you find yourself unable to perform the required regular maintenance on them, it would be a wise decision to choose a property manager to help you keep the value of your real estate high and in demand.