Things Landlords Should Be Doing Every Year but Probably Aren’t

Things Landlords Should Be Doing Every Year but Probably Aren’t

A competent landlord understands that upholding the value of their property and ensuring the happiness of their tenants entail consistent effort and attention to detail. However, even the best-intentioned landlords can fail to do several key factors to ensure the success of their investment. DeSantis Property Management put together a list of yearly tasks that landlords should perform but may have forgotten about:

Renewing the Lease Agreement

Lease agreements should be reviewed and updated annually. Circumstances change, and leasing agreements should reflect these changes appropriately. And unless you want to rent on a month-to-month basis, it’s best to renew your tenant’s lease annually.

You should extend a lease renewal to a tenant 90 days before the lease end date. Send an email or a written notice together with the lease renewal paperwork or pay your tenant a visit. Include information on the current lease as well as the renewal terms, rent increases, restrictions, and other clauses that had to be adjusted to reflect current market conditions and laws. During this process, you should also detail what the renewal screening process will consist of.

Reassessing Rental Market Pricing

Carefully analyzing the rental market helps you offer competitive and attractive rental prices that appropriately reflect the property’s value and market conditions. Failure to confirm market pricing can have serious repercussions, including extended vacancy periods as a result of overpricing or potential income loss from underpricing.

person typing on a laptop with their cellphone next to them

Verifying market price is in combination with conducting online research, assessing comparable properties in the area, and taking into account criteria such as local demand, property condition, and amenities. You must stay on top of market shifts and any economic developments that may affect rental pricing.

Consulting with experts such as DeSantis Property Management can help you gain a better understanding of factors that drive the current market. Finally, expertly evaluate market pricing so you can strike a balance between increasing rental income and recruiting dependable tenants, promoting a thriving and long-term rental business.

Conducting Property Inspections

An annual property inspection is essential in protecting your investment. While many landlords do inspections when a new tenant moves in or out, it’s also critical to evaluate the property’s condition at least once a year.

Regular inspections can detect maintenance concerns that could otherwise go unnoticed, preventing them from becoming costly repairs. These inspections allow you to confirm that safety measures are working properly and that the property is still in compliance with local building standards and regulations. 

When performing yearly routine maintenance, always include the following:

Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms and Fire Extinguisher

Check smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to confirm they are operational and if necessary, replace the batteries. Keeping all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in good working condition will keep your tenants and property safe by reducing the chance of fires and other safety-related problems that could cost you time and resources.

a red fire alarm behind a protective plastic case

Plumbing System and Water Leaks

Examine the unit for any leaks and dripping faucets or pipes. Check the sinks, showers, and toilets for appropriate water flow and drainage. If you have identified a leak, call your contractor and get a repair estimate. Fixing a leak early will save you money in the long run.

Doors and Windows

Prevent windows and doors from sticking and ensure that they can open and close effortlessly. Test that all locks, latches, and keys are working correctly as well to keep your tenants secure. It’s critical that you have a functional key across every one of your properties so that you can legally gain entry when the tenant is not present.

Heating and Cooling Systems

Examine the vents, HVAC system’s filters, and thermostats. If necessary, clean or replace furnace filters, and ensure that the heating and cooling systems are running efficiently. An outdated or poorly fitting filter will make the furnace work unnecessarily and will thus demand more frequent upkeep.


If there are trees close to your rental unit, your gutters are likely to require being swept of debris and leave at least once a year and following any major storms. Note that if “exterior maintenance” or “landscaping” is not clearly stated in the lease as the tenant’s responsibility, this duty lies on the landlord’s shoulders.

General Property Condition

Assess the general condition of the property’s exterior and interior. Inspect it for damage, signs of wear and tear, and other places that may require maintenance.

Close up a home blueprints and general layout

Appreciating Your Tenants

Keep in mind that your renters are a vital component of your business. As a result, do something at least once a year to show that you appreciate them. This doesn’t need to be grand or expensive and could be as simple as sending a holiday card or making a phone call to thank them for staying and wishing them a happy new year.

Renewing Your Rental License

In some cities, if you fail to register your business, your tenant may be financially rewarded. To avoid this, inquire with city or state officials about renewing your rental business license. Note that this often comes with a fee so be sure to factor that into your operational costs.

Bottom Line

Efficient property management entails constant attention to detail as well as establishing a proactive approach. The responsibilities listed above, which range from regular property inspections to property value assessments, all contribute to a landlord’s success in the competitive rental market.

As a landlord, devote your time to these critical chores each year to improve your rental business, keep your renters happy, and ultimately reach your investment goals more easily. If these tasks take too much of your time, partner with DeSantis Property Management. We are a family-owned company with extensive expertise in managing properties in Pittsburgh and the surrounding areas.

Our goal is to reduce the stress of self-management while also ensuring strong returns on your assets. Contact us today to learn more about our services!