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Preventive Maintenance Tips for Apartments

Steve Thompson
October 21, 2022

If you manage rental properties, such as apartment complexes, it's important to make clear in your agreement with tenants what you expect them to take care of in terms of maintenance. One of the many reasons people rent a property is to avoid expensive maintenance issues like getting a new roof or HVAC system. Renters do avoid these costs, but landlords still expect certain things from tenants as part of regular upkeep. For this reason property managers should develop a maintenance checklist using these preventive maintenance tips for apartments.

Review the Rental Agreement

The best way for property managers to approach preventive maintenance for apartments is to review the rental or leasing agreement you provide tenants. From there you can build a checklist of your responsibilities as well as those of your tenants. Every apartment lease or rental agreement is different. Certain routine upkeep for tenants may involve replacing air filters, arranging trash pickup, and mowing the lawn.

Regardless of what upkeep is required, tenants should notify your office of any damage in their rental space. Over time various components of an apartment experience wear and tear, so at some point, inspection or repair work may be needed for doors, walls, and windows. Owners and renters may be responsible for certain repairs, such as indoor appliances and outdoor decks.

Common Preventive Maintenance Concerns

Some of apartment tenants' most common preventive maintenance concerns involve HVAC, pest control, and plumbing issues. Tenants may expect the owner to fix leaks in the roof or walls, pat holes or cracks in drywall, or repaint walls. Almost all renters have certain basic responsibilities, such as routinely removing lint from the dryer or periodically cleaning an HVAC system air filter.

Be sure to update your rental agreement if tenant responsibilities change. It's also wise to have a clear plan for addressing emergency situations like sub-terrarium leaks that can cause commercial waterproofing challenges.

Once you have a lengthy checklist of preventive maintenance responsibilities as a landlord, it's time to prioritize items.

Other Checklist Items to Consider

  1. Check for damage to porches and decks
  2. Inspect floors and carpets, particularly for exposure to moisture
  3. Make sure the oven, refrigerator, and garbage disposal function properly
  4. Look for water stains on cabinets and counters
  5. Clean the fireplace and chimney
  6. Install gutter guards to help keep gutters free of debris

How Much Time To Invest in Preventive Maintenance

While some preventive maintenance tasks are routine, others may only demand your attention occasionally. As a landlord, one of your top priorities should be to inspect every rental unit at least once yearly to stay on top of maintenance issues. Water damage is one of the most costly forms of maintenance, so it's crucial to detect roof and wall leaks early.

Other top concerns for property owners who rent to tenants should be energy efficiency and safety features such as smoke detectors. By staying on top of this maintenance, your rental units will be more attractive to renters, which will allow you to hold on to happy, loyal tenants. It's helpful to stagger inspection dates so that you are continuously monitoring your property.

The amount of time you put into apartment maintenance concerns can impact the property's market value and profitability. When landlords fail to maintain their part of the deal, such as letting an HVAC system wear down and result in higher energy costs, it can lead to tenants not caring about the property. Part of your checklist should involve monitoring tenant behavior that violates the rental agreement. Inspections are crucial after a tenant moves out, so you can bring the unit up to date with maintenance issues.


One of the most important preventive maintenance tips for apartments is ensuring tenants know their maintenance responsibilities. Allowing for surprises can lead to friction with tenants. It's easier and more cost-effective to keep the same loyal tenants happy than deal with constantly filling vacancies. For more information on commercial waterproofing services, contact the pros at West Coast Deck Waterproofing today.