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Maintain Your Appliances Between Tenants

Woman using a microwave
If you provide appliances for your tenants, you want to make sure those appliances are in good working order after your tenants move out. Maintaining, cleaning, and repairing appliances between tenants is a good way to avoid issues with your next rental. Here's how you can get your unit ready for your next tenants while making sure you bill your former tenants for any relevant cleaning and repairs.
Be Careful With Gas Appliances
If you have a gas stove or gas water heater, get it checked between tenants. Gas appliances should be at least annually serviced, even if tenants haven't changed. At the same time, test any CO2 detectors in the household to make sure they will detect a gas leak if it does occur. Gas appliances are convenient and affordable but can be very dangerous.
Clean Out the Dishwasher
Tenants tend to abuse their dishwashers and often don't wash them out as needed. Now is the time to make sure the dishwasher has been cleaned suitably, including inside the sprayer arms. As a landlord, you're likely having a professional cleaning service clean out the unit between tenants. However, dishwasher cleaning is also not a service that most cleaning companies provide, so the task will likely fall to you. 
Test and Clean the Stove and Oven
Test and clean out the stove and oven to make sure they work. If tenants haven't properly cleaned their oven after use, it may be caked with grease and residue. Cleaning the oven and stove can take hours; the solvents often have to sit overnight. If you have to do the job yourself, you can charge the previous tenants extra for the cleaning process, as it would have been avoidable if the oven had been properly and regularly cleaned.
If you have a glass-top stove that hasn't been properly cleaned, you'll often need to replace the glass entirely. This task can be expensive depending on the type of stove, and some stoves may be cheaper to replace than to repair.
Defrost and Run the Refrigerator
In addition to making sure the refrigerator has been cleaned, defrost it entirely and run it. If it has a water dispenser, you can also test that; hard water in the filter or line may prevent it from working effectively. Ice makers frequently break and should always be tested.
Put a thermometer in the refrigerator to make sure it cools to the proper temperature. The refrigerator should cool food to around 40 degrees, and the freezer side should be able to freeze water. If the refrigerator isn't working, the problem could be a whole host of issues, from an incorrect thermostat to broken cooling coils. At this point, call a professional. The professional will tell you whether the refrigerator just got old or was abused. 
Clean the Washer
Washers have a tendency to build up a smell, and many tenants don't think to clean them. Run a couple of cups of vinegar through the washer at the hottest setting; doing so will kill the smell of mold and mildew. You may also need to wipe down any rubber parts. As you run the appliance, take a look for any leaks. Any washer can develop leaks over time, and tenants may not have addressed the problems.
Clean the Dryer Vents
Behind the dryer is the vent. Both the tubing and the vent itself can get filled with lint. Such a clog can not only prevent the dryer from running adequately but also can become a dangerous fire hazard. Take the time to clear out the dryer vents. You may want to wear a mask while doing so, as there may be a lot of accumulated dust, dirt, pet fur, dander, or other allergens. You will also want to make sure the lint trap is clear and run the dryer at least once to see that it's working.
Keeping your appliances well-maintained and well-repaired can be a job in and of itself, and doing so can be prohibitively costly on your own. Working with a residential appliance service can make the entire process much easier and help you capture more revenue. To find out more, contact the experts at Mountain Vista Appliance.