“ASK KARI”: Your Guide to 365 Days of Property TLC 🏠🛠️

Written by Apartment Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

By Kari Negri, Chief Executive Officer, SKY Properties, Inc.

  • Dear Kari, for someone like me who self manages a rental property, what tasks should I be doing throughout each year to ensure my building is being property maintained and to avoid costly repairs?

Owning or managing a rental property requires meticulous attention to detail and a proactive approach to maintenance. Neglecting routine tasks can lead to costly repairs and compromises the safety and satisfaction of tenants. To ensure your property remains in top-notch condition throughout the year, I’ve compiled a comprehensive maintenance checklist spanning each month as well as ongoing tasks you need to keep doing. Whether you’re a property owner, manager, or landlord, this guide will help you stay on top of crucial tasks, ensuring a well-maintained, secure, and aesthetically pleasing environment for both you and your tenants.

Let’s delve into the month-by-month breakdown of essential maintenance activities that will keep your property in optimal shape.


  • Service water heaters and lubricate 100-gallon boilers and Ray-Pak units.   
  • Schedule jetting of main sewer lines (with issues) to clear sludge and grease build-up   


  • Re-seed grass and add seasonal flowers.   
  • Schedule to have laundry service (usually free) or maintenance to clean behind dryers (fire hazard) and clear vents. 
  • Start scheduling semi-annual inspections of all units to check smoke alarms, appliances and plumbing. 


  • Clear rain gutters and check roofs for debris 
  • Check, and if needed, repair and seal all magnesite decks.   


  • Service HVAC (heating and air conditioning) units, including cleaning coils and freon check for leaks (cheaper before it gets hot).   
  • Adjust light timers with time change or install photo sensors.  
  • Smoke alarm and plumbing check all units. 
  • Schedule pressure washing for May or June 


  • Remind tenants to change or keep HVAC filters clean and distribute information on how to care for HVAC units during summer months.   
  • Clean / repair or replace as needed all pool / courtyard furniture and equipment.   
  • Service barbeques.   
  • Re-stripe all driveways and carports or touch-up as needed.   
  • Window cleaning – clean all exterior windows.  


  • Palm trees need to be trimmed June – August   
  • Have all parking gates serviced and checked for the proper safety equipment. 
  • Make sure all pool signage is up to date. 


  • Exterior touch up, and repair stucco blemishes, touch up rails as needed. 
  • Get new service bids as needed (pool, elevator, pest control, gardening, etc.) to begin budget process. 


  • Inspect and make repairs to asphalt and re-seal if necessary.   
  • Jet all main sewer lines to clear sludge and grease build-up, if needed   


  • Get bids and schedule annual roof maintenance. 
  • Begin next year’s budget using updated bids on regular services.  
  • Start collecting tree-trimming bids for trimming in November. 


  • Last month to get 2nd semi-annual inspections for the year done. 
  • Check to make sure exterior lights on timers are adjusted with the time change. 
  • Sweep off roofs and clean gutters. 
  • Schedule area drain and sump pump maintenance. 


  • Make sure sprinklers have been changed for the colder/wetter season. 
  • Trim trees – ask the tree trimmer to remove any debris from trim from roof and gutters. 
  • Remind tenants to check their ovens, stoves and heaters for functionality prior to the holidays. 


  • Instructions for Christmas tree removal to tenants 
  • Annual Fire Extinguisher Service for Cahuenga 
  • Complete budgets and send them to clients early in December. 


  • Check walkways for fall or trip hazards, and grind concrete as necessary. 
  • Check the lights on the entire property, timers and sprinkler clocks, including pool light. 
  • Remove graffiti at once. 
  • Check pool gates and others to be sure they close smoothly and securely.   
  • Deep clean the trash areas once a month.   
  • Mark your calendar to provide professional service of all fire extinguishers in all buildings (they expire in different months) 
  • Check the fire box cabinet glass to make sure there are no cracks or missing glass and proper signage. Make sure your on-site manager is walking their property daily to keep an eye on aesthetics such as landscaping and paint as well as liabilities, trip hazards, loose handrails, leaks. Rotten fascia boards and exterior appearance. 
  • Replace batteries on digital locks every 6 months. 

Navigating the ebb and flow of property management is no small feat. As the months unfold, consider this checklist your compass, guiding you through the ever-changing landscape of maintenance tasks. It’s not just a to-do list; it’s your secret weapon to keep your property standing tall and tenants smiling. So, roll up those sleeves, dive into the checklist, and let your property shine all year long. Because when it comes to property care, staying ahead is the real key to unlocking worry-free success. Cheers to a well-maintained and hassle-free property journey!

SKY Properties are not carbon monoxide experts; and this article is based on their experience and research to provide readers with important information. Kari Negri is the Chief Executive Officer of Sky Property Management and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles.  Do you have a question for me?  Please send your questions and comments to me at Kari@SKYprop.LA.