Home Maintenance Tips, from GESTION M. Félycia O. Leduc, property manager, shares her tips and tricks for homeowners.

Felycia O. Leduc

Whether your rental, or your dwelling, a property without maintenance will lose its value very quickly. That’s why we suggest that you do an initial inspection of the building when purchasing, or before your tenants move in.
This will allow you to anticipate renovation and maintenance work to be carried out, better manage your budget and your investment. These tips will also help you to reduce acute and expensive renovations, through regular preventative maintenance.

It is also important to inform yourself on the lifespan of each of the major components of your property.
For example:
*brick (estimated lifespan: 100 to 150 years)
*membrane roofing (estimated lifespan: 20 to 25 years)
*electrical installation (estimated lifetime: 30 to 35 years)
*doors and windows (estimated lifetime: 20 to 30 years)

Think about the oil change you regularly do on your car;
without this simple action, it is not the small cost of an oil change that will insert itself into your budget, but rather the sudden intrusion of the cost of a new engine.
This applies as an apt analogy for your home, or building.
If you don’t regularly check, repair, and maintain your structure, you may avoid expenses in the short term; however, these savings will lead to degradation of the use, and the value of your property, with major financial consequences on the long run.
If you wait too long, repairs or maintenance will mean a much larger investment of time, possible lost revenue, and the obvious: financial outlays. 

A property in disrepair will always be devalued on the real estate market. Two scenarios are foreseeable as a consequence of disrepair:
1.
You may see your selling price decrease. This will primarily be due to potential buyers taking into account both the expense and delay of work to be done on the building; but also intangibles such as headaches, and a difficulty in seeing a clear vision of the property at its best.
2. You may need to do important and expensive work in preparation for resale. This work will need to be promised, and will likely not be compensated for in the closing price by buyers; and, this situation still does not effectively offset the aforementioned “intangibles”.

A property in poor condition will also likely undermine the market rate rent that can be collected as income on the property, as well as potentially leading to more costly repairs, as well as attracting more “difficult” tenants, for prospective landlords.
A poorly maintained property will only attract tenants who are unlikely to maintain it, further exacerbating the condition of the property.

A LIST OF RECURRING MAINTENANCE TASKS

*Courtesy of RONA

TIPS AND TRICKS FROM THE PROS
*Courtesy of Constructions MAX-LAB,
Maxime Labelle, Turnkey General Contractor:

Q: I am a homeowner and I am curious about the state of my property. Who should I call?

M.L.: A general contractor such as myself could help you identify the work that needs to be carried out, or a building inspector could also prepare a report detailing the issues on the property. The costs don’t vary that much between these two professionals.

Generally, people will call on an inspector for a general evaluation of the state of their building, as a first step. Then, depending on the work that is required, property owners, or managers, will either procure quotes from the various trades required, or they will call on a general contractor, like myself, who is able to bring the various trades, disciplines, and projects under one simple umbrella. Using a turnkey service to manage all the work from start to finish can save headaches, and confusion; and marriages. 

Please note that an inspection report is valid for several years.
If you had one done when you initially bought the property, you can always refer to it to plan your renovations by trade.
Also note that according to the Régie du bâtiment du Québec rules, for work to be done on a building that is not inhabited by the owner himself, a licensed general contractor must be hired.
In all cases, it is recommended to have the work done by contractors who hold an RBQ license. This license will allow you to be compensated in the event of prejudice following the non-performance or execution of construction work, prejudice resulting directly from the deposits paid, the non-completion of the work, the deficiencies and the defects discovered in the year following the end of the work.
Once you have chosen your contractor, you can work together to put in place a plan of action to rehabilitate your building over time.
For more information on construction/renovation standards and how to choose a general contractor, visit the Régie du bâtiment du Québec website https://www.rbq.gouv.qc.ca/en/you-are/citizen/construction-or-renovation/dealing-with-a-licenced-contractor/choose-a-licenced-contractor.html 

 

TIPS AND TRICKS FROM THE PROS
*Courtesy of Magnétik entrepreneur électricien inc.,
François Fradette, Master Electrician.

Q: What advice would you give to homeowners to avoid potential electrical issues?

F.F.: First off, make sure you use the services of an electrician who is a member of the Corporation des Maîtres Électriciens du Québec.
In terms of maintenance, most importantly, check your smoke detector regularly; and, if you have heated floors, it is important to do a monthly check to ensure they remain in proper working order.
When choosing an electrician, make sure your contractor is a member of the CMEQ, get quotes from more than one electrician, and require a written contract for your best protection.
In the same field as electricity, there are organizations that regulate plumbing work. The CEMMTQ, Corporation des maîtres mécaniciens en tuyauterie du Québec, serves this function. It verifies, develops and controls the competence and professionalism of plumbing and heating contractors. Plumbers follow a continuous training between 16 and 32 hours every two years. As with your electrical contractor, don’t hesitate to get 2 to 3 quotes to compare the services offered by each one, their guarantees, and their respective prices.

 

TIPS AND TRICKS FROM THE PROS
*Courtesy of GESTION M,
Félycia O. Leduc, Property Manager.

As to the Use of an RBQ Certified Handyman

Q: What if I asked my uncle/cousin to help me with small jobs here and there? 

Félycia: We have all wanted to save costs by hiring an uncle or a cousin to do some “minor” work around the house. It is important to understand the issues surrounding this: Cheaper often leads to not-so-great “quality for price”, and can also lead to either awkwardness in personal/familial relationships; or, even more commonly, cost/schedule overruns, and the replication of “finished work”. While this is not universally true, and certainly not every job requires an expert, I have seen it borne out more often than not. If you get work done at a cheaper price, but you need to redo the work the next year, will you really come out ahead?
Furthermore, it is forbidden, except in certain specific exceptions, to do work yourself in a rental building. This is why an RBQ certified general contractor should always be your first choice. Your certified expert will protect you from ballooning costs, and from liability. They will be able to advise you, based on their expertise, and will solve your problem, from the source, preventing multiplying work on the same issue.
DYI work is often misperceived, or devalued, by buyers during a sale.
You’ll come out ahead in the end; and, potential buyers will greatly appreciate the invoices for professional work; a paper trail that will add to their confidence in the property, and often to their perception of the property’s value.

For more information on the types of work you can undertake yourself: https://www.rbq.gouv.qc.ca/en/you-are/citizen/construction-or-renovation/do-the-work-by-yourself/if-you-do-the-work-by-yourself.html  

 

TIPS AND TRICKS FROM THE PROS
*Courtesy of GESTION M,
Félycia O. Leduc, Property Manager.

As to Maintenance of the Air Conditioning or Heating System

Q: Why is it so important to clean your air conditioning filters?

Félycia: To preserve the life span of the unit, and to avoid the clogging of the filters, which would harm the quality of the ambient air within the dwelling.
There are several simple tasks you can take on regularly.
This preventive maintenance will contribute to:
*optimal performance of your unit
*energy and cost savings
*a longer life span for your unit
*healthier air through the efficient elimination of bacteria and prevention of mould
For an air conditioner, the filter is as important as oil is for an engine. Periodic maintenance is essential. A dirty filter reduces the airflow of the unit, causing major damage to the compressor.
The cleaning frequency depends on the manufacturer’s instructions; but, it also varies some, based on the degree of exposure of the unit to dust, and particulate. Depending on the activities in the house, such as the presence of animals, smoking, heavier cooking, or even recent renovations, it will possibly be wise to more frequently check the unit’s filter.

 

GESTION M’s Proactive Approach

Félycia Ouellet Leduc is founder of GESTION M, the property management department at ÉQUIPE MARK-ANDRÉ MARTEL.
For Félycia, property management is two things above all: An exchange of values and respect between manager and client, and the duty to help store and grow value through this same relationship.
Ms. Leduc tackles the complexity of the challenges of the real estate sector for her clients, so they don’t have to be consumed with new challenges, which are old hat to her and her team.
She works, with GESTION M’s clients’ best interest at heart, to increase the profitability of their property through a proactive approach, and the efficient prioritization of tasks.
Always building on her experience and skills, Ms. Leduc actively educates herself on new methods and technologies, regulatory changes, and current rates and trends in real estate, while offering a highly personalized service.
Her motto: Continuous Improvement, and Continuous Growth!
Félycia understands a client’s attachment to their property, which is why she finds it essential to listen, and to anticipate and identify their needs and expectations, while advising them on the laws governing property management.

 

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