February 4, 2020

How Are the Basement, Attic, and Fireplace? Your Novi Rental Home Needs Special Attention!

Routine maintenance and inspections should include every area of your rental property. It's easy to remember to inspect floors, walls, appliances, and bathrooms between tenants or as part of your regular maintenance schedule. One of the questions many landlords seem to forget asking themselves is: "How are the basement, attic, and fireplace?"

  • When was the last time you inspected the basement in your Novi rental property?
  • Have you cleaned the chimney since last winter?
  • Did you take a look in the attic between tenants?

Specific areas of your rental property require special attention. Starting low to high, here's how to make sure the basement, attic, and fireplace get the TLC they need!

1. Don't Blow off the Basement

We're sure there's nothing scary down there! If your rental property has a basement, make sure you get to know it. Whether your property has a finished basement or not, these areas need special attention during seasonal inspections. 

Walls and Structures

Inspect the basement walls for signs of cracks or bowing. Notice bulges or signs of moisture. Check overhead beams or load-bearing posts for cracks or rot. 

Moisture can be a significant problem in Midwestern basements. Your investment property's basement walls can absorb moisture from outside of the house. Plus, your basement probably houses substantial parts of the home’s plumbing system. 

Make sure the walls are not damp to the touch or show signs of water stains. Damp walls are a sign that you have a pipe leak or moisture is getting into your home through the basement. Moisture in the walls can also affect the stability of your foundation and damage wiring in the walls. 


The basement in your Novi property has plenty of electrical wiring! If your circuit box is in the basement, it’s the hub of the electrical activity in your rental property. 

Before you get into the walls of your rental property, call an electrician to inspect the wiring and circuit box. The electrical system in your property is dangerous and delicate. Let a professional get “under the hood” to confirm everything works well and is safe. 

You don’t need a professional to keep an eye out for flickering basement lights, switches that don’t work, and circuits that shut off frequently. However, an electrician can fix those issues. 


Some of the biggest pipes in the house are in the basement. Look for water on the floors, run basement sinks, showers, and flush the toilet if you have a bathroom down below. If you notice any problems, call a plumber to make repairs. 

HVAC System

Your basement probably has plenty of ductwork for your furnace and air-conditioner, plus the furnace itself could be in your basement. Have an HVAC professional inspect and maintain the system twice a yearbefore winter and again before summer. 

2. Don’t Forget the Fireplace

If your property has a fireplace, do you remember the last time you cleaned it? Even if your tenants never use it, be sure to inspect the fireplace and chimney before winter. 

  • Look for pests or debris in the chimney and the fireplace. Make sure nothing has made a nest in the chimney in case your tenants decide to make a fire one day. 
  • Be sure to check for water leaks. Rain can get in through the brick or siding, or from underneath the sealant on the roof. 

Make sure you clean or repair anything that may contribute to fireplace hazards


3. Don’t Avoid the Attic

The attic in your Novi property can be the source of plenty of problems. From animals making themselves at home to poor insulation, be sure you check the attic between tenants or at least once a year. 

  • Make sure the attic stairs are sturdy and secure. 
  • Check for pest activity, like wasp nests or signs of invading squirrels. 
  • Look for water damage from roof leaks. 
  • Inspect the ductwork. 
  • Make sure floorboards are sound.
  • If your attic insulation is several years old, it could be time to add to it. 

Your attic can also be a potential fire hazard. Look for wiring that could be dangerous. If you notice a potential risk, call an electrician right away.


Work with Your Tenants to Stay Alert

Throughout the year, ask your tenants: how are the basement, attic, and fireplace? Coach them on attic and fire safety if they use the attic or fireplace. Be sure they watch for basement leaks or lights that act strangely in the basement.

If they find any problems, make sure tenants know to contact you immediately! Preventative maintenance always produces better results when tenants take an active role in reporting their concerns.

You Need Experts to Provide Special Attention!

You can call a plumber, electrician, and a chimney sweep to help you keep these areas of your Novi rental in a safe condition. However, there's an easier option: hire the best property managers in the Novi area! It's our job to take care of these special components of your rental property—just like it's our job to care for your entire investment.

When you work with expert property management, you don't have to wonder: "How are the basement, attic, and fireplace?" JMZ Management has the connections you need to keep these vital components working properly. 

Use our Seasonal Maintenance Checklist to keep your rental properties safe—from the basement to attic and everything in between!