Basic Maintenance for Tenants

This information is basic maintenance to prevent damage to a house. If you notice anything else that could possibly be a maintenance problem, please don't hesitate to bring it to my attention.

Wood Floors

Please use felt pads under all furniture, especially chairs. This saves excess wear on floors. Area rugs and walk-off mats will also protect floors from excess wear. Please be careful of worn high-heels, as these can pockmark floors deeply to the point of damage. Use plant stands that are off of the floor to prevent damage from standing water.


Please don't use Drano or Liquid Plumbr. These are too caustic and cause leaks. Use enzymatic drain cleaner like Zep. Please keep an eye on the laundry sink drainage, and use the cleaner if it is slow. This can prevent a basement flood. If you do get a clog, please let me know, I'll probably just come snake it for you.

Furnace Filters

Please replace the filter every 30 days any time the blower is running. Occasionally, a furnace will have an electrostatic filter that requires maintenance every 3 months.

Gas and Water Shutoff

In case of a plumbing leak at a fixture (sink or toilet) please shut the water off at the wall under the fixture. Otherwise, the water shuts off at the main located in the basement or in the street, depending on the house.

In case of a major emergency, such as an earthquake, it may be wise to shut off the gas main. This requires the company to come out to turn it back on, however. Please take care of your own basic safety first, and if it is safe and reasonable to do so, please shut off the gas main. There should be a wrench attached to the gas meter. How to shut off the gas.


If the furnace breaks during cold weather, pipes can freeze and break. Please contact me ASAP for space heaters and a service call. Please use hose bib covers, and shut off the water valves leading to the hose bibs, if they are available (usually in the basement). Set thermostats no lower than 55 degrees F, and if you will be out of town, please inform me. 


Please keep food areas clean, and keep food put away and properly sealed. If rats or mice are spotted indoors, please report them immediately, as they are a health hazard. Pantry pests are often brought in with grains or bulk foods. They can be very difficult to control once established. Please take care to inspect any food brought onto a property. These can be kept in check by meticulous cleaning and pheromone traps.


Use Terro. For carpenter ants, please call me ASAP.


Unless it is a very unlikely extreme infestation, I don't treat spiders. Poisonous spiders are not reported to be in the Portland area. The best solution is to use a broom to remove cobwebs and nests inside and out, and to place spiders outside where they can reduce the likelihood of actual pests.