Are you a landlord of a rental property and worrying about the maintenance? Then you are in the right place. In this article, I am going to share some maintenance tips that will help landlords maintain their properties properly. Rental maintenance indeed is one of the biggest problems for you. We know that rental property requires yearly maintenance which can cost you money and time. I also own a rental property and I can understand your worries. Last year, I had to repair the flooring because of an irresponsible tenant. I hired Decking Board to install a new floor in my property which cost me a lot of money and time.
You can avoid such pain points if you follow simple rules that I failed to apply. Simply follow these instructions and you are good to go. But before going into this, you need to understand what regular maintenance is all about.
Some of the issues like leaking faucet seems to be a usual problem but often can result in serious water damage. These kinds of issues need to be addressed before they become a real pain in the head for you. You can avoid such disasters by following a maintenance schedule. This schedule includes all the items that need to be checked regularly. When we talk about regular maintenance, it means to avoid costly repairs and to make sure that everything is working fine.
For this purpose, I have made a checklist of maintenance that each landlord must add to their regular maintenance schedule. The items in the checklist are as follows:
- Never forget to check if there are any leaks after a rainstorm. If yes, then fix it as water can seriously damage your property.
- The second thing to check is if the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are working properly.
- Replace all the air filters frequently and check for pests monthly.
- To prevent mold and leaks, re-caulk the bathtubs and showers.
- Check fire extinguishers and flush water heaters regularly.
- Clean the gutters and see if any tree in the property is threatening the structure or power lines.
If yes! Then trim or remove them from the property.
You also need to add the maintenance costs to your budget as some repairs can cost a lot of money such as roof replacement and repainting walls. However, it depends on the general wear-and-tear of a unit. A professional will always recommend repainting the house once every three years.
Before you start inspecting your property, you need to know first the different types of inspections that you can do regularly. These types are as follows:
Well, it is possible to inspect your property from outside while driving through it. Stop and observe the condition of the property. If there are any issues, fix them asap.
The next type can be done by asking the tenant. Moreover, the tenant will help you identify any problem within the property. Note that issue and call an expert to fix it.
This type can be done when the tenant is moving out of the property. It is the best time to inspect any kind of damages caused by the previous tenant without telling you. Also, check if there are any wear-and-tear so you can repair them before the next tenant comes in.
It is a routine maintenance where you contact the tenant and ask to inspect the property with them. For this, you need to provide prior notice before entering the property. These kinds of terms are already mentioned in the lease and the local law. It is the best opportunity to identify any minor or major problems.
The Expenses of Maintenance
Well, you need to allocate some of your earnings for maintaining the property. I know maintenance costs can be tricky, but many professional managers use the 1% Rule. This rule states that you must have one percent of the total property value to address the maintenance expenses. It means that if the value of the property is $150,000 then you should have $1,500 annual budget for maintenance. But this cost can increase or decrease depending on other factors such as cost of living and age of the property.
There are some large expenses too such as replacing the roof or the floor. To cover all of these expenses, you should consider the 50% Rule. This rule states that half the income of your property should be put aside to cover for repair, maintenance, taxes, insurance, and other big expenses. According to this rule, if you are earning $1,000 per month then $500 is for operating and maintenance expenses.
Should You Do It Yourself Or Hire A Professional?
To do the maintenance on your own, you need various skills. These skills involve plumbing down to electric and basic troubleshooting. If you know these things, then you can do a lot of the maintenance on your own. Otherwise, you can hire a contractor for this purpose. DIY looks exciting as it can help you save money, but it can also cost you time which you can use on other things like looking after your business.
How much money you are saving does not concern the tenants. That is why many good tenants move out just because they are not happy with the maintenance. Moreover, you need to do it as soon as possible. Sometimes a tenant withholds the rent because you are not making the necessary repairs. Or it can do worse by calling the housing authorities to inspect the property. So, it is best to maintain the property properly.
If you are living far from your property, then hiring a professional is the best option for you. The professional will look after everything and will make sure that the tenant is happy. But you need to be careful when hiring one. Hire a professional who has enough experience and has all the necessary skills to properly maintain your property.