If you’re running a rental property, chances are that one of your concerns is how to keep repair costs low. It’s one way to lower your expenses and make the most profit. But how will you be able to do that, considering the mountain of home maintenance tasks that come with being a landlord?
Fortunately, even if repairs may be inevitable, they don’t have to be that expensive. Here’s how to make sure you only spend your money on necessary repairs:
#1 Respond to repair requests immediately
When tenants inform you or your property management company that something is wrong at your rental property, act immediately. Whether it’s blown-off shingles or water damage in the basement, it’s crucial to attend to these concerns pronto. Rapid response will be what separates you from spending a significant amount of money on repairs.
For example, if your tenant calls you to report that there are wet spots on the wall, you should send a plumber to the property immediately. This is likely a sign of a leak that can cause water damage down the road. It’s best to deal with it now than wait for the problem to become worse, otherwise, you’ll have to spend more money on repairs.
#2 Encourage tenants to communicate their concerns
Remember that you won’t always be at your property. Your tenants will be the first ones to inform you if there’s a problem. If they don’t feel comfortable communicating these concerns with you, you won’t be able to conduct maintenance and repairs, because you wouldn’t even know there are problems at your property. By the time you spot the issues, it will already be too late.
Plus, your tenants won’t be glad that it took you so long to deal with the issue. Their dissatisfaction will cause them to reconsider if they should continue to rent with you for another year.
To avoid procrastination, invest in a tenant portal where your tenants can file repair requests at their convenience. You could also encourage them to contact your property management agent who will then send the appropriate contractors to your rental. What’s important is that your tenants have a way to contact you in case the rental needs repairs. This will allow you to act swiftly.
#3 Partner with professionals
Rental property owners on a budget may be tempted to take on repairs, maintenance, etc. on their own. After all, who wouldn’t want to cut down on their repair costs? And although landlords can conduct minor repairs such as replacing the lightbulb, many landlords don’t always have the know-how and tools to deal with more severe concerns such as a pipe leak and broken water heater. When they try to conduct repairs, they end up putting themselves – and the property – at greater risk.
When in doubt, it’s best to call a professional. Establish a list of local contractors (e.g. plumbers, electricians, carpenters, etc.) that you can trust to take on the work. Be sure to build a network of backup vendors in the event that your preferred vendors can’t make it on time.
#4 Invest in preventive maintenance
Preventive maintenance is the key to property upkeep. As a landlord, you shouldn’t wait for your problems to pile up, but instead, prevent those problems from appearing in the first place. Don’t want your roof to cause water damage after strong winds? Have it inspected every year. Do you want your air conditioner to always perform at full capacity? Replace the air filters. Worried about basement flooding? Be sure to seal all cracks in the walls and window wells.
Preventive maintenance enables you to stop problems from forming. Maintenance may not be free, but it costs a lot less than repairs. To ensure preventive maintenance, enlist the services of a property management firm that offers home maintenance services.
#5 Follow a seasonal maintenance plan
One of the likely causes of costly repairs is the failure to perform seasonal property upkeep. Even if you conduct regular property maintenance, it won’t be enough to completely protect your property from damage. Remember, your property’s needs will change as the seasons do – in other words, what you need to do in the summer won’t be what you should do in the spring. This is particularly true for properties that need specific landscaping care.
Furthermore, the seasons can change how your appliances will perform. A good example is your water heater – it’s extremely important to drain it during the winter (also called winterizing), otherwise, it will freeze. This type of replacement can cost you $1,200. Create a seasonal maintenance checklist to make sure you perform the appropriate repairs.
Preventive maintenance tips for rental properties
As we earlier mentioned, the key to property upkeep is preventive maintenance. By doing so, you can reduce your repair costs and use that money for further investments. Here are a couple of preventive maintenance tips for your rental property:
- Pest control. As a landlord, you are obligated to provide your tenants with a pest-free property. No tenant wants to live in a property with rats, roaches, etc. as roommates, so you’ll want to schedule pest inspections at least once a year.
- Water damage. Do a walk-through of your property to check if there are any leaks, cracks, etc. that would allow water to enter. Don’t forget to check the water sources to ensure that water is securely contained.
- Pre-storm inspections. To avoid giving the wind the chance to blow off your roof’s shingles, be sure to repair the vulnerable spots. Clear the gutters to get rid of any debris that may block water from flowing away from the house’s structure, as well.
- Drywall touch-ups. Cracks in the walls and ceilings should be touched-up in order to keep them under control.
- HVAC maintenance. Once a year, have your HVAC inspected to ensure it continues to perform at optimal capacity. You should also replace the air filters so they don’t get clogged and dirty.
Avoid costly repairs with Luxury Property Care
When you partner with Luxury Property Care, you can expect to receive professional home maintenance services that are meant to keep costly repairs away. Our duty is to ensure your property stays in pristine condition, so you won’t have to spend your hard-earned money on costly repairs. Plus, you can count on our vetted vendor network to conduct maintenance at a fraction of the usual cost.