There are several advantages to staying on top of property maintenance. Keeping your property in tiptop shape means it will maintain or even increase in value over time. Plus, by conducting maintenance checks, you’ll be able to pinpoint any problems and nip them in the bud before they can become costly ones.
Whether you’re making a property maintenance plan or reworking it, we’ve put together a few suggestions to make sure your property is well-maintained all year round. Through a good maintenance plan, you can guarantee that your property lasts a long, long time.
#1 Be Clear About Tenant Responsibilities
Even if you’re working with a property management agent, there will still be responsibilities that your tenant will have to assume. However, not all tenants will be aware of this, so be sure to clearly describe their duties in the lease agreement. When your tenants understand their duties, there will be fewer disagreements between the two of you.
Do note that normal wear and tear is to be expected, so you can’t blame a tenant for minor problems – for example, scratches on the floor. But tenants do have a duty to care for the property to an extent, so they’re not entirely in the clear, either.
Besides your tenant’s responsibilities, you should also be clear about your responsibilities. What should your tenant expect you to do? For instance, will you take care of tree trimming or will they?
#2 Express Your Expectations
What’s “not clean” to you may not be what your tenant considers to be “not clean”. Their standards may be a lot lower than yours, which is why it’s critical to explain your expectations to them. Be sure to set your minimum standards so provide them with an idea of well they need to clean the property once it’s time to move out.
Remember to document the state of your rental property prior to move-in. If you’ve partnered with a property management company, they’ll leverage a pre-made move-in/move-out checklist, and document the property’s condition, too. By doing this, you’ll be able to have a baseline, allowing you to determine whether or not you need to withdraw a portion of the security deposit down the road.
#3 Conduct Routine Rental Inspections
One of the most important things you can do to maintain your property’s condition is to conduct routine inspections. Preventive maintenance is the key to keeping your maintenance costs to a minimum. By doing so, you’ll be able to take note of what needs to be repaired, replaced, etc., and nip problems in the bud as early as possible.
Among the many things you should regularly check are the smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. These should always be working, otherwise, you will be in trouble with the law. Furthermore, be on the lookout for items that aren’t broken, but that may be broken in the near future. Examples are HVAC systems that need to be tuned up at least once a year.
#4 Have a Network of Vetted Vendors
Don’t waste your time looking for a vendor that can conduct the work. You should build a reliable network of vetted vendors – that way, in case you need a contractor, plumber, electrician, etc., you can call them immediately. These people should be on speed dial so you can send them to your property as soon as possible.
When you work with a property management company, you’ll be able to access their vast network of vetted vendors. What’s more is that they can secure certain services at a lower rate, as they’ve been in the business for years, and have built close connections with various service providers.
#5 Prepare a Seasonal Maintenance Plan
Your property maintenance plan changes with the seasons. In the spring, you’re going to have to clean your gutters to get rid of the post-winter dirt, debris, etc. In the fall, you’ll have to prepare your property (particularly your garden) for the wintry weather. With that said, you need to create a separate checklist for each season. This will allow you to conduct the appropriate maintenance strategies as the seasons change.
If you aren’t sure what your property’s seasonal needs are, consider consulting a property management firm. They most likely have a pre-made checklist that you can copy.
#6 Communicate With Your Tenants
The best person to pinpoint problems with your property is your tenant. You won’t be at your property 24/7, but your tenants will be, so be sure to encourage them to communicate their concerns to you. You have to be available at all times, otherwise, you may miss to address a rental-related issue like a leak, broken HVAC, etc.
If possible, use a tenant portal where you can receive tenant complaints, concerns, and more. Not only will this allow you to communicate with your tenants conveniently, but it also provides you with an accurate record of the relevant communication. This can be beneficial in the event that a tenant claims that you failed to address their concerns.
#7 Prepare For Unexpected Costs
Every rental property owner should have a reserve fund in case they need to conduct repairs that were unaccounted for. This is because you can’t tell your tenant to wait until you’ve found the funds to fix, for example, their roof. Remember that, by law, you are obligated to provide your tenants with a habitable property. If you fail to conduct repairs (particularly ones that have a time limit, such as HVAC repairs), you could find yourself in court.
The Best Advice? Partner With a Property Management Company
At Luxury Property Care, we understand how important it is to maintain your rental property at all times. That is why we provide all-around property management services, covering plumbing, electrical works, and more, all thanks to our network of vetted vendors. We’ve been managing properties for years, serving the greater South Florida region and neighboring areas. Call us today at (561) 944 – 2992 for a free estimate or fill out our contact form for more information.