Whether you like it or not, your rental property is prone to wear and tear. As a landlord, your property’s condition should be your biggest concern — how well you maintain your investment property can determine how long you can earn from it.
But no matter how many times you remind tenants to treat the property with care, there are a few common maintenance problems that always pop up. It’s best to plan for repairs in advance to minimize tenant dissatisfaction and property damage.
Here are 10 common rental property repairs and how to fix them:
#1 Clogged Toilets
Toilets are a common source of trouble for landlords — the problem usually arises when things that shouldn’t be there are in there. Tenants drop all kinds of things into the toilet, including baby wipes, cotton balls, q-tips, and even tiny toys. All of these can create chaos in your plumbing system, and while minor clogs can be fixed with a plunger, for serious cases, you might need to call your trusted plumber.
The good news is that when tenants clog their toilets after “relieving themselves,” you don’t have to head to the property just to fix it. You should be concerned only when a clogged toilet causes extreme damage to the plumbing system.
#2 Garbage Disposal
Tenants are always putting things where they shouldn’t be. Most landlords can agree that the garbage disposal system is one of the most frequent rental property issues. When tenants drop things like tinfoil, coffee grounds, fruit peelings, and plastics into the kitchen garbage disposal, this damages the grinding mechanism, putting the unit on pause. While this can be fixed quickly with a wrench and a bit of muscle, oftentimes, a broken garbage disposal could mean a burnt-out motor — which isn’t that cheap to repair.
#3 Water Heaters
No landlord wants to get a call at eight in the morning from an angry tenant who just took a freezing shower. If your property’s water heater stops working, your tenant is going to let you know about it immediately. There’s a good chance that your water heater just needs a quick fix, such as relighting the pilot light or turning the valve on and off. When this happens, it’s best to call a professional technician who can assess if the condition of your water heater. It’s also ideal to perform regular maintenance on your unit to get rid of any sediment that might have accumulated.
Even the most immaculate homes aren’t immune to roaches, ants, bugs, mice, and other pests. Traps and bug sprays can usually fix the problem, but if you’re dealing with a full-on infestation, it’s crucial to call an exterminator immediately. These pests can damage your rental property — mice can nibble at electrical wires, termites can turn your bookshelves into dust, raccoons can build dens, and so on. Pests can also reduce your property’s value by up to 25%.
Your tenants aren’t going to treat your appliances with extreme care, so it’s best to brace yourself (and your bank account) for at least one appliance that needs repairs or replacement. When appliances, such as dishwashers, microwaves, and refrigerators break down, it usually takes a technician to provide a solution. Since most appliances like a refrigerator are essential in your tenant’s day-to-day life, it’s essential to fix these problems immediately. Repairing appliances is usually cheaper, but in some cases, it may be more cost-effective to replace the unit instead.
Paint isn’t a serious concern, but it’s one of the most common complaints from tenants especially when they’re viewing the property for the first time. Paint that looks old, is peeling off, or looks scuffed makes your rental property look old and unkempt — it’s unlikely that tenants are going to be lining up to live there. It is recommended to repaint your property every five years to give it a fresher look. You should also consider hiring a property manager to make sure that your property is tenant-ready before private viewings.
#7 Leaking Sinks
The smallest leaks can cost you hundreds of dollars. Prevent unexpected surges in your water bill by asking tenants to always let you know if they notice any wet spots or dripping underneath the sink. This could indicate an issue with the water supply line. Remember, while you do have the option to consult YouTube in fixing the plumbing issues on your own, you could easily flood the entire property from one mistake. It’s still best to call in a licensed plumber.
#8 HVAC Systems
Heating and cooling systems usually break down in the middle of the summer — probably because tenants are cranking up the AC to beat the heat. HVAC systems are made of several moving parts that require regular maintenance to keep them functioning all year long. It’s not recommended to take the do-it-yourself route especially if you don’t have the necessary equipment to tune the HVAC system. Take proactive measures by having your HVAC system serviced by a technician.
When tenants move out, it’s common for landlords and property managers to discover minor imperfections on drywall. From small holes due to wall hangings to bumps and cracks after moving furniture, drywall is prone to damages. The good news is that it usually takes nothing but putty and paint to patch it up quickly. You can try fixing it yourself as a home DIY project! But if the hole in the drywall is massive, you might have to replace it entirely.
#10 Smoke Detectors
It is crucial to ensure that smoke detectors are always functioning correctly. As a landlord, you must ensure the safety of your tenants. By installing smoke detectors in fire-prone areas like the garage and kitchen, you can prevent injuries and property damage. A common complaint from tenants is when smoke detectors beep or chirp uncontrollably — this indicates that their batteries need replacement. It is recommended to test if the smoke detector is working every month.
Owning a rental property comes with certain responsibilities and that includes overseeing repairs. If you don’t want to handle the hassles of fixing the most minor repairs, get in touch with Luxury Property Care today.
We have a 24/7 maintenance hotline and a wide network of preferred vendors whom we trust to handle the most complicated rental property issues. We’ll make sure that all repairs are performed promptly to keep your tenants happy. Contact us at (561) 944-2992 to schedule your free property assessment.