Top 7 Tips on How to Maintain your Rental Property
As a landlord, you want to get the highest returns possible from your investments. Several factors affect your ROI, but the most important one is protecting the value of your properties. The best way to protect their value is to maiontain your rental property It might sound awfully simple, but it’s not as easy as you think.
Problematic tenants are rampant in the real estate industry, especially in They’re more concerned with fulfilling rent payments (if you’re lucky)—taking excellent care of the property is usually the last thing on their minds.
You need to figure out a way to protect your rental properties, whether that involves hiring contractors, doing the maintenance yourself, or working with a property management company. Because staying on top of maintenance and repairs is the only way to retain the value of your investment.
7 ways to maintain your rental property
Based on our experience as a property management company, we’ve put together the top 7 tips for protecting your rental investments:
1. Outline the responsibilities in your lease
Knowing who’s responsible for what will save a lot of unnecessary stress. On the lease, specify what the tenant’s maintenance responsibilities are. Minor maintenance tasks (e.g. removing trash, replacing burnt bulbs) are usually the tenant’s responsibility. Major ones (e.g. electrical, HVAC, or plumbing work) can be yours (as long as the tenant didn’t cause the damage or issue due to neglect).
2. Document the MoveIn condition with tenants
To keep the inspections fair and agreeable, document the before-and-after property condition with photos, MoveIn checklists, and . This will help resolve any disagreements on property conditions that may arise upon MoveOut.
3. Schedule regular inspections
Nip most problems in the bud by checking the properties regularly. Depending on the appliances/systems and condition of the property, you can conduct inspections monthly or seasonally. In the lease, you can also require tenants to notify you of any issues as soon as they arise (e.g. within 48 hours) to prevent them from escalating. Anything not reported within this time won’t be your responsibility to cover.
4. Standardize your materials
Although this is more applicable to rental portfolios with less variety, it’s still helpful to standardize your materials for economies of scale. For example, if you stick to the same paint colors across all properties you own, when you need to do touch-ups, you can use the same paint everywhere.
5. Set up an organized monitoring system
For routine fixes and maintenance (like replacing the roof every 15 years, checking fire alarms regularly, etc.) you can set reminders to update you whenever something needs attention. This way, you’ll be able to foresee maintenance issues before they arise, as well as budget accordingly for them ahead of time.
6. Hire professional help
Though it might be tempting to DIY expensive repairs, you may end up doing more harm than good. Know when to hire professionals and when to DIY. Any problems with the plumbing system, electrical wirings, pests or exterminations, and heating systems are better left to the pros.
You can also consider having yearly professional inspections on top of your monthly/seasonal check. Expert eyes can screen your properties more thoroughly, helping you avoid major issues.
7. Set aside reserves for capital expenses (and surprises)
Maintaining your properties comes with a lot of unforeseen expenses. A good rule of thumb is to set aside 1.5x the monthly rent amount for yearly maintenance costs. Also factor in the age and condition of your properties so you can set aside an accurate amount of money.
Its a lot of work to maintain your rental property, but the effort pales in comparison to the long-term benefits of keeping your investments in tip-top shape.
If it still sounds like too much work, consider hiring a property management company to protect your investments. A good PMC will stay on top of tenant requests and property repairs. Not only does this save you from the hassle, but will also guarantee professional, fully-insured maintenance work for your properties.
Any tips we missed? What works best in keeping your properties well-maintained?
Image Courtesy of Ksenia Chernaya