When it comes to being a successful real estate investor, there is a lot more to it than just finding a good property and collecting rent each month. You also need to be prepared for the unexpected, like repairs and maintenance. Here's what you need to know about handling property maintenance and repairs.
What Is Property Maintenance and What Does It Entail?
Property maintenance is a crucial part of property management or being a landlord. It includes work orders and inspections to keep the building's exterior and interior in good condition. A well-thought-out maintenance plan protects assets, promotes safety, and reduces long-term costs in repairs, work orders, and upkeep. Property maintenance may require work indoors and outdoors, including pushing snow or mowing the lawn. Inspections should be completed regularly to identify any potential issues that need attention. Regular property maintenance ensures maximum value for both tenants and occupants across a variety of industries such as real estate investments, commercial spaces, and residential buildings alike.
What are the benefits of property maintenance?
Property maintenance is a crucial component of any property management business. By investing in regular maintenance, property owners reduce their long-term costs and maximize the satisfaction of their residents. Property owners can reduce repair costs by avoiding damage due to negligence or wear and tear by promptly fixing any issues that may arise with their building. Moreover, maintaining clean grounds can also help to attract more potential renters and increase profit margins. Furthermore, happy tenants are more likely to renew leases as they feel safer and more satisfied in a well-maintained property. All in all, property owners who actively invest time and resources into property maintenance see greater returns in the form of higher profits and reduced operational costs over time.
Preventive vs. Reactive Maintenance for Your Rental Properties
When it comes to managing your rental properties, there are two common approaches you can take: preventive and reactive maintenance. Preventive maintenance reduces costs in the long run due to regular inspections and repairs being made before there is a need for disaster-related repairs. In contrast, reactive maintenance is done in reaction to problems as they arise, often resulting in higher costs due to emergency repair work and aftermath clean-up. Ultimately, preventive maintenance reduces risks associated with rental property management such as structural damage and safety issues for tenants, therefore making it the more cost-effective option for landlords over time. In fact, a leading maintenance software provider for property managers found that a focus on preventative maintenance was the leading driver in tenant retention. And as you may know from reading our other articles, reducing tenant turnover is the number one way to boost profits in rental properties.
Maintenance Expenses for Your Rental Property
As a landlord, it is your responsibility to ensure that your rental property remains in a safe and appealing condition for tenants. Maintenance expenses are an unavoidable part of ownership, although by budgeting about 10% of the rent you can plan ahead and ensure those expenses are easily taken care of. Regularly scheduled maintenance allows you to prepare for potential repairs and updates, while also taking care of necessary safety precautions like smoke alarm battery changes. You can use this 10% to set aside any funds needed while also having the flexibility to deal with any issues that arise as they come up. Thoughtful maintenance planning makes sure that your rental property is well-maintained year-round and helps makes it as attractive and comfortable as possible for current and future tenants.
Are Tenants Responsible for Maintenance and Repairs?
Generally, tenants are only responsible for minor maintenance and upkeep such as fixing items that they have broken, replacing light bulbs, or mowing the lawn. In most cases, major maintenance and repair items are the responsibility of the landlord or property manager, including HVAC repairs, plumbing issues, damage from wood-eating insects or rodents, and structural damages due to natural weather events. The only exception would be if the tenant causes intentional damage to the premises through negligence or deliberate actions, in which case they may be responsible for repair costs. It is important to understand both parties’ responsibilities to avoid any potential legal disputes arising from misunderstandings in this area. And, we would also stress that it is not legal to put a provision in a lease that puts the responsibility on the tenant for maintenance and repairs.
Emergency Repairs for Rental Properties
Taking care of emergency repairs is often an unavoidable part of property management. To maintain a property and make it attractive to potential tenants, property managers must be prepared to respond quickly in times of need when minor or major repairs are required, such as fixing the heating or air conditioning units or replacing a leaking water heater. Professional property management companies should be able to repair these and other problems on a 24/7 basis to protect the property from any unnecessary damages and minimize disruption for the property's tenants.
Where can I get property maintenance services?
Finding property maintenance services doesn't have to be a hassle. Many property managers keep a list of licensed and insured vendors who specialize in property maintenance. They can take care of repairs, property inspections, rental property upkeep, and even HVAC service. By finding a reliable property manager, you can rest assured that your property will stay in top condition throughout the year at an affordable rate.
Property maintenance is an essential part of owning and maintaining a rental property. It is important to understand the basics of preventive vs reactive maintenance, as well as any regulations concerning emergency repairs and tenant responsibilities. Knowing who to turn to for services is also a significant aspect of being a property owner. Property maintenance can be costly and time-consuming, but it is worth it in the long run. Not only will it keep your tenants happy, but you’ll be sure that the value of your investment won’t decline over time. That said, there are professionals out there who can help make this process go smoothly. Does handling maintenance and repairs seem like a hassle? Let us handle it! We offer various services tailored toward property owners’ needs, providing comprehensive solutions for all aspects of rental property maintenance. Let us help you maximize your return on investment today!