Would you rather spend a few dollars on preventative maintenance or pay a hefty bill to fix a major problem later on? Property maintenance is one of the most important duties a landlord has.
Successful property management is characterized by the meticulous upkeep of rental units, fixtures, and appliances. In this article, we at KRS Holdings will share some property maintenance tips to reduce the likelihood of expensive repairs.
Benefits of Regular Maintenance for Landlords
When you rent out a house, there are many responsibilities that you have to follow through on. Failure to comply with health, safety, and building standards might lead to legal issues and serious penalties. Regular property maintenance is important for a number of reasons, including the following:
Helps Protect the Investment
A tenant is likely to pay more for a well-maintained property. If you start getting complaints about the damage, then you might face higher vacancy rates, repair bills, and perhaps legal trouble down the road. All of these things can hurt your financial bottom line. By implementing a solid property maintenance plan and addressing tenants’ requests promptly you can save money in the long run.
Compliance With State Tenant-laws
As a landlord, you are required to provide a safe and habitable living space. Failure to provide one or address maintenance issues promptly can result in tenant breaking their lease early or in you facing legal penalties.
Helps Establish a Positive Relationship
Imagine if you do not address the property damage issues on time, your tenants may make the repairs themselves and deduct the costs from the rent. There have also been cases where landlords have been sued due to neglecting maintenance issues.
Regular maintenance helps establish a positive environment and strengthens your relationship with tenants, allowing for a better return on your property. Here are some maintenance issues you may have to address:
- Broken furnace
- Leaking pipes or roof
- lack of running or clean water
- Broken heating and cooling systems
You can carry out 3-5 inspections a year as long as they are not arbitrary and do not interfere with the tenant’s fair use of the property. The ideal schedule is to inspect the property quarterly or seasonally to ensure that it remains in good repair.
Follow the checklist below when inspecting the property:
When the snow melts and the trees start to blossom, it's time to start thinking about spring-prepping rentals. Look out for the following:
- Swap out the filter in the air conditioner and the batteries in the carbon monoxide and smoke detectors
- Wash the screens on the doors and windows
- Check for leaks on the roof and broken shingles, damaged furniture, deck finishing, and accumulated debris in gutters and downspouts
- Get a professional to check the septic tank.
- Check for cracks in the caulking around the tub, shower, and sink
- Touch-up and paint walls
- Check for leaking faucets & sprinklers and make sure to fertilize the garden area
Below-freezing temperatures and chilly winds cause many pipes to freeze and appliances to go kaput. Prepare your rental property for the winter season by:
- Covering your AC unit
- Checking the basement for leaks
- Checking for damage on the roof, pipelines, gutters, and downspouts
- Winterize doors and windows to keep cold air out
- Have appliances like refrigerators, exhaust fans, and geysers serviced
- Check for drains or any sign of damage in sinks, dishwashers, and tubs
Look for the following things when conducting routine surveillance of your property:
- Have all the entrances, garage doors, and other hinges oiled
- Clear out lint stuck inside dryer vents and washer hoses
- Seal tile grout
- Prune overgrown shrubs and trees
- Inspect the kitchen and bathroom area for any damage
- Replace the filter in the kitchen exhaust fan
The fall season generally calls for the following maintenance procedures:
- Have a professional inspect your foundation for cracks or other damage
- Inspect the fireplaces, air heating system, and roofing
- Have all the gaps and cracks in windows fixed, you can also swap old windows and go for energy-efficient ones
- Collect fallen leaves and cut the grass
- Clear the gutters and downspouts of leaves or other debris
- Service large household appliances
- Turn off underground sprinkler systems and empty hoses before putting them away
- Get the heating system inspected
Hire a Property Manager
Property maintenance can take up a lot of your time. If you lack the time, experience, and network it might be in your best interest to hire the services of a professional property manager. They have the ability to implement inspection protocols, send out notices, and, respond to the tenant's maintenance requests.
Qualified property management firms also have a network of trusted vendors they can rely on for more complex repair issues, which their clients can benefit from.
When it comes to protecting an investment like a rental property, regular maintenance is the key to ensuring the property stays well-maintained for both owners and renters alike. The ideal frequency to conduct an inspection is on a seasonal basis, in which you should check for all the potential issues listed above.
Furthermore, when tenants notify you of repair or maintenance issues, you must take swift action to rectify the situation. Failure to do so could result in legal issues, tenant turnover, and most costly repairs, all of which will make it harder for you to maximize your ROI.
If you would like help managing your rental properties, reach out to the experts at KRS Holdings today. We are a full-service property management company capable of helping you with everything from tenant screenings and property maintenance to marketing and rent collection.
Contact us today to learn more!