If you own an investment property, want to retain a solid relationship with your tenants, and maintain your investment’s value, you’ll need to plan for regularly scheduled property maintenance. In every rental home, repair issues will come up and need to be addressed. Utility systems may develop problems without proper maintenance and appliances will need to be replaced periodically. The age of the property and how it has been cared for in the past will also affect how frequently it will need maintenance. Below are four tips to help ensure your rental property is protected with the help of strategic upkeep.
- Be Prepared. Renting a property typically brings additional maintenance expenses. Your annual maintenance costs should average about 1.5 times the monthly rental amount, but this estimate will vary based on the age and condition of the home. This amount should cover the costs of maintaining your property throughout the length of a tenant’s lease period. However, you should also budget for maintenance and repair costs after a tenant has moved out in order to prepare the rental home for future tenants.
- Understand Legal Regulations. The specifics of what maintenance landlords are responsible for and regulations for how it should be completed vary depending on where the property is located. So it is important to be familiar with building codes and laws regarding your obligations, communicating with your tenants, and hiring specific types of professionals to make repairs. If you don’t know the laws affecting your investment property, you should consult an attorney or local authorities to address any situation that may come up with the rental home.
- Keep Your Tenants Happy. Taking care of the property and responding quickly to tenant requests are key to keeping tenants happy. Happy tenants are more likely to renew the lease, and when you take good care of the property, it encourages them to maintain the rental home, too. Conversely, neglecting problems can lead tenants to take poor care of the home.
- Tenant Turnover and Property Maintenance. Tenant turnover typically requires some maintenance costs to bring the unit back to rentable condition. Between tenants, the property should be professionally cleaned, the walls may need painting, the yard should be tended, locks typically must be rekeyed, and the utilities and structure of the home should be examined.
Good maintenance may increase your short-term costs, but keeping the property in optimal condition preserves its value in the long run. In addition, by refurbishing the rental home before presenting it on the market, you make the property more attractive to prospective tenants. This ultimately lowers your vacancy expenses and motivates future tenants to take care of the property once they sign the lease.