10 Pointers for Handling Rental Property Maintenance

September 21, 2022 0 comment

Written by: Eric Davis

Renting your property is one of the best ways to earn an income passively. However, it does not mean landlords can be passive and wait for their property to earn for them. Landlords are responsible for many things that can make their renters’ lives easier. Maintaining control over your property, making the appropriate protective investments, and ensuring tenants abide by the regulations are all necessary for successful property management.

Nevertheless, despite your best efforts, urgent and unforeseen problems occasionally develop. It’s crucial to stay informed and organized to safeguard your rental property and lower your risk of dealing with expensive damages.

Following these ten pieces of advice can help you manage your rental property more successfully and effectively.

1. Clearly define roles and duties
One of the best ways to maintain your property is to collect a fair and acceptable rent and define your tenant’s responsibility. A detailed and unambiguous rental agreement is the foundation of any effective rental business. Establish your tenants’ obligations as soon as possible before they move in. Typically, your tenant oversees light maintenance and upkeep. Typically, your tenant is to carry out routine maintenance and small repairs. Larger tasks and problems, like those involving plumbing, heating, and electrical, are under the responsibility of the landlord. Establish emergency protocols so your tenants know how to contact you in an emergency.

This picture shows a rental agreement.

2. Establish a standard for the state of your property.

Make sure to take pictures of the apartment or house before your tenant comes in and note the condition of everything. Take photos and videos of everything using your phone and the move-in/move-out checklist. Make sure you cover everything to avoid disagreements; you’ll also have documentation if you need to retain all or part of the security for damages beyond regular wear and tear. Additionally, you should inform your tenants that damages such as holes in walls, broken windows, unclean carpets, and scrapes on the floor go beyond ordinary wear and tear and will result in a deduction from a tenant’s security deposit. Create an environment where your tenants are aware of the standard that you keep.

3. Create a schedule for preventive maintenance.
You may find issues before they cost you and your tenants money by developing a preventive maintenance routine. Include a note in your lease stating that your tenant must notify you immediately if they see a potential problem. One example is an unusual sound from an appliance or even a small leak from one of the faucets. Of course, it is better to consider scheduling inspections sometimes. You can concentrate on some areas seasonally, like inspecting the spring drains or ensuring windows and doors are weatherized before winter. However, you should still check the entire property all year long (and not just when it’s time to find a new renter). Everything you own will eventually need to be repaired or replaced, so have a plan for doing so. Consider purchasing a new appliance if there is a sale.

4. Landscaping Should Be Simple.
Keep your rental home’s landscaping as low-maintenance as possible, even if your tenants claim to like gardening. We recommend hiring a vendor to handle it, not relying on tenants. While it costs more upfront, you’ll probably save time and money. All you need to do to make your property appear decent is keep the landscaping simple and clean.

The photo shows simple landscaping.

5. Standardize your property.
You must have the same paint, flooring, appliances, and hardware across your properties; whether you have one or ten, it can streamline your maintenance process and save you time and money. On the walls and ceiling, use the same color of paint. It makes repainting much simpler after a tenant leaves. It will prevent you from remembering which condominium has which type of paint.

6. Save your receipts, and record everything.
Since renting out properties is a business, some upkeep tasks, and repairs might qualify as tax-deductible overhead. Keep track of your time on projects and save all your receipts. To ensure you follow the law, consult carefully with a tax expert, and avoid assuming that your repair service will be discounted.

7. Make sure the rental feels brand-new to your tenants.
Thoroughly inspect your rental before putting it on the rental market. Every new tenant deserves a thoroughly cleaned and ready-to-move-in home. New tenants ought to move into a spotless, recently painted house. Get the walls painted and your carpets cleaned by a pro. Also, think about ripping out the carpet and installing a sturdy floor in its place. The next time a new tenant moves in, it will be simpler and easier to clean your property. Change the locks as well; this will help you become a great landlord.

8. When and where you can automate.
Even the most fantastic renter can forget to switch on the fan when they take a shower or change the batteries in the smoke detectors (after we remove them to stop that obnoxious sound). Investing in products with long battery lives or automatic functions, such as outdoor motion lights, programmed interior regulators, and bathroom fans connected to light switches to avoid mold or tiny solar-powered lights to illuminate the walkway, is a good idea. Although some of these situations could come at an additional cost, you must keep your tenants safe and your property free from hazards.

9. Engage the Professional (When needed).
Even if you are a great do-it-yourselfer, you must know when to call in a repair expert. To be prepared for an emergency, see where the electrical panel, gas shutoff, and water shutoff are in your rental. In several states, professional assistance is required for electrical, plumbing, and HVAC repairs. Check with your neighborhood building authority to ensure you adhere to the rules correctly.

10. Plan for Rainy Days
Something will eventually require repair. Even the most diligent landlords will admit that things occasionally fail; thus, you should maintain a rainy-day fund that you may utilize for property upkeep and repairs. The delivery of a new stove or refrigerator to your tenant shouldn’t have to wait until your subsequent paycheck. You could even need to fix the property before a claim is approved or locate your tenant’s temporary housing. Make sure that you’re prepared for the unexpected. Your tenant will remember how fast you handled an emergency repair (and tell their friends).

The picture is about repairing the roof.

You will spend a lot of time and effort maintaining your rental property because you’re a landlord. But you’ll be on the top of the game if you prepare for crises and the unexpected.

DPM representatives continually seek to build strong service relationships with everyone. We understand that service is as much a state of mind as it is an intangible product. We aspire to expand every service capability and are proactive in identifying future service issues in a timely fashion. Call us now at 425-658-7471 or send us an email at info@davispropertymanagement.com .

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