One of the biggest landlord responsibilities facing any property owner is rental maintenance. In fact, in a national survey conducted by Smart Move, rental maintenance was ranked as the third biggest “pain point” for landlords after loss in rental income and uncooperative tenants.
That’s not surprising. Rental property maintenance requires year-round vigilance, representing a significant amount of time and money. However, landlords can avoid the “pain points” if they follow some simple rules, stay organized and budget accordingly. Below we talk about some of the strategies for managing rental maintenance.
Some rental maintenance issues, such as a leaky faucet, often can’t be anticipated or avoided. Other issues can be addressed before they become serious problems by following a regular maintenance schedule. These are the items that should be checked on a regular basis, whether weekly, monthly or annually, such as a yearly furnace inspection. Regular maintenance isn’t just about avoiding costly repairs but ensuring a pleasant living environment for tenants.
The rental property maintenance checklist below is not meant to be exhaustive. Each landlord will need to tailor a regular rental maintenance schedule based on his or her property. Here are some examples of items that many good landlords do regularly.
Landlords should also create rental maintenance schedules for bigger ticket projects, or capital expenditures, such as replacing carpets or repainting walls. The schedule will depend on the general wear-and-tear on each individual unit, but professional property managers recommend doing these sorts of projects (i.e., interior painting, carpet replacement) about every three years unless needed sooner.
One of the keys to maintaining your unit is to conduct rental property inspections on a regular basis. There are four types of inspections landlords can do to help ensure their properties stay in tiptop shape.
There are plenty of options out there for landlords who need maintenance help. Websites like Thumbtack match professionals to those in need of services such as carpet installation and interior painting. Other companies like The Luxia. Each service call is then charged a flat fee, with a guarantee to either repair or replace the item under warranty.