Landlords need to be savvy about minimizing overheads and deal promptly with repairs to protect their investment. Therefore, having a maintenance plan and establishing a budget in place is a must.
Unfortunately, property maintenance in some places tends to be a tad bit pricey. And this can lead to either increase in rent or loss of income.
Luckily, lowering the costs associated with property maintenance is possible through smart decisions and proper planning.
Here are 7 ways that teach you how to keep maintenance costs low.
1. Budget for future repairs
Although this may seem like common sense, you’d surprised by the number of landlords who overlook this. You need to budget for future repairs because it’s an important component of running a successful rental property.
When overlooked for a prolonged period of time, bad situations can quickly turn to worse. If an appliance is inefficient, for example, it only makes sense to buy a new one rather than to continue paying for repairs. Having efficient appliances will also help keep tenants happy.
Updating fixtures and appliances could even help you command higher rent from your tenants.
2. Plan for expenses
Typically, you can expect the annual property maintenance costs to average about one and half times the monthly rent. This calculation, however, varies depending on the age of the rental property. Allocate more for aged homes, and less for newer homes.
Also, remember to factor in turnover costs in between tenants. They include painting, carpet cleaning, and repair caused by vandalism or damage.
3. Respond to issues promptly
A good number of landlords are hesitant to spend money on repairs. When repairs are neglected for a prolonged period of time, they become a more expensive issue to fix later. As such, it is imperative to take care of them as early as possible before the problem becomes worse.
You also need to respond to maintenance requests swiftly. You can accomplish this by scheduling regular inspections to identify areas that need attention immediately.
4. Maximize efficiencies
Look for ways that can help you boost efficiency. For example, you can cut back on electricity costs by using energy saving appliances and light bulbs.
Upgrading to efficient systems doesn’t cost a ton of money.
5. Know the law
Solving a tenant’s maintenance issue sometimes requires much more than a bit of elbow grease. Property codes need to be taken care of when managing property maintenance requests. The codes generally state what must be fixed by the landlord.
Specific actions, communication, and documentation must be taken by the owner to meet all state and federal laws.
Many local judges have a zero-tolerance approach to ignorance of tenant/landlord law. If you’re not well-versed with such laws, it’s important to have an expert on hand.
6. Respond to maintenance calls
Tenants facing issues relating to maintenance do not appreciate landlords unable to resolve the problem promptly. From broken radiators to overflowing toilets, these problems affect the quality of life of your tenant.
This neglect may also encourage animosity and dissatisfaction amongst your tenants.
To avoid such a situation, it is important to act as quickly as possible. This will not only keep your tenants happy but will also protect the property from additional damage.
7. Build a plan for future expenses
You’ll need the funds for repair if something unexpectedly goes wrong in your rental home. Bursting pipes, roof leaks, appliance failures…these are just some of the unfortunate things that could occur at some point.
Even with a regular maintenance schedule, there’s no surefire way to eliminate them entirely. As such, the smartest way to ease the burden on your shoulders is by building a solid financial plan.
A certain amount of investment of time and financial resources will always be necessary to help maintain a rental property. As a property ages, maintenance calls increase, and fixtures and appliances need replacement.
By conducting regular maintenance, you’ll help minimize the costs and keep everybody happy.