10 Maintenance Tips for Rentals

Maintenance is an important part of good property management.  To neglect it will seriously impact the bottom line while also creating some unhappy tenants.  Here are 10 tips that will help to keep your asset from becoming a ghetto.

1. Never have tenants do repairs!  You lose all control over quality of work AND it causes huge headaches on rent-for-work credits.  The Tenants rarely do the work to expected levels of quality, if they ever do it at all.  But they always take the rent credit!!

2. Don’t try to shortcut the repair.  Do it right, or don’t do it at all.  Hiring cheap labor will get you a cheap job.  You don’t have to go ‘top shelf’.  But definitely don’t go for cheap!

3. Buy quality parts.  Half the repair cost is labor.  Don’t waste the labor on cheap parts that break 6 months later.  Buy one of the low-end models from a quality manufacturer.

4. Do it sooner than later.  Look, you’re going to have to fix it anyhow.  So why not practice a little preventative maintenance and keep the Tenants happy?  It will cost less in the long run and you will have happier tenants.

5. Check tub caulk and replace regularly.  This is the biggest maintenance concern we have.  If water is allowed to leak behind the shower surround the repair costs will go up exponentially.  Also check the tub/floor joint.  A rotted sub-floor is expensive, especially when a little caulk could have prevented it!

6. Inspect the property annually.  The annual inspection is your single best insurance policy!  Get a checklist and use it.

7. Add bath fans.  Mold and mildew are fast becoming a huge liability.  Vent the moisture outside.

8. Cut the shrubs, vines, and tree limbs away from the house and roof.  Besides being a security issue, the main reason for doing this to keep all of that organic matter from rotting, scratching, or ruining the structure.

9. Pressure wash.  This is more of a cosmetic thing, but it will give your property curb appeal.

10. Maintain/protect against your biggest enemy.  Shutters in Florida.  Gutters in Seattle.  Termite proofing all around.  Earthquake strapping in California.  You get the idea!

Equipped with these 10 tips, you can confidently know that your maintenance program is on the right track.  Attending to maintenance requests – particularly when we all already have busy schedules – can be trying.  But a timely maintenance program will save thousands of dollars and create a healthy, happy environment for your tenant.

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