According to the US Census Bureau, there are 20 million rental properties in the US. All of which take a bigger beating when it comes to maintenance. This simply means that with renters in a home, things wear out faster than if a homeowner lives in a single-family residential home.
Owning investment property and being a landlord can be difficult work. Renting your property is a great way to make money. It’s also stressful, especially to see the wear and tear your property goes through when it’s a rental.
A good property maintenance routine will reduce some of the costs associated with owning a rental property. Knowing what to do is important but also knowing what not to do is just as important. Today, we’re going to look at some of the biggest mistakes landlords make with maintaining rental properties.
Whether you’re new at this or a veteran landlord, keep reading and we’ll make sure that your property maintenance tactics actually work.
1. IGNORING REGULAR PROPERTY INSPECTIONS
The move-in/move-out inspection is one of the staples of a property maintenance routine. Looking at the condition of your property before a tenant moves in and when they move out tells you how responsible a tenant has been. It also helps you hold the tenant accountable for damages that are beyond normal wear and tear.
If there are issues with a property, you’ll find them during an inspection. You can then decide how urgently the damages need to be addressed. Also, if the tenant causes rental property damage, you can take the cost of repairs out of their security deposit.
2. NEGLECTING SMALL PROBLEMS
Small issues are easy to ignore, but every neglected small issue inevitably becomes a much bigger issue. The best thing to do is address each issue as it comes up.
Ignoring maintenance requests is also a great way to upset your tenants and end up with high vacancy rates. Keeping tenants happy and retaining them is an important part of making money as a landlord.
3. LETTING TENANTS DO MAINTENANCE
You may have great tenants who offer to do maintenance on your properties. DO NOT ALLOW THIS. Even when this is coming from a genuine place, you shouldn’t allow it. It muddies the waters and complicates your landlord-tenant agreement. Require them to report maintenance requests, then hire a professional to handle them.
4. TRYING TO DIY
Doing much of the property maintenance yourself can be tempting, especially if you’re a frugal landlord. If you know how to do the work the right way, and aren’t just “trying to do it”, this can be an option. However, even if you’re particularly handy, it’s a good idea to hire other people to handle property maintenance. This becomes even more important as you purchase additional property.
As mentioned, the wear and tear on rentals can be significant. Someone who is a professional will see things and prevent future problems that a DIY’er may not recognize. If your property is going to keep paying dividends over the long haul, you need to hire professionals to maintain them.
5. NOT GIVING PROPER NOTICE
You must give tenants proper notice anytime you need to enter their residence. Whether your tenant put in a maintenance request or you need to do a routine inspection, giving proper notice to enter is required. If you don’t, you may be in breach of Utah’s landlord-tenant laws. You should only enter without notice in the event of an emergency.
6. BEING DISORGANIZED
A little bit of organization goes a long way when it comes to property maintenance. When you have multiple properties staying organized is especially important because each unit has things that need routine maintenance.
Routine maintenance items can easily be put on a schedule. Creating a schedule for HVAC maintenance or landscaping makes it easy to know what needs to be done and when. It also helps keep your tenants happy as they know well in advance when you need access to the property to perform maintenance.
MANY MISTAKES WITH MAINTAINING RENTAL PROPERTIES
Above are a few examples but there are many mistakes with maintaining rental properties. However, you don’t have to be the landlord that makes them. If you want to maximize your investment and keep property maintenance costs down, your best bet is to hire a property manager.
At Envy Property Management, we’re a full-service property manager operating in Salt Lake City and the surrounding areas. We can help you with everything from cleaning rental properties and doing maintenance to finding tenants and collecting rent. Contact us today to find out how we can help you with your rental property.