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Owning rentals and property maintenance go together like peanut butter and jelly. All too often, we see property owners blame renters for maintenance and repair expenses. Yet no matter how ideal the tenant, plumbing systems fail, hot water heaters need replaced, and HVAC systems break down. Even if repairs emerge as soon as the renter moves in, they will often inherit years of unnoticed wear-and-tear prior to their arrival. Here are the top five things you need to know about maintenance and repairs when renting a property:
1. You will have unexpected maintenance and repairs. Unfortunately, a lot of property owners and real estate investors purchase a rental property with the wonderful idea that they will just collect the rent each month, and put it in their pocket. When it comes to owning and maintaining a rental property, you can count on having unexpected maintenance and repairs. When setting your rental property budget, you should set aside 10-15% of the monthly rent for miscellaneous maintenance and repairs. Keep in mind, this does not include turnover repairs.
2. Turnover repairs can be expensive, but necessary. When preparing to list your property on the rental market, it is imperative to make sure it is clean and ready to show. In this modern age, renters are expecting their home to be clean and ready for move in, and it should be. Necessary turnover repairs and maintenance may include carpet cleaning, carpet replacement, painting, landscaping, plumbing, having the locks changed, and other various handyman repairs. While the vacating tenant will be responsible for the cost to repair any damage, the property owner is responsible for repairs needed due to normal wear-and-tear.
3. Maintaining minimum building code is not optional. When a tenant and landlord sign a lease agreement, a warranty of habitability is implied. This means the landlord promises the home will be suitable to live in. Tenants expect a safe home, with functioning standard features such as plumbing, water, heating and cooling, appliances, and proper weatherstripping. Imagine coming home after a long day at work, and there is no hot water to take a shower. This is frustrating to a tenant, just as it would be to you. It is important to respond to these requests in a timely manner.
4. Responding quickly to repair requests can improve your profitability. You are in the rental business, and your tenant is the customer. Responding quickly to repair requests will make a big impact on a renter’s satisfaction in your home, which can directly influence how long they will stay. In addition, when you address their maintenance concerns in a timely manner, it encourages the renter to take better care of your property. On the flip side, if you don’t address these concerns quickly, there is a good chance they will become resentful and stop caring for your property. They will be eager to move out as soon as possible, and likely leave your home a mess. As we learned above, that is when the turnover expenses begin to mount.
5. Regular property inspections can save you thousands in repairs. When a rental property is inspected regularly, you are able to catch small, but necessary repairs that go unnoticed, before they become a bigger problem. When these small repairs go unnoticed or are neglected for an extended period of time, they may cause significant damage to your property that can cost you thousands of dollars in repairs. Imagine a small leak around the base of a toilet. After months of water leaking into the subfloor, the flooring in that bathroom, as well as the ceiling on the lower level, need to be replaced. The difference between replacing the wax ring under the toilet (when the leak was caught during an inspection), and replacing flooring, sheetrock, and painting after the damage is discovered, will very likely be hundreds, or even thousands of dollars on this one occurrence.
And hundreds in Greater Sacramento. But don’t take our word for it.
Willie & I have been with Real Property Management Select since 2011, and the assistance we have received has been exceptional. Currently in our second property managed by RPM Select, we have been provided with excellent service. If you want to work with a professional team, RPM Select is certainly recommended by us.
I am pleased to inform you that I am satisfied and happy with the way Real Property Management Select helped me rent my San Jose property. This could not be materialized without your support team behind it, including Amy and Kat, who are very professional and helpful. Your help is greatly appreciated.
(We’re Solid At What We Do)
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