Every landlord is lawfully required to take care of their rental property and keep it habitable. You are responsible for both regular and emergency maintenance and repair by being a landlord. However, maintenance costs can fluctuate severely. They are probably one of the most difficult expenses that you need to estimate accurately. You can find yourself spending insane amounts one month and on the other months possibly nothing. However, there is no need to worry as overtime, the amounts will even out, but it is still essential to always plan for the possibility of a sudden emergency or larger repairs. If you have no prior experience on the subject, meaning that you’re new to being a landlord or simply want to educate on the best ways to do your job, we’re here to help. So, in the following text, we made a landlord’s guide to hassle-free maintenance.
For hassle-free maintenance, it’s really important to list absolutely everything. The lease for your specific rental property should state who is fully responsible for maintenance and any possible repairs of your property. For instance, tenants usually take care of the utilities. And landlord usually takes care of the structure and most property repairs. However, it is still important to list this information:
- Lawn care like mowing and other
- Any damages done to the property during rentals, like damages beyond normal, and broken windows
- Carbon monoxide and smoke detectors
- Pest control
- Various appliances like water, fuel, heating, and even electric systems
Unfortunately, there is no definitive way to be sure that your tenant is doing absolutely everything to keep your property in truly top condition. People often neglect certain responsibilities like air filters for HVAC systems and regular cleaning of the whole property. Completing certain yearly maintenance items by yourself can help ensure that these items are well kept in the working order like:
- Make sure to check for water damages and leaks
- Don’t forget to check and replace batteries in carbon monoxide and smoke detectors
- Always clean gutters
- Change air filters
- Inspect plumbing
- Check gates and fencing
- Inspect for pest infestation
- Check common areas and spaces like elevators
- Trim trees
- Trim overgrown shrubs
It’s essential to create and maintain a list of reputable vendors that you’ll contact if you experience some issues in the future. Besides the cost and the quality of repairs, creating this kind of list will help you understand which vendors to call and which to avoid. Furthermore, keeping track of requests and maintenance performed is vital for hassle-free maintenance. You’ll easily write off all the expenses related to maintaining your property, which can be pretty useful in case your tenants have future disputes. If you have no prior experience on the subject, consider hiring professional property management companies since they will not only keep records for you but allow you to have more free time.
High-End Property Management
If you own luxury apartments, make sure to hire a trusted real estate management company with a long tradition of taking care of the client’s needs. Whether you need help with individual apartments and townhomes, or rental buildings, we can happily inform you that there are various high-end property management companies out there. However, make sure to hire a reputable company that will understand your needs and will do their job in agreement with you. Also, explore all available options before making the final decision.
It is essential to document the current condition of all areas that could or will need maintenance. Let’s say you finally rented your property to a new tenant, and you completed a walk-through. This is an ideal time to ensure that the tenant or tenants and the landlord’s maintenance responsibilities are completely clear and that everybody’s expectations are met. (like, for instance, how to handle emergencies as well as who and when to contact). We recommend establishing a timeframe for any additional walk-throughs. This way, you’ll inspect the property easily. This is crucial if you are experiencing any property concerns that have not been addressed so far. While some issues can seem minor for tenants, in reality, being able to catch these early could save you a ton of money you’ll have to pay for additional repairs.
If your tenant isn’t a licensed contractor, we do not advise allowing renters to make their own repairs to the property. Unprofessional repairs can cause additional damage or even injuries. Always hire a professional for maintenance issues. It’s the best way for hassle-free maintenance and ensuring that the work is done correctly and fully. If dealing with repairs is too tiring for you, consider hiring an apartment management agency. One of the benefits of hiring an apartment management company is that you’d not have to worry about repairs.
Keeping a Budget
One of the most common guidelines in real estate refers to maintenance costs. They should be around 1 percent of the property’s absolute value. We recommend that you have this amount reserved for any possible repairs. It will help you make the repairs in the fastest possible manner. That way you’ll avoid the risk of not having enough money to follow through.
While most renters fully understand will understand that various things can happen, they will still expect a very prompt response and the fastest possible action to fix their issues. Always keep your renter updated on how and when the repairs will be made with realistic expectations. If you plan on working with a property manager, make sure to verify their request property response time. It should usually be in the timeframe of 24-48 hours for any non-emergencies and no more than an hour for any emergencies. Also, keep your tenant updated and notify them of changes or additional requirements (for instance, access to the property). If your renter is happy, you probably won’t experience any troubles.