25 Jun Rental Maintenance Costs
Rental Maintenance Costs
From appliance repair to pest control, rental maintenance costs form a key component of a property’s operating expenses. But, when these costs spin out of control, the bottom line suffers. This happens when a landlord fails to budget for future repairs, ongoing maintenance and/or maintenance issues. Keeping rental maintenance costs down on your rental property is crucial when you want to increase the return you earn on your investment. While certain expenses are inevitable, there are certain cost-saving measures all landlords should learn to keep maintenance costs manageable. With this in mind, we offer some insight on the best ways to keep rental maintenance costs down.
Preventative (Routine) Maintenance
Preventative maintenance (routine maintenance), keeps your rental property in working order for the least amount of money. This means you do not wait for something to break before you fix it. For example, if an appliance is outdated and inefficient, it often makes more sense to replace the item altogether, rather than paying for repairs. Preventative maintenance will not eliminate all issues, but it will save you lots of money in the long run. That’s because the goal of preventative maintenance is to catch minor issues before they grow into big ones. Here is a short list of what your routine maintenance schedule should look like:
- Routine Inspections: routine inspections uncover potential problems and spark action when it is needed
- Check for Water Damage & Leaks: check all water sources, look at ceilings and walls, around windows, sinks, doors, showers, water heaters and toilets
- Painting: whether it falls under normal wear and tear or you are using a fresh coat of paint as an incentive, painting will help keep your rental looking good
- Inspect & Refresh: shower caulk and grout
- Inspect Roof: and clean the gutters
- Landscaping: keep it neat, trimmed, and maintained
- Carpet Cleaning: do this every year to prolong the life of your flooring
- Replace: all air filters
- Patch Cracks: in the ceiling or drywall
- Flush: water heater
- Pest Control: preventative actions like spraying on a regular basis will help prevent invasions that could disrupt you and your tenant
- Test Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors: regularly
Find Quality Tenants
Finding a good tenant is like gold. You know they will respect your property and keep you informed. On the flip side, problem tenants are ones who can cause damage. They are the ones who habitually move from one place to another, trashing each property they live in a long they way. So, when searching for tenants, make sure you do a thorough background check. Remember, a good landlord will go to great lengths to find a qualified renter for their property. That’s because qualified tenants are those with a proven track record. While no screening method is foolproof, there are certain factors you should look at that will give you a better chance. While it may take a little time and patience, it’s worth putting the right tenant in your rental property.
Manage Your Vendors
Make sure to be strategic when you’re hiring professional vendors and contractors. That’s because, you don’t want to overpay for a service that isn’t going to get the job done. Instead, establish a list of qualified, reliable professionals who will be willing to do great work for affordable prices. If working with a property management company, make sure they have reliable contractors or subcontractors that they work with on a regular basis. Remember, you need a team that you can really rely on to deliver high quality and cost efficient maintenance services if you want reduce your rental maintenance costs. Additionally, make sure to have a plan in place for emergencies so that you can take care of those issues right away. Otherwise, you risk paying more for the repairs and upsetting your tenant, who isn’t going to want to stay in your property if you’re ignoring necessary maintenance.
Manage Your Budget
While it may seem like common sense, you would be surprised to find out just how many landlords overlook this. Be prepared for maintenance issues, expect them and for them budget accordingly. Most landlords will need to spend about 1% to 2% of the purchase price of their rental property every year for routine maintenance. Another way to calculate a budget for rental property is by using the 50% rule. The 50% rule is simple, you allocate 50% of your rental rate for operating expenses. Build a plan for handling future expenses and plan for current expenses to minimize headaches and reduce your rental maintenance costs in the future.
Keeping your property in good shape overtime and rental maintenance costs down, will require regular inspections and a system for tenants to report problems. When something needs to be fixed or replaced, do it right away. Because, waiting will only cost you even more money. Remember, your ability to manage your costs can make a huge difference in your success as a landlord. Need some more tips on how you can save money on property maintenance? If so, you may want to consider hiring a property management company. Let them worry about the hard stuff so you can focus on your properties.