One of the main reasons why most landlords get in trouble is because they are reactive and not proactive. Very often for months, sometimes even years, they tend to ignore all of their rental issues. And when things tend to escalate, their panic mode sets in. All of a sudden, the property needs a new water heater, the gutters are all clogged, the furnace needs to be replaced, and so on. The list can be quite long. The only way to avoid such a trap is regular maintenance.
There are some basic maintenance tasks we at R&R do regularly. That’s the best way to make sure that small problems don’t turn into huge expenses. Plus, regular maintenance keeps the real estate valuation from going under. Here are the most basic maintenance tasks that any responsible Property Manager should do.
Rental Property Maintenance Tasks for Every Season
At R&R Properties we take care of all the maintenance and needed repairs for you before they escalate into replacements and not just repairs. Beyond maintaining open communication with the tenants about needed repairs and/or concerns we also we also inspect every property every 3 or 4 months, to ensure there are not further maintenance needs that tenants haven’t told us about. During the inspection period we look for needed repairs and maintenance.
We Check All Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Detectors
These devices need to be tested regularly to make sure they are in good working condition. In case there is a carbon monoxide leak or a fire in one of your buildings, and one of these devices fails to respond, then you are looking at a potential lawsuit on your hands. The cost of that significantly outweighs the cost of a check-up or changing a few AA batteries.
We Have the Roof and Gutters Cleaned Every Fall
The roof and gutters of our clients valued property should be thoroughly cleaned of all debris annually. This important because they might cause leaks if leaves or other debris clog them. We will also have trees and bushed cut back to lessen the amount of leaves as well as prevent damage and moisture to siding and roofing materials.
We Replace the Filters in the Forced Air Systems
Dirty filters not only can increase the utility bill, but they can also lead to a malfunction in the systems. Even if tenants are the ones that pay the utility bill. High bills can cause you to lose tenants. By changing the filters regularly, we keep everyone happy and the air system running smoothly.
How to Budget for Maintenance on a Rental Property
There are several different ways to calculate expenses but in most cases they all end up with approximately the same amount of money spent on maintenance annually.
At R&R we use the 1% Rule
This is pretty easy and straightforward. All of your maintenance costs should be around 1% of the value of your property. For example, if your rental property is valued at $180,000, the landlord should project about $1,800 just for maintenance. That comes roughly to $150 per month. However, there are some exceptions, and this formula doesn’t apply to all types of properties.
For example, you’ve bought an old piece of real estate property that hasn’t been maintained for years. For the first year, you might need to invest way more than just 1% of its total cost.
Why Hire a Property Manager vs Be a Landlord?
The Greatest Benefit to employing our Property Management Team at R&R is that we take all the guess work out of the equation for you. We not only have a strict schedule we stick to concerning inspections and maintenance but we also are available to our tenants 24 hour a day in case of emergency. No more late-night calls or emergencies when on vacation for our clients. We have our independent, licensed contractors investigate and resolve the issue within 24 hours if possible.