For most landlords, the main challenge of owning rental property is the added stress that comes with managing their time and attending to all the responsibilities. It can be difficult to find the time to do necessary maintenance when you’re juggling a full-time job, meeting deadlines, and other personal commitments.
Here are nine essential tips that can help you maintain your rental property without suffering too much trouble. These should enable you to optimize your property’s condition, balance your workload, and save time so you may complete the essentials.
Even if you’re a one-person show and don’t have time for extensive record-keeping, you should maintain several items in writing. Keep a detailed log of everything you do on your rental property, from maintenance activities to dates of supply purchases and any repairs.
In addition to these records, make sure you keep a copy of your rental contract handy. Take pictures of the unit’s interior and any issues that require immediate attention, such as cracked tiles or issues with your appliances.
Also, make sure you have current pictures of each item in the unit so you can document any new problems that may occur.
Pay attention to your property’s needs
Being an investor means you’re responsible for keeping the property aesthetically pleasing, safe, and secure. Regularly cleaning and maintaining the premises are two of the most important things you can do to prevent hazards and other problems from cropping up.
Keep your property’s structural issues under control
Don’t wait until it’s too late if you suspect something needs fixing. It would be best never to assume your rental property is in perfect condition.
Check the foundation regularly to make sure everything is sound. If you see any potential issues, address them immediately. If you live far away and you’re informed of a potential problem, call a maintenance firm directly and have them address it as soon as possible.
Track your maintenance costs regularly
It’s essential to keep track of your maintenance expenses. This will help you budget for any necessary repairs and, in turn, make sure you stay on top of all the little things that have to be addressed.
If you perceive that your maintenance needs are becoming too expensive, try to identify potential cost-cutting measures, such as replacement of old appliances or fixing up the structure without having to spend a lot of money.
There are various types of rental property insurance to choose from, but the right one will mainly depend on what type of rental property you own. You might need insurance for:
- Hazards such as sewer backups and fire
- Lost rental income
- Liability insurance to protect you from incidents like slips and falls on your property
Although you should purchase insurance to cover your property, you should also consider asking your tenants to carry renters’ insurance.
Maximize your property’s potential
If you do not want to perform any significant maintenance in the future, that’s fine. But at the same time, you should make sure your unit is ready to handle all the things your tenants are going to throw at it.
You can do this by ensuring there’s enough room for kids of all ages to play safely. If your tenant has pets and tends to let them run free around the property, make sure there’s enough space for them too.
Start planning in advance
As an investor, you have so much on your plate to handle. This is why you should plan for potential events in advance.
Start working on what needs attention before getting deterred by other concerns. Not only will this make everything easier for your tenants and any property management professionals you hire, but it will also lower the odds that something will go wrong.
Find a maintenance company that specializes in your rental property’s needs
Plenty of firms can take care of maintenance tasks for you, whether roofing repairs, plumbing, or more extensive projects such as landscaping and interior design. But finding the right company to work with can be difficult.
The business you select should be professional and have access to the necessary construction materials and repair equipment. Most important, they should provide quality services that protect your property.
The best way to find the right maintenance company is by asking your friends or family for recommendations. Other good sources of information are the Better Business Bureau, online reviews, and even your Houston property management team.
Make sure your tenants do their part
Nothing is more frustrating than rushing to the property to fix something, and learning the tenant hasn’t done anything when he or she might have. This can be attributable to various factors, but it’s still irritating.
As you take care of your rental, it’s worthwhile to make sure your tenants do their part as well. It may be time for you to step in and level the playing field if they aren’t contributing.
Communicate with your tenants
The relationship between property owners and their tenants can be tricky. Even when your renters seem like friendly people, these people aren’t your friends.
In most cases, they’re looking out for their needs only. That’s what makes it necessary to communicate with them regularly about every important development with regard to your property.
Keeping in active touch will help you stay on top of matters and hold your tenants accountable for any damage or problems with your property when you focus on the other aspects of the business. Working with a good property management company is crucial, because they can streamline communication between you and tenants.
The tips in this article should serve as a guideline for maintaining your rental property when you’re too busy to accomplish everything on your own. Just make sure you don’t make yourself so busy you forget about doing the necessary maintenance on your own residence.
These tactics will pay off in the end, as long as you have enough maintenance knowledge to ensure that everything’s taken care of and ready for the next tenant.
Story by Darren Wilson