One thing you need to plan for as a landlord is how to handle the maintenance costs in your rental home, and what kind of longevity to expect from your appliances. We were recently talking about maintenance to one of our new property owners and he said his house is about 10 years old, so he didn’t think he would have any maintenance problems or costs. I heard the property manager laugh and that is because most new houses have builder appliances. Builder appliances are things that look good in order to sell the property, but usually only last for about 10 years. So, if there is actually one year in particular that a house has the most need for systems maintenance, it is that house’s 10th birthday. Usually, all the appliances go in together and they have about a 10 year life cycle before they need work.

No matter how old your property is, you have to budget for repairs. Talk to your property manager about what to expect. If you are managing your property on your own, make sure you put aside a percentage of the monthly rental income to cover potential repairs and replacements.

Remember that good tenants really appreciate quick repairs. If the repair is something you are responsible for and it really needs to be done, don’t delay in getting it taken care of. You are going to have to pay for it anyway, so you might as well do it immediately, to give yourself the credit from your tenant for being a responsive landlord. It’s irritating to have to live without a dishwasher for three weeks because your brother-in-law is looking for parts, for example.

Also important is the cultivation of vendor relationships. You want to have a pool of great vendors who will work quickly and reasonably for you. Don’t just choose someone to do the work because it happens to be the lowest bid. That never works out. Look for a vendor who has great references and will do high quality work quickly. When you develop a relationship with your vendors, you will get all the attention you need from them, and you will find yourself being able to manage the necessary repairs quickly and comfortably.

If you have any questions on maintenance costs or property management, please get in contact with us at Aborn Properties.