Taking care of maintenance and repairs efficiently is essential to retaining high quality tenants. You need to know what repairs are your responsibilities. Systems within the property are an owner’s responsibility unless the tenant has done something malicious or something to shorten its life. When something goes wrong, do the repairs quickly. Nothing makes your good tenants want to leave more than having to live with problems that don’t seem to be of interest to the owner.
Doing Work Yourself vs. Hiring Others
Many rental property owners ask if they should do the work themselves or hire a contractor. If you have the skill to do the work and you can deliver high quality results, the option is available. But never let your investment become a millstone. So many people sell their properties because they don’t want the problems or they get tired of the maintenance. Those problems can be solved by others.
Repair Costs vs. Value
If you do the work yourself or with others, watch your costs but don’t be cheap. Sometimes the low bid or the cheapest thing is not the best business decision. I was at a meeting where a carpet contractor was talking about what happens to the cheap carpets. They crush in the high traffic areas and need to be replaced after each tenant. They might be cheaper, but if you invest in nylon carpet it will last four to six years, so you extend your replacement cycle and lessen your costs. It ends up being a better bargain even if you had to spend a little more.
Build a vendor relationship. Look for small contractors who can do all the things you can’t or don’t want to do. they will give you a break in price or give you better service knowing that they are dealing with your own home and your rental property. This builds a relationship that makes things less expensive and easier on you.
Maintenance can be burdensome. But you need to jump on every kind of maintenance. Do not be the landlord who thinks he has a great tenant because the tenant never calls for repairs. After that tenant moves out, you may find you’ve had a water leak for four years and now you have to replace the cabinetry under a sink. Take good care of your property. It’s a great investment and will serve you in the long term if it’s well cared for.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us at Aborn Properties if you have any questions or need some help with maintenance.