Rental property maintenance is something you will deal with if you own rental property. If you own your own home then you really should be used to performing maintenance, as you should be doing so on your personal residence. The difference is you can perform maintenance on your own residence to your satisfaction and timelines, but with a rental property there is a second party to consider. And how does the cost of the maintenance affect your investment profitability?
While the hope is that most rental relationships are honest and mutually beneficial, it is still a relationship where each side has their own wants and needs. You want to receive payment on time and spend as little as possible on the home (less expenses = more profit). The tenant wants everything in the property work and perform as expected for the rent paid. When it doesn’t, they they won't care what it costs to "make things right.” Thus, property maintenance can be the key to a good rental relationship.
Scheduling maintenance throughout the year helps you balance the expenses with incoming rental payments to keep a positive cash flow. By understanding the impending costs, you can set aside a certain amount from each month’s rental payment to cover them. It also allows you to inform the tenant about maintenance crews being at the property.
While having a solid maintenance plan is a great first step, your property will require maintenance that is unexpected. In these cases, you will need to come up with the cash to cover the charges. It's not a matter of if this will happen, but rather when it will happen. Typically you would want to set aside 1 - 3% of the property value for maintenance. So setting aside an additional 1% will help with unexpected costs. Over time you will have a better understanding of what needs to be set aside.
While much of the property maintenance will be planned, you need to implement a process for your tenant to request maintenance. This will ensure your tenant knows what to do if maintenance is required, allows you to record maintenance items outside of the norm, and track where you are in resolving the issue. The historical information recorded will help you budget for maintenance and repairs down the road. It also will provide a level of comfort to your tenant.
There are two huge reasons why you should resolve maintenance and repair issues immediately. First, you owe a duty to your tenant to provide a safe and comfortable place to live. Secondly, you want to prevent any further damage by resolving the issue ASAP. There is also a psychological effect. If your tenant sees that you care about the property, they will be more likely to treat the property well.
When an issue is reported do your best to resolve it within 24 hours. If it will take longer, be sure to communicate to your tenant what you have done and why it will take a little longer to fix the issue.
Handling rental property maintenance issues can be one of the most challenging aspects of being a property investor and landlord. As in most cases, communication is the key to keeping maintenance issues as a minor issue rather than escalating to a larger one. Having a plan and process in place will ensure that when something does go wrong, there is a path to get things back on track.
GSR Property Manager assists property owners in maximizing revenue potential while minimizing the hassles in managing their properties. There are a lot of factors that go into making a property a successful investment and we put our experience to work for you. Call us at 404-254-4502 or complete our Fast Form to learn more about our services.