A rental property that is not well maintained can create a significant decrease in your property value. A clean, attractive and well-maintained property will attract potential tenants or keep existing tenants happy. The best way to ensure high-quality tenants, who rent long term and look after your property is to maintain it well.
Please see below tips for rental property maintenance.
Prevent bigger issues
Prevention should always be your priority and will save you time and money in the long term. It is recommended that landlords develop a preventive property management system and stick to it.
The more organised you are, the better. List down the areas that need maintenance and assign weekly or monthly inspections. Of course, the schedule will vary because one area will need more maintenance than another.
As a landlord, routine or regular visits to your property are important. This is your way to check if there are maintenance issues that require attention and catch small problems before they turn into major hassles. Your tenant has a right to privacy and you would need permission for access. You must always schedule visits at least 24 hours in advance. It is best to gauge the appropriate frequency of visits according to the tenant you have.
Here are some areas you can include in your maintenance list:
- Garden and landscape
- Water damage, plumbing leaks, cracked tiles and sealants around sinks and baths
- Pest control
- Gutters and roof
- Filter cleaning or replacement for ventilators, dehumidifier and air conditioner
- Inspect for holes, cracks, rotting wood and peeling paint
- Floors, walls, cabinets, loose handrails, faulty doors and window locks
- Condition of appliances
- Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
Establish and outline the responsibilities
When your tenant moves in, thoroughly discuss what responsibilities you and the tenants have when it comes to property maintenance. Tenants should handle minor issues and regular upkeep of areas such as taking out refuse and changing light bulbs. These responsibilities must be written in the contract.
Encourage your tenants to be honest and transparent with you in communicating maintenance issues and problems in a timely manner and always keep them in the loop during the process of solving these issues.
Keep a detailed record of the condition or state of your property
Before the tenant moves in and during your regular inspection visits, take photos or videos and have an independent inventory clerk to prepare the inventory and check in report and a check out report prepared by the inventory clerk when the tenant moves out.
Seek the help of professional contractors
Always use professional, reliable and knowledgeable contractors. We would not recommend landlords to tackle issues by themselves.
Keep track of your budget and spending
Keep a detailed and organised record of your maintenance costs, including all receipts and supporting documents. Some of these expenses and maintenance projects are deductible on your tax return or may be tax-deductible business expenses. It is best to consult and work closely with an accountant.
It is recommended that landlords use a property management agency as they would be better at confronting the tenants regarding issues, they would attend your property regularly and check for any maintenance issues or leaks, damage or inappropriate use of the property. Having a third party managing your property makes life smoother.