As a rental property owner or manager, you know there are a number of costs you must bear the brunt of. It could an air conditioner that stops blowing cold, a water heater that goes out in the middle of the night. For the most part, the only costs associated with items like this are routine maintenance in nature. However, if you don’t invest the time and money in routine maintenance, you could find yourself paying the cost of replacement.
Just Like Your Car
Your car needs routine maintenance like oil changes, new tires, a tune-up, or new brakes. If you choose to defer this kind of routine car, the wear and tear can reach the point where your car could just as easily leave you sitting on the side of the road. This same situation could just as easily be applied to your rental property, it is your job to keep up the routine maintenance or face the consequences.
When you allow your property to go unmaintained, your tenants could simply stop paying their rent, which can cost you more than the price of upkeep. This is the least of your problems, what are you going to do if one of your tenants or their guests is injured due to the condition of the property. If this happens, you could be caught up in a costly lawsuit.
Consider these three very important areas of routine maintenance:
Doors, Roof, Windows
If you allow any of these parts of your home to become dilapidated, you run the risk of water intrusion when it rains. In time, the influx of water can cause significant physical damage to the property or lead to the formation of mold that could potentially result in very expensive repairs or a home that is unlivable.
CO2 and Smoke Detectors
While you are legally bound to ensure each of your rental properties has working detectors before a tenant moves in, how often do you check them to see if they are working? “But, that’s my tenant’s job!” True, most landlords expect their tenants to test their detectors, replace the batteries, and contact them if they stop working. But, are you willing to risk your property and the lives of your tenants to the very people they are there to protect? Why not give your tenants extra batteries and send out regular reminders to check their detectors for functionality?
Electrical and Plumbing Systems
These are the two most common problem areas in the average rental home. A water leak that goes undetected for an extended period can lead to thousands of dollars in damages that could have been avoided by routinely checking the plumbing system in your rentals and getting to any problems reported by your tenant immediately.
Your tenants will continue to use an unsafe electrical system until something breaks or your home burns down, they don’t seem to care or know better. If you continue to defer much-needed maintenance to the electrical system and the house burns down, your insurance company may decide not to pay due to a lack of proper maintenance.
As you can see, if you have been putting off simple routine maintenance, you are in essence saying that you don’t mind saving a little now to pay a lot more later. This is not good economic nor business sense. Save yourself aggravation and money by keeping your rental homes maintained in a timely and proper manner.