Even experienced landlords and rental property investors can make mistakes in the leasing and management of their properties. Unfortunately, some of those mistakes are expensive and can lead to larger issues throughout a lease term.
Avoiding common errors and protecting yourself from the risk and liability that comes with those mistakes is one of the best reasons to work with a professional property manager.
We’re talking about the most expensive landlord mistakes that we see, and there’s one in particular that stands out. One of the most expensive mistakes a landlord can make is to defer maintenance on their rental home.
Routine Maintenance on Rental Homes
Ongoing maintenance is always going to be tremendously important to the integrity of a home. Your rental property may be very new or extremely well-maintained. You’re still going to need that routine maintenance from time to time.
At Sarasota Management & Leasing, we have had the opportunity to manage so many homes, and this experience has allowed us to become experts in how to maintain a property and protect its condition.
Deferring maintenance may seem like a good idea at the moment, especially if you’re concerned with spending money, but in the long run, deferred maintenance never actually saves the owner money. In fact, it typically costs more.
Tenants Can Take Care of Minor Repairs
When a tenant reports an issue, we coach them to resolve the issue if it’s something simple, and taking care of it themselves is an option. For example, if an air conditioning unit is reported to not be working, we ask them to please check the breaker, the thermostat batteries, the filter, and the drain pain. Often, one of these things will quickly resolve the issue. This saves the owner money and also alleviates a lot of frustration on the tenant’s part. They won’t have to schedule their day around meeting a vendor at the home.
We never want a tenant to repair something that is broken, but coaching them through a minor maintenance issue benefits everyone.
Working with Vendors and Contractors
A simple fix like the one we discussed is one thing. But you also need to have a reliable, efficient HVAC system so the air conditioning runs when it needs to. You’ll want to pay attention to preventative and seasonal maintenance. We have vendors who provide great year-round services to the homes we manage, and they provide our owners with great discounts based on the amount of business we give them. Any savings we receive are always passed on to our owners.
Additional Maintenance Mistakes
We’ve found there are a few other areas that are pretty common for owners to make mistakes. Some of the maintenance that tends to get deferred includes:
- Exterior power washing
- Exterior painting
- Landscaping, especially trees, bushes, and mulching
These smaller issues may seem unimportant, but in the end, they add up if they’re left unattended. Don’t make the expensive mistake of avoiding or deferring maintenance.
Keeping up with your rental home maintenance up saves money in the long run and it attracts reliable, long-term tenants who will help you take care of the home.
If you have any questions about maintenance or how we can help you keep your repair costs down, please contact us at Sarasota Management & Leasing.