Landlords need to keep their rental units in pristine condition. The common belief is that landlords need to spend half their rental income on repairs, which seriously dips into their overall profits. Roof repair and air conditioning repair are expensive, but there is a better way to deal with expensive rental repairs.
Many landlords spend more than they should because they do not properly maintain their units. However, there is a way to avoid common household repairs, and knowing what to do can greatly help your bottom line.
Repairing the foundation of a property can cost anywhere between $250 and $12,000, according to Angie’s List. Depending on the size of your rental property, it can even escalate to $40,000. It is unsafe for people to reside in the building until the foundation is fixed.
Inspecting the foundation, basement and crawlspace regularly to identify issues before they escalate is the best course action. Some of the warning signs of foundation damage include warped ceilings, sloping foundation and cracked walls. Landlords can save money by addressing the issue promptly.
HVAC Unit Replacement
HVAC units last between 15 and 25 years. A properly working heating and cooling unit in the rental property is one of the things that keep tenants comfortable all year long. It can be a major selling point when you need to rent it out. Unfortunately, replacing the unit will generally cost thousands of dollars.
The longevity of an HVAC system can be extended by having a professional from an AC service company inspect it regularly. Scheduling an AC/heating tune up once every six months is ideal. In addition, the air filter should be replaced once every couple of months to keep clean air flowing effortlessly through the unit.
Sewer Pipe Damage
A rental building can have serious drainage issues if tree roots make their way into the sewer pipes. Water and sewage can flow back into the home through the drains, creating a significant health hazard. Tenants may need to evacuate the unit until the landlord fixes it. To keep tree roots out of the sewer votes, landlords should hire a plumbing contractor to inspect the drains at least once annually. These plumbing professionals can clear the building’s sewer line to ensure water continues flowing freely.
Water Heater Repair
Tenants appreciate water heaters to take warm showers. However, they also rely on warm water for safety reasons. Warm water allows laundry systems to operate efficiently. Over time, water heaters will develop leaks or corrosion.
As the landlord, you need to inspect the pressure release valve every year to prevent the heater from exploding. Mineral deposits can build up in the heater, and this leads to the unit corroding sooner than expected. You can avoid this by flushing the water heater regularly.
Mold is a substantial problem. It requires moisture and stagnant air to develop. A rental unit can develop mold in 24 hours. Breathing in mold spores can lead to wheezing, eye irritation, nasal stuffiness and throat irritation. It is especially problematic to people who already have respiratory issues.
Landlords can avoid mold by cleaning up leaks as soon as possible. It is vital to circulate air throughout the affected room. Landlords can also install mold-resistant products, such as using paint with mold inhibitors. A dehumidifier in dark areas can be a tremendous help within the basement.
Roof leaks are a major problem and can cost you upwards of $10,000. It is also vital to keep an eye on the building’s gutters to ensure they do not clog. Water can wash up on the roof resulting in damaged shingles. Over time, you will need to install a brand, new roof.
You should hire a roofer once a year to inspect your roof. You do not want to risk your own safety by getting high up on a roof by yourself. When your roofer tells you there is a small problem, like a few missing shingles, you need to address it immediately. This minor problem can quickly escalate.
One of the most destructive forces any home can encounter is termites. These pests will damage wooden structures, which can lead to structural problems within the home. Some termite colonies have been known to cause roofs to collapse or floors to buckle.
When your tenant tells you there is any pest problem, you need to fix it right away. This is particularly the case if you own a multi-unit building where the bug can spread rapidly. Hire an exterminator posthaste to tent the building to eliminate the bugs.
Tenants may not go into the basement too often. As a result, pipes can leak and go unnoticed for weeks or even months without the tenant saying anything. This can soon lead to mold growth. Additionally, basements can flood after a storm if water seeps into the room.
The best way landlords can prevent this from happening is by waterproofing your basement. If the basement comes with a window, then you need to adequately seal the opening so that water cannot get inside. Any time you visit the property, you should inspect the basement to see what is going on.
Faulty or Loose Electrical Wiring
No property is safe with faulty wiring. It is a significant fire hazard, and your tenants are in danger until you repair it. Failing to repair a minor issue could result in the landlord needing to spend a lot of money to replace all of the wiring inside a building.
Since this work is dangerous, landlords should hire professional electricians. The professionals will look at electrical fixtures, outlets and wiring to see where the problem lays. You should hire an electrician once a year to go through the rental property to ensure everything works properly.
Many landlords make the mistake of waiting to repair a rental issue until there is a substantial problem with it before doing anything about it. Instead, landlords need to maintain their rental properties so they can keep tenants happy and be able to save more money on expensive repairs. Knowing which AC service company to call when HVAC issues and other problems arise is ideal. Before hiring any contractor, make sure to read their online reviews.
Victoria Sanders is the communications director and senior writer at Reimer Home Services, a professional home repair and HVAC company servicing Western New York. Victoria has been working within the home repair industry for almost 15 years and enjoys sharing helpful tips with others.
Mariia serves as editor-in-chief and writer for the Rentberry and Landlord Tips blogs. She covers topics such as landlord-tenant laws, tips and advice for renters, investment opportunities in various cities, and more. She holds a master’s degree in strategic management, and you can find her articles in such publications as Yahoo! Finance, Forbes, Benzinga, and RealEstateAgent.