By Mariia Kislitsyna Updated on February 17, 2022
Being a landlord may be a challenging undertaking. Once you’ve decided to turn your house into business, chose a property to invest in, and rent it out, there’s still a lot ahead of you. For example, you’d have to get the house ready, going through the full checklist for home maintenance to provide your tenants with the proper living conditions, take care of taxes, and get acquainted with the local landlord legislation.
One more trouble you can face as a landlord is dealing with maintenance. Landlords’ legal obligations include taking care of routine repairs, keeping the property in habitable condition, paying utility bills, etc.
Since you can’t constantly monitor conditions in your rental and don’t have 100% control over them, you will need to resolve the maintenance issues that occur due to amortization or improper housekeeping from time to time.
Here are the most common problems you can face dealing with the rental property:
The least damage these issues can do is increasing your water bill, but things can get more serious when your neighbor’s property downstairs is flooded or you need to replace all the supply lines due to corrosion.
There can be plenty of troubles caused by clogging, from unpleasant odors and poor drainage to water contamination. If the water comes out, it might damage walls or even ruin the house foundation resulting in emergency situations that would be devastating to your budget.
Apart from causing inconvenience to your tenants, malfunctions of HVAC systems can add to your energy bills. Also, if you are using gas heating, there’s a risk of carbon monoxide leakages that can lead to poisoning.
Due to excessive humidity and improper ventilation, it’s possible to see mold growing on walls. Despite being a health hazard provoking asthma and other allergic reactions, it may be hard to get rid of once it started spreading. Thus, making your property less attractive for your future tenants.
This one is better to be addressed in the early stages, as regular leaks can damage the house construction, including the attic area and ceilings. Replacing or fixing the roof elements is the most pricey compared to the previously listed issues, so it’s better to find and prevent leakage before the consequences become serious.
Unfortunately, it’s quite common for a rental house to сrawl with insects like cockroaches, ants, and ticks that can be really annoying for your tenants or rodents that use their teeth on everything they could, damaging furniture and wires. Moreover, it becomes harder to get rid of these creatures, if the infestation already happened. Thus, regular extermination, even if there are no bugs in sight, is a must.
These common issues reduce the attractiveness of the property to the current and prospective tenants at once. Besides that, it can become a real headache for the landlord, as bringing your property back to normal takes a considerable amount of time and money. However, it’s possible to minimize the negative effects of the most common maintenance problems. Here’s what you can do to turn renting out into a less tiresome process:
First of all, keep the checklist of regular maintenance work. This will help you to keep track when checking all the critical items and not miss anything out. Making a list, you should include air conditioning, heating, and water systems checks, replacing HVAC filters, shower and sink caulking, gutters cleaning, and so on.
Apart from standard moving in/out inspections, don’t forget to agree on the visits while your tenants’ lease is still in place. This way, you will be able to ensure proper home conditions and notice if something requires repair before it becomes critical. Apart from the indoor check, don’t forget to keep an eye on the landscaping, trim trees, and regularly cut dead branches. It’s especially valid for wintertime as due to the unexpected weather conditions, weak trees can fall and cause house damages and injuries to your tenants or neighbors.
If the household appliances items like fridge, microwave, dishwasher, and others are included in the rent, make sure they are functioning properly. It is not compulsory to install them, and many landlords prefer to rent empty spaces, though these little details increase the attractiveness of your property for the first-time tenants.
According to the unspoken landlord rules, 1% of the property price should be dedicated to annual maintenance. It will help you to avoid any force majeure connected with unplanned repair costs. Note that the maintenance expenses can reach up to 5% for an older property depending on its сondition.
While it’s not mandatory to insure a property, it’s highly recommended to do so to protect yourself from unpleasant situations. Spend some time researching the best companies and plans for landlord insurance that can cover risks like property damages, emergency maintenance, and lost rent coverage.
If you have more than one property, it’s easy to sink into the complaints and spend all your time solving them. You can delegate this work to a property manager and make sure your house and your tenants are in good hands. Collaborating with the rental agency often includes maintaining your property even when it’s empty and awaits the new tenants.
Obviously, there’s no way to avoid renovation, repairs, and other maintenance works as properties require proper сare due to amortization. So make sure to take the maintenance fees into account when deciding on the rent price.
Following these tips will give you extra peace of mind, so you can forget about stressing out over urgent night calls, save a ton of time and energy on emergency repairs, and enjoy more pleasant landlord responsibilities such as generating passive income.
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.