Just like buying a new car, you are excited at the possibilities and rewards that you will get with ownership. Unfortunately, just like a new car, someday you’ll have to pay for maintenance and upkeep – it is simply a part of managing property, but there are many things you can do to prepare. Try these rental maintenance ideas and you’ll find it much easier.
Start your maintenance fund now. A good start would be to save enough money for major roof repairs. Hopefully, you won’t need it for that, but you’ll need it for other repairs anyway. You might need to replace a major appliance or have trees that need to be removed for safety purposes.
You should do a monthly inspection of your rental property. Go through the entire house inside and outside and take detailed notes of damage that you need to repair, or damage that the tenant might be responsible for.
Remember that anything you do to improve the property will help the resale value later, so don’t put off repairs. They’ll get more expensive later on, and you might avert a major catastrophe.
The repairs and maintenance costs for your rental property are tax deductible, so be sure to keep good records. If you have major expenses, you might be able to depreciate those costs over several years. We suggest that you have a software program that can log your work orders, expenses, and then export to your accountant at the end of the year.
Your relationship with your tenant is very important in maintaining your property. Tenants are often willing to help with maintenance or repairs to keep their home looking nice and maybe save some on the rent, so work with them on providing materials in exchange for repairs.
Lastly, don’t think you can do it all by yourself. Use an expert to evaluate the property, looking for slab cracks, termites, bad wiring and other potentially disastrous problems. If you are good with tools you can realize substantial savings, but if you need training, you can take advantage of free clinics at the local Home Depot or Lowe’s. In these job specific lessons, you can learn to repair door frames, install a new toilet and replace the flooring in the kitchen.
We hope you have a property that requires little maintenance and few repairs, but that is probably pie in the sky. However, if you do your prepare ahead of time, you’ll save money and have a sense of pride and accomplishment in your rental property.