04 Oct Maintenance for Your Rental Property – Everything You Need to Know
Owning a rental property feels like it should be easy money looking at it from the outside: but it isn’t very easy and requires a large amount of time and money invested to work. So if you want to improve the value of your property, ensure that your tenants don’t skip out on rent and be able to increase the amount you charge for rent: here’s the maintenance that matters.
Check To Ensure The Property Is Safe
One of the most important things you should do is ensure the property is safe. This doesn’t just mean ensuring that the locks on windows and doors function well but also taking the time to watch out for cracked walkways, leaking ceilings, and basements that are prone to flooding.
Not only does an unsafe property leave you open to legal battles, but it also holds you back from being able to justify increasing rent and keeps the property value low. Tenants deserve and are legally owed safe residences when they rent from you; it’s important to provide that.
Is The Lawn Your Duty Or The Renter’s?
This is an age-old question that many aren’t sure about, and the answer is: it depends on the area. In most residential areas where it’s a single-family home, if there is somewhere to keep the lawn mower and lawn care supplies: it’s the tenant’s duty to maintain the lawn.
You can offer to maintain the lawn in these instances, but it should come with an increase in rent since this would be considered a perk.
In most duplexes, apartment complexes, and shared family housing, it’s up to you to maintain the lawn or hire someone who can. If you only have one property, this may be easier, but if you have multiples, you’ll either have to rotate which lawn gets done on which day: or hire a service who can do it for you. Hiring professionals ensures the property looks spotless without forcing you into the labor of mowing and maintaining the yard.
Should You Hire Property Management to Take Over?
There’s a lot of work that’s folded into managing your property. Maintaining it is a lot of work that could take an entire crew to accomplish. Unfortunately, this means that you may face a lot of difficulties having to do it yourself.
Instead, hiring a property manager to take over will allow you to spend your time enjoying the perks of a landlord instead of dealing with the constant work required to upkeep multiple properties. In addition, property managers can find discounts for you, research future tenants, ensure that current tenants pay rent, keep tabs on which apartments need maintenance, and can keep you up to date on any information you want.
Look To See If Your Property Needs Updates
Time ensures that all properties are eventually out of date and need updates. Although hiring a full home remodeler may seem like a lot to take on: a fully remodeled home can increase how much you can charge for rent by hundreds of dollars per month. This means that your property will pay for its renovations over time simply by the increased income from it.
A good kitchen remodeler will create the kitchen of the modern tenant’s dreams while holding tight to your budget so that you don’t spend too much money. It’s important to remember that this isn’t your home; this is an income property, so you should still try to budget and save money while you increase its value.
Another key feature many tenants care about is the bathrooms. If there is more than one bedroom: there should be at least two bathrooms. Investing in bathroom remodeling can turn a home into an oasis that allows for renters to fantasize about what their life could be like here. This fantasy will enable you to charge more as well.
The more updates you put into a property, the larger pool of interested renters you’ll have. More interested renters mean you can charge whatever you want without having to fear going too high.
Consider The Curb Appeal
Every real estate expert agrees: curb appeal can make or break your property’s value. Beyond just a mowed lawn or maintained shrubberies: the aesthetics of the outside of your property matter.
Consider putting in flower beds, installing a pool in a communal area if it’s multifamily housing, or adding flowering trees to frame the property. Of course, you should also invest time and money into painting the trim and exterior of the home.
If you can invest in the curb appeal, have amenities somewhere that prospective renters could see them, and make the space feel like a home: you’ll have no trouble winning back whatever profits you want.
Should You Always Be Available To Tenants?
Maintenance is an ongoing job that you’ll have to keep up with, either hiring workers or answering the calls yourself. This could mean a tenant calls in the middle of the afternoon because their fridge won’t work; or in the middle of the night because the unit above them is leaking brown water through the ceiling.
There should be two numbers that you make available to tenants. One is a non-emergency number (or maintenance portal to submit non-emergency inquiries) that will allow for them to call or text and alert you of minor inconveniences, like a window that’s cracked, and an emergency line for major emergencies like a fire. For the emergency number, ensure to include a message that tells them to call 911 in case of medical, dangerous, and fire emergencies first- and then contact you.
Maintaining The Property Should Never Outshine Your Profits
There’s nothing to make renting completely hands-off, but working at it can make it easier on you. If you’re nervous about taking on too much work at once and need help: calling 1836 Property Management can take this stress off of your shoulders. Instead of spending weekends and nights chasing down tenants’ concerns, you can relax and know that your income is still pouring in and increasing because of your awesome property management company.
Partner with a Pro
Let us help you mitigate your risk and maximize your experience and profit on your Austin, TX rental property. We look forward to partnering with you!
Call: 512-994-4323 ext. 210
By: Kayla Gonzales, 1836PM Marketing Manager