Property Management Tips: Staying Ahead of Maintenance

By E-Renter Tenant Screening
Posted on July 16, 2010 under Landlord Tips | icon: commentBe the First to Comment

inexpensive-light-fixture2Whole volumes could be written about the difference between “damage” and “wear and tear;” but every landlord knows that tenants can be hard on a rental property. Most landlords have walked into a rental unit for a move-out inspection and been shocked at the damage they discover.

Don’t fall into the habit of performing all damage repairs and maintenance when you’re between tenants. Granted, that’s the best time to clean carpets, repair floors, and replace appliances. But it’s too easy to feel pressured if your tenant is anxious to move in. That’s when small problems and repairs will be neglected.

Conducting periodic inspections and continually maintaining your rental property is the only way to stay ahead of the game—and protect its value. The old adage, “a stitch in time saves nine,” has never been so true. Repair expenses just keep rising; between labor costs and materials, you’re definitely going to be better off fixing a problem while it’s small.

Keep these repair supplies in your vehicle to take care of issues while they’re manageable:

  • Hinges and latches (standard sizes and colors for all your rental unit will make this easier)
  • Paint and brushes or shoe-polish-like applicators
  • Floor scratch cover
  • Rhino Glue
  • Duct Tap
  • Spackle
  • Extra linoleum tiles
  • Basic tools
  • Garbage Bags

During periodic inspections, do a quick check on window locks and frames, door knobs, locks, hinges and frames, woodwork and trim, and cabinet doors. Tighten any that need it. Look up at the ceiling and inside kitchen and bathroom cabinets for signs of water damage. Listen to the toilet to see if it’s running. Drips and leaking toilets are easily repaired, and if caught early, can prevent serious damage later. See to scuffs and chips on walls and cover with a bit of paint.

If you have a great handyman you can call on for jobs that are above your skill level, great! If not, you should develop a relationship with one. Ask around your network for recommendations. Electricians and plumbers specializing in quick response or small jobs are also valuable to have in your contact list. You never know when you’ll need any of these pros.

By keeping on top of rental property maintenance, you’re doing yourself a big favor when you’re pressed for time between tenants—and you could be preventing the headaches and repair bills that come from neglecting rental property.

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