Being a landlord can be tough if you’ve got unruly tenants. Even if you somehow chance upon a great group of tenants, managing your properties can get rough, especially if you have quite a few. If you are a property manager, you probably have even more numbers than usual to take care of.
And what’s the number one hassle of being a landlord? Maintaining your properties.
Let’s take a look at common mistakes landlords make when it comes to maintenance, and how to avoid them.
1. Not performing any maintenance at all.
You’d be surprised to learn how many landlords simply don’t pay attention to their properties. When their tenants call them with legitimate concerns, they ignore them or don’t take any action. As you might guess, this doesn’t make you very popular with your tenants. You won’t have an occupied property for very long if you refuse to take care of basic repairs.
Instead, you should make sure that you occasionally make sure all of your properties are sufficiently maintained. Fixing a problem before it gets too large can save you a lot of money and anguish down the line.
2. Underestimating how much repairs will cost.
This is the second classic mistakes landlords make. Look, even if you’ve got a monthly maintenance budget and you regularly check things in your properties, there are some occasions when a situation goes south. When you come across such a situation, you will have to put in more money than usual to fix it.
If you’re smart, you will include a contingency fund for your property repairs in addition to your monthly maintenance costs. Granted, you may rarely, if ever, have to use the repair fund, but it’s handy to have in case you need it.
3. Ineffective supervision of the repair or maintenance project.
In a perfect world, we could all trust each other’s word and go about our lives unconcerned. But it isn’t a perfect world. If your client calls you up and tells you something is broken, don’t just send someone you know to fix it and send you the bill. It’s your property – go and look at what the problem is.
You may not be able to fix the problem yourself, but you should pay attention to what kind of repair work is happening. If you’ve got a lot of properties, contractors undertaking unnecessary repairs can burn a large hole in your wallet. Plus, if you visit the properties when you’re called with a complaint, you can check to see if anything else needs fixing.
4. Misunderstanding the cause of the problem.
Some maintenance and repair tasks can be attributed to general wear and tear. Father Time is an unforgiving God, and we must all submit to his will. However, if your tenants smash their frying pan into the living room wall in a fit of rage, you shouldn’t be paying for repairs!
Assess the cause of the problem meticulously when you are contacted. If it is something that has been caused by the abnormal behavior of your renter, let them know that you won’t be paying for it. Sure, you want to make sure that the basic amenities are looked after, but you aren’t responsible for the eccentricities of the people who stay in your property.
So, maintaining your properties as a landlord or property manager isn’t the most fun task in the world, but it is part of the job. When one of these requests inevitably pops up, make sure you’ve done the groundwork so you can save yourself money and unnecessary stress.