As a property manager, one of your biggest responsibilities is maintaining your rental property. With so many tenants coming in and out of your property over time, there are many things that you must keep your eyes on.
Rental property maintenance means you’ll need to make year-round visits to ensure the rental space is in tip-top shape for renters. While maintenance can be time-consuming and stressful, following specific rules, staying organized, and setting a clear budget can help you manage and maintain your rental property.
Here are some strategies for maintaining your rental units:
How To Properly Maintain Your Rental Property
At some point during your property manager tenure, you may come across common repair issues like water leaks, faulty HVAC systems, garbage disposals, plumbing, and more. With regular maintenance inspections, you can thwart these issues before they develop into worse problems.
There are specific items that can get checked regularly, whether it be once a week, month, or year. Remember, rental property maintenance isn’t solely about avoiding significant and costly repairs. It’s also about keeping the unit safe for your tenants.
Below, you’ll see a checklist of items that every property manager should be aware of:
- Look for water leaks or water damage.
- Investigate potential plumbing issues.
- Replace air filters every 3 months.
- Test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors annually.
- Clean the gutters.
- Re-caulk showers or bathtubs to avoid mould growth.
- Flush the water heater.
- Inspect the fire extinguishers.
- Tighten leaky faucets, loose doorknobs, etc.
- Remove or trim trees that can threaten power lines.
As you can see, these are just some issues in a long list of maintenance tasks. That’s why creating a rental property maintenance schedule can help you stay on top of things, whether problems with appliances, repainting/drywall replacements, carpet replacements, and more. All rental spaces go through general wear and tear, so professional property managers need to organize all maintenance projects.
Along with regular property maintenance services, you should perform routine inspections. There are generally four types of inspections that property managers can do, such as:
- Move-in Inspection: You can conduct a walk-through inspection before a tenant moves into your unit. During a move-in inspection, the tenant can identify concerns regarding the property, and the rental property manager can highlight the condition of the apartment, condo, or home.
- Move-out Inspection: When a tenant moves out, property managers can perform a walk-through and identify potential areas that tenants may have damaged. In addition, a rental property manager can use this time to address general wear-and-tear issues, maintenance repairs, and future expenses.
- Bi-annual/Quarterly Inspection: It’s paramount to follow through with bi-annual or quarterly inspections to stay abreast of potential maintenance repairs and issues. However, all rental property owners must notify their tenants before entering or visiting the property.
- Drive-by Inspection: Some rental property managers pass by their units to observe the exterior condition. Doing so can spot oncoming issues, such as loose shingles on the roof, busted windows, and more.
Rental Property Maintenance Expenses
Figuring out how much money to budget for rental property maintenance expenses can be difficult. Although, using the 1% rule can help, meaning 1% of the total property value should be set aside for costly repairs. Essentially, a property worth $300,000 would have a $3000 budget for maintenance expenses.
Keep in mind that other factors may change your overall budget, like the age of the property or the cost of living in the area. If that’s the case, try using the 50% rule, which includes using half of the rental property income for operating costs. Not only does that cover maintenance and repairs, but it can help with taxes, insurance, and more.
The Bottom Line
As you can see, managing a rental property is a lot of work. If you need help managing Winnipeg apartments, the professionals at Globe Property Management have you covered. Not only do we invest in properties, but we also ensure to exceed expectations in client satisfaction. Contact us to learn more about our services.