Whether your home is owner or renter occupied, no one likes to deal with maintenance. It is expensive, inconvenient, and sometimes turns out to be more than you bargained for. If you are a landlord to a rental property, you know that when you take proper care of the property, your tenants do too. When a tenant sees that a property owner respects his house, they are more likely to stay long term and pay the rent on time. Auburn property management company, Real Property Management Select, wants to remove the stress and panic that property owners feel when a maintenance call comes in from a tenant. By following these five simple steps, you are sure to keep your maintenance costs affordable and at bay.
Conduct Maintenance and Repairs During The Turnover Phase
No matter how well your tenants take care of the property, things wear out and break. The easiest time to complete maintenance and repairs needed on a property is when it is vacant. As soon as a tenant moves out and returns keys, landlords should enter the property and conduct a property inspection. Auburn property management firms have long checklists of items to inspect during a vacancy including:
- Appliances, turn them on and off and make sure they are in proper working order. This includes the garbage disposal
- Replace filters on air conditioning, heating, and range hood units
- Test all window locks and blinds
- Rekey the front door and reset garage codes, if needed
- Check tubs and showers for reglazing or caulking repairs
- Inspect countertops, bath and kitchen, for cosmetic appearance
- Inspect flooring, including carpet and pad, tile, wood, vinyl, and all flooring surfaces
- Check for holes and scuff marks on the walls and repaint the entire wall, instead of doing a touch up. Touch ups rarely match.
- Check walls and bathrooms for signs of leaks, mold or mildew growth
- Inspect medicine cabinets and kitchens cabinets for proper functioning and damage
- Inspect the landscape and sprinkler systems. Plant new vegetation as needed, remove weeds, and tidy up the curb appeal
- Remove any debris left behind by the previous tenant
Auburn property management teams work quickly to make a list of repairs and schedule proper vendors. Making repairs to the property while it is empty helps you to rent it more quickly because everything is turn key for showings, gets you a higher rental price, and prevents inconveniencing a tenant while the property is occupied.
Budget for Maintenance
Plan head for maintenance. Set aside one to two month’s rent per year to allow for maintenance. At the start of the calendar year, think about any appliances that you expect will need to be replaced or repairs that you want to do to the property. Auburn property management firms use the following information as a guide to know how long each appliance should last, on average. For a full list of appliances that their life expectancy, click here.
- Refrigerator: 14 years
- Stove: 19 years for gas, 16 for electric
- Microwave: 8 years
- Dishwasher: 12 years
- Garbage disposal: 13 years
- Washing machine: 12 years
- Dryer: 13 for gas, 14 for electric
Think about major repairs or updates that need to be done on the property as well. This includes roofing repairs, garage repairs, stucco, sheetrock, countertops, flooring, cabinetry and much more.
An easy way to stay ahead of expensive maintenance costs is to be proactive. Take the opportunity to conduct seasonal maintenance and to check your property through routine inspections. You can catch problems when they are still minor, before they turn into big, expensive repairs. Auburn property management professionals use the following checklist for seasonal maintenance:
- Prune trees and shrubs
- Clear rain gutters and downspouts of debris
- Make exterior repairs
- Check seals and weather strips on windows and doors
- Seal gaps where rodents can enter an attic or crawl space from outside
- Check railings on all stairways
- Turn off hose bibbs/valves and store hoses
- Clean out dryer vents
- Replace filters on the furnace
- Clean the chimney
- As always, test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
- Prune trees and shrubs
- Replace air conditioning filters
- Clean and inspect windows and screens for damage and proper installation
- Inspect for signs of leaks or moisture
- Check wooden decks and stairs for signs of rott or restain the surfaces
- Turn on sprinklers and inspect sprinkler heads and adjust to prevent overspray
- As always, test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
Auburn property management maintenance costs do not have to break the bank. Keep them affordable by following the steps listed above. Spending a little money now will save you from spending hundreds or even thousands in the future.
Make Yourself Available and Respond Quickly
Property management is an on-call, 24/7 type of job. You never know when a maintenance emergency will happen and you will have to spring into action. Keep your phone with you and turned on at all times. Hopefully a maintenance emergency call does not come through at 3:30 AM, but if it is a true maintenance emergency, you will be grateful you took the call. Responding to maintenance promptly limits the damage and cost to make the repairs. Auburn property management experts know that when a tenant receives first class customer service for maintenance, they are more willing to stay long term, care for the property as if it was his or her own, and pay rent in full and on time.
Preferred Pricing with Auburn Property Management’s Select
When property owners choose Select, they get access to our preferred member pricing from our top rated vendors. Save money on maintenance by choosing Select as your professional Auburn property management company. Call us today.