There are 20 million rental properties in the US. All of them take a bigger beating than single-family residential homes.
Being a property investor can be difficult work, especially when you're renting yours out. It's a great way to make money, but it's also stressful to see your property undergo the wear and tear that most rentals do.
A good property maintenance routine will curb some of the costs associated with owning a rental. It's also important to know what not to do, so today, we're going to look at some of the biggest mistakes with maintaining rental properties.
Whether you're new at this or a veteran landlord, keep reading and we'll make sure that your property maintenance tactics actually work.
1. Neglecting Regular Property Inspections
The move-in/move-out inspection is one of the hallmarks of a property maintenance routine. Looking at the state of your property before a tenant moves in and when they move out tells you how responsible a tenant has been.
If there are issues with a property, you'll find them during an inspection. From there, you can deal with them accordingly. Also, if the tenant causes rental property damage, you can take the cost of repairs out of their damage deposit.
2. Attempting DIY
A frugal landlord might be tempted to do as much property maintenance as possible on their own. Even if you're particularly handy, it's a good idea to hire other people to handle property maintenance. This becomes more true as you purchase more property.
As mentioned, the wear and tear on rentals can be significant. You need a professional looking after your properties if they're going to keep paying dividends for the long haul.
3. Ignoring Small Problems
It's easy to ignore small issues, but every neglected small issue tends to become a much bigger issue. Your best bet is to tackle each issue as it comes up.
Ignoring maintenance requests is also a great way to alienate your tenants and end up with high vacancy rates. Tenant retention is an important part of making money as a landlord.
4. Letting Tenants Do Maintenance
You may have great tenants that offer to do maintenance on your properties. Even when this is coming from a genuine place, you shouldn't allow it because it just complicates your landlord-tenant arrangement. Encourage them to report maintenance requests, then hire someone to handle them.
5. Not Giving Notice
Whether your tenant put in a maintenance request or you need to do a routine inspection, you need to give tenants notice. If you don't, you may be in breach of Chicago's landlord-tenant laws. You should only enter without notice in the event of an emergency.
6. Being Disorganized
You can stay on top of property maintenance with a little bit of organization. Staying organized is especially important when you have multiple properties because each one has things that need routine maintenance.
Setting a schedule for HVAC maintenance or landscaping makes it easy to know what you have to do and when. It'll also keep your tenants abreast of when you need access to the property to perform maintenance.
Many Mistakes With Maintaining Rental Properties
There are many mistakes with maintaining rental properties, but you don't have to be the landlord that makes them. If you want to maximize your investment and keep property maintenance costs down, your best bet is to hire a property manager.
At GC Realty & Development, we're a full-service property manager operating in Chicago and the surrounding areas. We can help you with everything from cleaning rental properties and doing maintenance to finding tenants and collecting rent. Contact us today to find out how we can help you with your rental property.
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