In a rental property, both the landlord and tenants alike have a part to play in its maintenance. A landlord is obligated to perform routine inspections, cater to the communal areas, and conduct prompt repairs when necessary.
Whereas tenants need to report any repair issues and allow the landlord to inspect their premises at the agreed upon date and time.
We at Cressman Realty and Property Management believe regular maintenance is an important part of any real estate investment. So, we put together this article to help landlords understand what they should do to maintain their properties effectively while still attracting quality tenants.
Conduct Routine Inspections
Conducting thorough property inspections is one of the most important parts of the maintenance process. Inspecting the premises can help you identify issues that tenants may have missed and help you avoid further damage to the property through preventive action.
Routine inspections are meant for preventive maintenance, but they can sometimes expose hidden damage to the property or health hazards such as growth of mold. Look for damaged fixtures and things like rotten wood, damp stains and water leaks.
Additionally, write detailed notes and take photographs of any issues you may come across and then schedule a date for repairs.
Budget for Maintenance
It is recommended that you set aside a portion of your rental income for repair and maintenance purposes. Property maintenance can be costly so planning for repairs can help you meet these unforeseen expenses.
Having a maintenance budget will assist you in conducting prompt repairs thus increasing your efficiency. We recommend that you set aside at least one percent of your property’s value every year and your maintenance account should be kept separate from other accounts.
Complete All Repairs
It is important to undertake repairs promptly once an issue is reported or if you happen to notice it during inspections. But if the damage occurs due to neglect or abuse by the tenant, you can charge them for the repair costs as per security deposit law.
Maintain Any Common Areas
The communal areas of a building such as hallways, staircases and other areas accessed by the property’s occupants should always kept clean. These areas should also have adequate light with enough space for movement.
There are also some necessary measures that need to be taken for the safety of your tenants. These measures include removing any obstructions, especially near fire exits and ensuring the stairs have stable banisters.
Provide Garbage Disposal Facilities
Landlords are obligated to provide the required facilities for waste management. The property needs to have an adequate number of garbage bins for the tenants to legally dispose their trash.
Proper garbage disposal ensures your property remains habitable and up to standard. So, these bins should be placed in a designated area and the garbage collection scheduled on a weekly basis.
Create Uniformity in Your Properties
Having the same features for each rental unit such as the flooring, color of paint and household appliances creates convenience when you need to repair or replace them and results in major savings on your maintenance budget.
For example, applying the same color of paint in each unit. This reduces the costs per unit since you can do a simple touch-up rather than repainting an entire wall.
Neutral colors are recommended due to their versatility and they reduce the probability of tenants requesting another color.
Setting a uniform standard also helps to avoid any confusion later. If a fixture or an appliance needs to be replaced, you will know the exact make or model to purchase. This saves on the time spent on maintenance.
Understand the Tenant’s Responsibilities
Your tenants are required to take diligent care of the premises they occupy. Some tenants may however find this a little vague and so clear outlining their responsibilities in the lease agreement can ensure their expectations are set correctly.
For instance, tenants are required to respect the property by keeping it clean, taking care of the appliances and not damaging the property. Other responsibilities worth mentioning include:
- Avoiding health hazards such as garbage accumulation and mold growth.
- Avoiding fire safety hazards such as obstruction of emergency exits and tampering with smoke detectors.
- Adhering to the building and housing codes.
Outlining these responsibilities in the lease agreement ensures that the tenants take better care of the property and reduce your maintenance expenses. Be aware though, that repairing normal wear and tear is the landlords responsibility.
Keep a Record of Maintenance
Like any business, investing in property incurs expenses that are necessary for its day-to-day operations. Business expenses such as property maintenance qualify for tax deductions and for that reason, you should always have a record of your property’s maintenance activities as well as the receipts.
Taking a proactive approach to property maintenance improves the overall condition of your property. By ensuring all maintenance requests are completed promptly and by performing regular inspections you can ensure your property is kept in pristine condition.
You may also want to consider hiring a property management company to assist you in keeping your property in good condition. At Cressman Realty and Property Management, we have the necessary expertise to maintain your Regina, SK property at its best and help you maximize your return on investment.