Owning a rental property in and around the Culpeper, Warrenton, Gainesville area can be stressful at times--and it pays to know good contractors. From major things like roof repairs to more frequent things like appliance breakdowns, repairs and maintenance costs can add up and can ultimately hurt your bottom line--and beyond that, it can be hard to find good contractors. While some repairs are inevitable, there are measures and steps you can take to keep your rental’s maintenance costs manageable.
Before rushing to buy an investment property, do your research when investing in a property. If you work with a broker, make sure they suggests you get a pre-purchase inspection completed by a qualified professional home inspector. Your broker should go over the inspection report with you and get you all the cost and time estimates of all the needed repairs.
Perform Regular Inspections
Annual rental inspections inform you of the current condition of your property and allow you to plan for any preventative maintenance that helps keep costly repairs in check. If any problems are found early on, it will be much easier and less costly to fix them. Working with a property manager will be beneficial as they will be the ones conducting your routine inspections and ensuring that your tenants are compliant with the lease terms.
Do preventative maintenance
When it comes to your rental property, you’d want to be proactive. While preventative maintenance may seem like a wasteful expense, it helps keep your property in good condition and potentially keep costly repairs in check. With regular maintenance, you can prolong the lifetime of your appliances, HVAC system, plumbing, and even your roof. Think about the maintenance items you can DIY versus the ones requiring a professional, and also how you're going to find and screen that professional. For example, some DIY maintenance projects include: repainting a wall, deep cleaning the carpets, or fixing a leaky faucet. Any electrical, HVAC, and advanced plumbing maintenance should always be left with a pro. If time is a constraint, working with a property manager will be beneficial because they will both manage those issues and already have a stable of reliable contractors to handle repairs. Choose a property management company that will handle all maintenance-related issues.
Budget for future repairs
To minimize financial burdens in the future, you’ll need to plan for future expenses. On average, maintenance costs run 1.5% of the total monthly rental income. Some of the future expenses you should budget for include: replacing old and failing appliances, roof leaks, frozen pipes, and more. When maintenance repairs or requests from tenants do arise, responding to them promptly keeps the problems from quickly escalating and protects the rental property from further damage.
Carefully screen tenants
Finding high-quality tenants will help in keeping away those extra maintenance issues later. Tenant screening consists of running background checks and credit reports, checking renting eviction history and criminal records. Following a proper tenant screening process will not only assist you in finding desirable tenants but will also help you keep away any potential property damage that could turn into costly repairs.
Hire an experienced property manager
Managing properties takes time and your time is money! From conducting routine inspections and handling maintenance requests to conducting thorough tenant screenings, you could end up spending days even weeks managing your property. When your property needs repairs or has maintenance requests, by working with a property management company, your maintenance services are included in their monthly management fees. Additionally, an experienced property manager knows how to conduct a comprehensive tenant screening thus saving you lots of time and keeping you away from any Fair Housing lawsuits from incorrect screening processes.
When you choose to work with a professional property management company, besides saving time and money, you’ll get peace of mind.
For more information on allowing pets in your rental properties while still protecting your own investments, please be sure to contact VHS Property Management/The Real Estate Store. We are always here and happy to help!