Maintenance will always be a part of property management. Appliances break or malfunction, often without warning. This causes stress for your tenants and takes time and money from your pocket. Whether you’re a first-timer or a seasoned investor, it pays to know the difference between facts and fiction about maintaining your rental property. So, let’s dive into three myths about property maintenance!
Maintenance Myth #1:
DIY is Always Cheaper
In today’s era of YouTube videos and Google, DIY has quickly become a norm for many of us. If you have the skills to complete certain maintenance tasks on your own, doing so is a great way to save money. But while some projects are ok for DIY, many property maintenance repairs should be left to the pros. Doing it yourself may actually cost you more than if you’d hired someone else in the first place.
If not a skilled handyman, plumber, electrician, etc., many landlords find themselves way in over their heads. Do you know how to run electrical wiring properly and safely? How about replacing a toilet? Are you prepared for the liability that comes with doing work incorrectly? And what if you do it wrong? Not only do you have to repair it again or hire someone, but the bills continue to rise.
It helps to ask yourself if your time is better spent fixing a broken air conditioner or working at your own chosen profession. After all, you wouldn’t ask your dentist to fix your car, right? Your time is just as valuable as the money you save.
You can’t forget about your tenants, either. They don’t care how much money you save by doing it on your own. Their concern is getting the problem fixed quickly and efficiently. In fact, inefficient or slow maintenance repairs can be a huge factor in why tenants choose to move out instead of renewing the lease.
DIY is by no means a bad thing. If you have the skills and the knowledge, use them! Just make sure to evaluate the real cost of doing it yourself vs hiring someone. If you’re not comfortable with making the repair on your own, contact a pro!
Maintenance Myth #2:
Maintenance Repairs are the Tenant’s Responsibility
This is a pitfall that many landlords fall into. With the exception of changing light bulbs or smoke detector batteries, landlords are responsible for any needed repairs to the leased property. Of course, if your tenant broke something through negligence, like hitting a ball through the window, then you can hold them responsible for the cost. But if something breaks or malfunctions through normal wear and tear, the landlord must repair it and cover the cost.
Maintenance Myth #3:
Replace Vs Repair
The myth of replace vs repair goes both ways. Some landlords adamantly believe it’s better to repair their old appliance instead of replace it, while others stand on the complete opposite side of the spectrum. However, neither side is wrong or right. Replace vs repair is best evaluated on a case by case basis and depends on multiple factors. Age, safety, condition, repair/performance history, and life expectancy are all things to keep in mind when making your choice. Depending on each of these, it may be more cost effective to go one route vs the other.
Maintaining your rental property is not only important, but unavoidable. Knowing what’s a myth and what’s not will better prepare you for tackling any challenges when they arise! And if you find that you’d rather not go it alone, it’s time to consider hiring Real Property Management Colorado to manage your property! Don’t hesitate to give us a call at 719-471-RENT (7368)!