How Regular Maintenance Can Increase Your Rental Property Value
When planning for the success of your rental property, Keyrenter South Florida Management Professional says that a key aspect of the plan should be a strategy for maintaining the various features of the building. Every part of your rental property is subject to wear and tear from various natural and man-made forces.
These natural forces include direct sunlight, heat, cold, rain, humidity, dust, and wind. Different natural biological, and chemical processes affect a building. In addition to the natural causes of wear, how a building is used can also accelerate its deterioration.
The only way to protect your rental from the damaging effects of natural or human-induced wear and tear is to be aware of these destructive processes and take action to counteract them effectively. Proper maintenance can slow down or even reverse the effects of wear and tear.
All landlords know this, but not all landlords get the best results from their efforts to maintain their property. What is the difference between those landlords who can keep maintenance costs low and the value of their property high versus those who don’t?
The key often lies in the maintenance strategy that a landlord adopts. There are two approaches to maintaining the systems and structures of a rental property. Landlords can choose a reactive maintenance strategy. Or they can choose a proactive maintenance strategy.
A reactive maintenance strategy is also known as corrective maintenance. This kind of strategy is not ongoing. The landlord only engages in maintenance when things go wrong in their building. As a result, the owner is always one step behind the maintenance issues in their rental.
A proactive maintenance strategy is different. It does not wait until things go wrong before it acts. To fix the issues, the landlord goes out of their way to look for early signs of wear on their building. This kind of maintenance strategy is called preventive maintenance.
How to improve a rental’s value with preventive maintenance
A huge part of what makes a rental profitable is the owner’s ability to keep costs low. For some landlords, the way to do that is by delaying maintenance for as long as possible or even neglecting it altogether. But this short-term solution only results in long-term issues.
Smart landlords use a different approach.
They know that maintenance issues in a building are inevitable, and instead of trying to avoid them, they face them head-on. They do this through a program of scheduled inspections designed to examine the structures and systems of the rental for signs of imminent damage.
The benefits of doing this are many. For instance, if it would have cost a landlord $3000 to fix a burst pipe and the damage it would have done to the building, the problem can be solved for $300 if the worn pipe section is discovered in time.
Implementing a regular maintenance program (via scheduled inspections and timely repairs) will improve a rental property's performance and market value. Here are some of the ways regular maintenance can improve the value of your rental:
1. Charge higher rents
Poorly maintained rentals attract lower-paying tenants willing to put up with the substandard conditions in the building. Such tenants are more likely to mismanage the rental and default on rent.
Tenants who expect more from a landlord are often more willing to pay a higher rent for the superior level of service they require. Better maintenance means higher rents.
2. Lower tenant turnover
As a rule, tenants prefer to move from one rental to another without the hassle of moving from one rental to another. If a tenant has found a rental property where they are happy, they will often stay for the long term. Maintaining the features of your rental will lead to higher tenant retention rates.
3. Avoid disputes with tenants
In a well-maintained rental, avoiding disputes at the end of the tenants’ lease is easier. The owner’s attention to detail makes detecting when a tenant has damaged the rental easy. Regular maintenance also reduces the risk of legal liabilities.
4. Lower overall costs
In addition to lower maintenance costs, there are other cost-saving benefits of adopting a preventative maintenance program for the rental. One of them is shorter turnaround times for vacant units. Another is that landlords can delay renovations since their rental is still in good shape.
5. Proper documentation
Regular maintenance helps to keep the records up-to-date and complete. This makes it easier to recoup more of the rental’s maintenance costs via tax deductions. These records also provide valuable insights when selling the property; the new owner will want proof of the rental’s lower maintenance costs.
In closing, here’s one final tip. The quality of preventative maintenance you do on a rental property depends on how well the building is inspected. Hiring a professional to do regular inspections of the systems and structures of the building is vital when doing preventive maintenance.