Be Ready for These Repairs at Your Rental Property
Maintenance and repairs go hand in hand with owning a rental property. Like any home, things wear out from time to time, but as the owner, it’s your job to fix them. You may even find that repairs seem to happen more frequently with your rental property, because tenants tend to be a bit harder on things in terms of wear and tear.
However, being prepared both mentally and financially for these repairs, along with performing preventative maintenance, can help soften the blow when repair requests come in. Here are the most common repairs you can expect with your investment property:
- Appliances. Refrigerators, dishwashers, stoves, washers and dryers are a top culprit in the “things that WILL break down” category. All of these items are full of moving parts, and all of them are probably used pretty heavily. When you combine these factors, you get malfunctions and breakdowns over time. Some of these may be minor, like a busted heating element, but others may require a professional to come and make the repair.
- Water leaks. Water leaks are a real pain because they can be stealthy. A pipe may be leaking under a sink or behind a wall for days or weeks before it’s noticed, and by that time, significant damage may have been done. Again, you may be able to lighten a loose connection or replace a wax ring under the toilet yourself, but major repairs will require a plumber. The leakage may have also created other problems, like damaged sheetrock or flooring, which will also have to be addressed.
- Pests. This may not qualify as a “repair,” but I’m including it because it’s a still a common problem that you’ll likely have to deal with at some point. This can be an especially frustrating one because most infestations occur because of a lack of cleanliness on the tenant’s part, and not because of anything you did! Regardless, as the property owner, it’s your job to deal with it, and this usually means hiring a pest control service. In addition to eliminating the pests, they should be able to locate entry points and make recommendations on how to prevent future infestations.
- Furnace/AC. Calls about a broken furnace or AC unit are the ones that make property owners shudder, because a) it’s vital to have these repaired ASAP, and b) it’s usually pretty expensive. Sometimes, you’ll get lucky and the issue is as simple as a pilot light that’s gone out, but other times, it’s much more dire, and usually demands a professional to make the repair, or worse, replace the unit.
- Clogged toilet. This is another one that makes property owners cringe, but usually for a different reason. No one wants to deal with a clogged toilet, especially when it’s someone else’s. Fortunately for you, this task may just fall under the tenant’s responsibility. If the tenant caused the problem, then it’s their job to fix it. However, you must make them aware of this at the time the lease is signed; both you and they need to know who is responsible for what. Also worth noting: If a clogged toilet seems to a be recurring issue, it could mean there’s a larger problem somewhere, and unfortunately, that IS your problem.
These are 5 of the most common issues you’ll come across when you own a rental property. The key to dealing with them is to be PROACTIVE. Keep an eye on things, perform preventative maintenance, and don’t delay when problems are reported. Doing this won’t make the problem go away, but it will make a lot easier – and cheaper – to deal with.