Do’s and Don’ts of property maintenance
One of the most fundamental mandates for any landlord or property manager is to keep their properties well maintained. It goes without saying that regular maintenance will reduce costs and property downtime in the long-term. Failure to keep on top of maintenance issues will undoubtedly result in costly repairs and massive tenant turnover. The short-term deferred property maintenance gains are quickly offset by substantial repair costs in the future. With this in mind, what is the most effective way to approach property maintenance issues. Here are some top do’s and don’ts of property maintenance.
Do schedule frequent safety checks
We have all heard the age-old adage that prevention is better than cure. This is particularly true when it comes to property maintenance. As such make sure to carry out regular scheduled maintenance and safety checks. After all you do not want to find yourself in a situation where a tenant or visitor is injured or worse due to negligence. With this in mind it is important to stay on top of all safety issues. Regular scheduled maintenance will also include having any large appliances and equipment serviced. In addition to keep these appliances running smoothly, it will also extend the useful life of all these appliances. Moreover, regular maintenance will reduce the likelihood of large expenditure in repair costs.
Do attend to the little things
Nothing is too small for close scrutiny and immediate attention. Small things may seem irrelevant, but they can quickly grow into huge and expensive problems. In addition, rapid rectification of minor issues will keep your tenants happy and increase tenant retention.
Do use qualified tradesmen
In instances where you need to use the services of tradesmen it is vital that you engage a qualified and experienced person or firm. It is also important that you only employ the services of licensed and documented tradesmen. Never compromise and cut corners when it comes to this. Everything should be above board and by the book. Working with shady tradesmen will always come back to haunt you in the long-term. Although you will probably end up paying more, work with a qualified professional to ensure the job is done right.
Do provide adequate notice
You are legally required to provide your tenant with sufficient notice before entering the property they reside in. However, there can be exceptions where emergencies are concerned.
Don’t allow tenants to carry our repairs
It is in your best interests to protect your asset as best as you can. With this in mind it is imperative that you do not permit tenants to carry out repairs on their own. Chances are they will try to do it themselves or seek unprofessional help so as to costs to a minimum. Remember that at some point you may want to dispose of the property and you aim should be to maximize the resale value. Quality repairs will ensure that you get top dollar on your property. In addition, work carried out by professional tradesmen typically comes with a guarantee.
Don’t cut corners
Do everything the right way without cutting any corners. What may seem like simple and quick fixes could end up costing you a great amount of money in the long run. You do not want to find yourself having to redo the same repairs over again. Quality work which is done right the first time leads to happy tenants. And happy tenants tend to be loyal want to stay in your property longer thereby reducing turnover.
Don’t accept any communication not in writing
As the landlord or property manager in charge of a property you will interact with tenants frequently. Whatever serious communication that is discussed should be substantiated by way of written evidence. From rent increase notification to changes in the refuse collection schedule, everything should be laid out clearly in written form. Moreover, it is important that tenants acknowledge receipt of any confirmation by signing for it.
Don’t accept repairs at face value
Never ever take any job completion at face value or accompanied by a verbal description. You must always insist on a detailed job description from tradesmen. In addition, any payments you make to tradesmen should be acknowledged through the issuance of receipts.