Owning rental property can be a great way to generate income and build long-term wealth. But being a successful landlord takes more than just finding good tenants and collecting rent every month. You also need to maintain your properties in top condition to continue attracting high-quality tenants and command top dollar in rent. Here are some best practices for maintaining your rental homes and keeping your business thriving.
1. Stay on top of repairs and maintenance.
Well-maintained properties will not only last longer but will also be more attractive to potential tenants. That’s why it’s crucial to stay on top of large and minor repairs. From fixing a leaking faucet to repairing a damaged roof, addressing repair needs promptly will save you money in the long run and keep your property in good condition. Some landlords even offer a repair or maintenance allowance in their lease agreements to give tenants financial assistance with small repairs.
But repairs aren’t the only type of maintenance your property will need. You also need to regularly clean and inspect your rental homes to ensure they are up to your standards. This may mean hiring a professional cleaning service or conducting regular walk-throughs yourself.
2. Hire a property manager.
It may be worth hiring property management services if you own multiple rental properties or live far away from your rentals. A good property manager will handle all the day-to-day tasks of being a landlord, from finding tenants and collecting rent to dealing with repairs and maintenance issues. This can take a lot of the stress out of being a landlord and free up your time to focus on other things.
Be sure to do your research when hiring a property manager. Check references and read online reviews to ensure you are working with a reputable company. Every property management situation is different, so it’s important to find a company that offers services that fit your needs. You should also have a written agreement outlining the property manager’s duties and responsibilities.
3. Periodically update your rental homes.
Even if your rental property is in good overall condition, some areas could use a refreshment. Periodically updating your rental homes – painting, new carpeting, updated fixtures, etc. – can help keep them looking their best and attract higher-quality tenants willing to pay top dollar in rent. Many landlords schedule updates every few years to ensure their properties stay in good condition.
One of the most important updates you can make is your property’s security features. Installing new locks, adding a security system, and increasing outdoor lighting can deter crime and make tenants feel safe. This can go a long way in attracting quality tenants and keeping your property rented. You may even be able to charge a higher rent if your rental has better security features than other properties in the area.
4. Invest in preventive maintenance.
Preventive maintenance is key to prolonging the life of your rental homes and preserving their value over time. HVAC systems, for example, should be serviced regularly to ensure they’re running efficiently and don’t break down when you need them most. Inspecting gutters, downspouts, and drainage systems regularly can also help prevent water damage to your property.
Some landlords include preventive maintenance in their lease agreements, requiring tenants to handle specific tasks like changing air filters or checking the smoke detectors. This can help you ensure your rental homes are well-maintained without having to do all the work yourself. Ensure you are clear about your expectations and include specific instructions in the lease agreement to avoid confusion.
5. Have a good relationship with your tenants.
Finally, one of the best ways to keep your rental business thriving is to develop a good relationship with your tenants. Rental home maintenance and repairs will be much easier if your tenants cooperate and work with you. Establishing a good rapport with your tenants can also help you retain them long-term, which can save you money in the long run.
One way to develop a good relationship with your tenants is to respond promptly to their maintenance requests. Try to fix anything broken as soon as possible. This shows tenants that you care about their comfort and are invested in maintaining your rental properties. You should also be respectful of your tenants’ privacy and give them reasonable notice before entering their rental units.
Maintaining your rental properties doesn’t have to be a full-time job – but it is crucial to make it a priority. By staying on top of repairs, periodically updating your homes, and investing in preventive maintenance, you can keep your rentals in top condition and attract high-quality tenants willing to pay top dollar in rent. So if you want to keep your rental business thriving for years to come, make sure you put these best practices into action!