Owning rental property can be a great way to create an additional income stream. Be aware, however, that it is not a passive income stream. Before you jump in headfirst, it's important to understand how to properly maintain your rental property. From the laws that govern maintenance to the best ways to keep tenants happy, here are five things every new landlord needs to know about rental property maintenance.
1. Understand Your Legal Responsibilities
As a landlord, you are legally responsible for maintaining any residential property you own and rent out, including ensuring all safety features of the property, such as fire alarms and smoke detectors, are in good working order at all times. Additionally, landlords must adhere to all building codes and regulations in the area where their rental property is located. Therefore, before renting out any of your properties, familiarize yourself with all applicable laws and regulations to stay compliant.
2. Have a Plan for Regular Maintenance
Regularly scheduled maintenance is key to keeping your rental properties safe and up-to-date. Make sure you have a plan to inspect each of your properties annually and address any necessary repairs or improvements immediately. This keeps your tenants happy and helps prevent bigger issues from developing.
3. Know When to Hire a Professional
Sometimes repair jobs will require more than just basic DIY knowledge, and it's important to know when to hire a professional service provider. For example, if a problem arises with something like plumbing, heating, or electrical work, get help from someone who knows what they're doing right away versus trying to tackle it yourself.
4. Understand Preventative Maintenance
Preventative maintenance is also important for rental property maintenance. Have an inspection checklist that covers everything from checking smoke detectors and changing lightbulbs to replacing filters in air conditioning units or cleaning out drains or gutters regularly. Regularly taking care of these little tasks can help avoid costly repairs.
5. Document Everything
Keep track of all maintenance activities on each property, including what was done, when it was done, how much it cost, and who did the work. Detailed records of everything related to your property's upkeep will go a long way toward reducing headaches later.
Managing rental properties can be challenging, but by understanding the legal responsibilities of rental property maintenance and having plans in place for both regular and preventative maintenance, new landlords can ensure their rental properties remain safe and well-maintained.
For more information about rental property maintenance, contact a local company.