Proper property maintenance will keep tenants happy and prevent large unexpected maintenance bills. Here's what landlords need to know...
A big part of rental management is ensuring that the property itself is maintained to a high standard. This means a few things, from promptly responding to tenant maintenance requests, to doing regular inspections and managing routine property maintenance tasks.
Proper property maintenance will help keep your tenants happy, reducing tenant turnover and expensive vacancy periods, as well as helping you prevent large unexpected maintenance bills. A hands-on repairs and maintenance approach is a good strategy for protecting your investment long-term.
In this article, we take a look at what exactly is property maintenance management, as well as the best tools and strategies for efficiently managing requests and routine tasks to ensure you run a professional and scalable property business.
Property maintenance refers to any task carried out to keep the property in its optimal condition. This can be through preventative or reactive maintenance jobs. A few examples include:
While you may be tempted to take on a lot of the work for maintaining your property yourself, this ultimately is not a scalable strategy, and can even lead to more expensive issues down the line. Plus, while some jobs may be simple, like mowing the lawn or repainting between tenants, some jobs you simply won’t be qualified to do such as fixing an electrical fault.
It’s always a good idea to begin building out your contact list of skilled and trustworthy contractors sooner rather than later. This will not only save you time and money in the long run but also offer you peace of mind because you know your investment is properly looked after.
Whether or not you hire a professional to carry out the actual work, you will need a way to easily track, prioritize and manage upcoming and ongoing maintenance jobs and requests.
There are a few solutions for streamlining your property maintenance management. One of the easiest and most affordable is to find a property management software that also has a simple work order management system to record tasks and track progress.
Landlord Studio, for example, allows users to set reminders for important and routine maintenance tasks, easily create new jobs, add photos and descriptions, and track maintenance progress.
Find out more about property maintenance with Landlord Studio
Landlord Studio also offers award-winning income and expense tracking tools. Simply log the maintenance expense against the relevant property and attach the receipt(s) from your contractor.
Real estate investors need to be able to differentiate between repairs vs improvements because the two expenses need to be treated differently. An improvement can’t be deducted immediately in that tax year but instead will need to be added to the cost basis of the property and depreciated. The costs associated with a repair or regular maintenance on the other hand can be wholly deducted at the end of the year.
An improvement is generally categorized as any durable lasting upgrade, adaptation, or enhancement of the property which significantly increases its value. For example, a kitchen refurb or attic conversion.
A repair includes both routine and preventative maintenance such as the tasks listed above. It can include, both reactive measures, eg. fixing something when it breaks, and preventative measures to prevent further deterioration of the asset as well as replacements of components that have reached the end of their “useful life”.
Find out more: capital improvements vs repairs
As well as offering you the tools to track and manage maintenance tasks Landlord Studio offers a broad range of property management tools designed to save you time, maximize your revenue and run a professional and scalable rental property business.