Having a maintenance plan in place will help you take care of your investment property and ensure your tenants know what to expect when it comes to how repairs and maintenance are handled. There are several things you can do to make sure your maintenance issues are handled properly and professionally.
If you have an investment property, you are going to need to work with contractors. You can get contractors for cheap and they might do a good job for you, but if you plan to be in the investment property business for a while, you will need to hire good contractors who are professional and insured. Any contractor you work with will need to have proper liability insurance and workers compensation insurance. I could tell you endless stories about landlords who have found themselves in trouble simply because they did not hire professional contractors with proper insurance. It can be a costly mistake.
Typical maintenance issues you will run across involve appliances, plumbing, heating and air conditioning. You need to make sure you establish relationships and contracts with professional contractors in these disciplines.
Preventative maintenance is a very important part of an overall maintenance plan. Make sure you do a heating tune up every year. In Minnesota, we close up our houses in the winter, giving us a greater risk of carbon monoxide exposure. Do your heating inspections annually. Change the filters regularly and clean out the air conditioning condensers and the refrigerator coils. Do an annual property survey so you know what is beginning to wear out. Check the roof, the structure and the systems of the home.
Meeting your tenants’ expectations is important when it comes to maintenance because tenants evaluate their rental experiences largely based on how maintenance is handled. Set up categories of required maintenance with your tenants. They will likely see everything as an emergency that needs to be handled right away. You have to define what is actually an emergency and what you consider to be general maintenance. Tenants will want things to be handled immediately, so discuss with your tenants how maintenance and repairs will be handled, and what kind of timeframe they can expect. Following a proper maintenance plan will keep your good tenants in place longer.
Pay close attention to how you handle maintenance at your property. The most important thing you can do is plan ahead so that when a major repair does need to occur, you already have a contractor ready to do the work and your tenants know how the problem will be handled.