You don’t have to be an experienced real estate investor or a professional Atlanta property manager to know how important routine and preventative maintenance is. Understanding that fact and managing to keep up with all of it are two different things, however. It’s a challenge to balance costs, find great vendors, and protect the condition of your investment.
Having a maintenance plan in place will mitigate risks and keep costs down. Deferred maintenance will always cost more than preventative maintenance and it will also retain your tenants because you’re providing a safe, habitable, and pleasant living environment.
Here are some of the routine home maintenance issues to stay on top of when you’re trying to minimize the repair costs on your Atlanta rental home.
Budget for Maintenance Expenses
Budgeting for maintenance might seem difficult because it’s such a variable expense. You might spend $100 on repairs one year and $5,000 the next. Build a plan for handling current repair needs, emergency maintenance, and future projects to eliminate headaches and financial stress.
There are different ways to calculate what you should budget for maintenance. Some experts suggest putting 10 percent of your monthly rental income aside. Others recommend budgeting annually by putting aside one or two months of rent to cover potential costs. As long as you’re creating a maintenance reserve or a system where you’re holding a bit of cash to pay for necessary expenses, you’re going to be more prepared than the owner who isn’t saving at all.
The age and condition of your property will also impact what your maintenance budget should be.
Respond to Routine Maintenance Needs with a Sense of Urgency
It’s easy to put off the easy things that tenants report. A garbage disposal that’s stuck or a screen that’s falling off a window - these things are annoying to a tenant but not a matter of life and death. Take care of them right away, though, because it will keep your tenants happy (and paying rent on time), and it will also protect the condition of your investment.
These minor repairs also give you an opportunity to check things out at the rental home. You can make sure there aren’t any leaks under sinks when you’re repairing a garbage disposal. If an outlet is acting funny, you can use that opportunity to check all the electrical systems in the property.
Don’t put off the minor repairs. They only grow more complicated and expensive.
Pay Attention to Preventative Maintenance
Preventative maintenance can go a long way in preventing emergency repairs and expensive replacements. Take your HVAC system, for example. Atlanta summers are blazing hot. Winters can be pretty cold, too. So, your heating and cooling systems are always going to work hard. Have an HVAC tech inspect and service the system annually. This will prevent emergency calls on the hottest day of the year and it will also extend the lifespan of your furnace and air conditioning unit. While it may cost a couple hundred dollars every year, you’ll save thousands on potentially expensive repairs and replacements.
It helps to have a reliable and trusted team of vendors and contractors to respond to your needs and keep an eye on your property. Expert Atlanta property management helps too, and we can help with that. Please contact our team at Property Services of Atlanta to hear more.