A well-maintained home attracts good tenants, earns higher rental values, and leads to a more profitable investment experience. If you are renting out a Roseville property, you need to be aware of your responsibilities for maintaining it. The very basic legal requirements are simple: you need to provide a home that’s safe and habitable.
To establish and nurture positive tenant relationships, you should do more than the minimum that the law requires. If you want to preserve the condition of your asset and continue earning money on it, you’ll pay attention to preventative and routine maintenance in order to avoid expensive emergencies. You’ll also be mindful of the vendors and contractors you use to make those repairs, and you’ll invest in upgrades and updates when necessary.
We’ve put together some tips and suggestions on how to handle your maintenance responsibilities in a Roseville rental property. You want all your maintenance plans to be cost-effective, but the two most important parts of maintaining a home are preserving its condition and value and retaining your excellent tenants.
Budget for Roseville Rental Property Maintenance
To effectively maintain your rental properties, you need to be sure you can pay for the repairs and replacements that are needed throughout the lease term and during the turnover process when you’re making the property ready for new tenants. A maintenance budget can help you plan.
Generally, you’ll find experts who say you should save between one and three percent of your property’s value for maintenance costs. That’s one way to budget, but every real estate investor knows that those expenses will vary from year to year, and what you spend will often depend on the age and the condition of your investment.
Instead of saving based on your property value, consider putting away a portion of the rent you collect every month. Maybe it’s five percent of your income or 10 percent. Maybe it’s even more than that if you know you’re going to need a new roof or upgraded flooring in a year or two.
Setting aside a reserve is a good idea because if you don’t use all of what you save in one year, you can just roll it over to the next year. This will allow you to continue building a larger reserve for any surprise property expenses or major repairs. You’ll be financially prepared for these expenses.
Another great way to keep your budget on track is to inspect your property whenever you get the opportunity. When you can take a close look at the condition of your rental home, you’ll know what types of large ticket items may be on the horizon. You’ll know when to expect roof repairs, HVAC system improvements, and new appliances. These inspections will also help you address any unreported or deferred maintenance that needs immediate attention.
Working with Licensed and Insured Vendors
Some of the repairs you need can be managed by a good handyman.
This will help you keep costs down. If you have someone you can trust to take care of minor issues such as painting, replacing window screens, putting up drywall, and snaking clogged drains, you’ll have a reliable resource who can respond to basic repair needs as they arise.
Other types of maintenance and repairs will require licensed and insured vendors. Make sure you have a list of preferred vendors you can call upon when you need a major plumbing fix, some electrical work, or HVAC service.
Using vendors and contractors who are licensed and insured is important for a number of different reasons:
- These professionals have been trained and possess the experience that’s required to perform the work you need.
- You won’t have to worry about having the same repair done over and over again; licensed professionals stand by their work and get it done right the first time.
- You’re protected against liability and risk. If an unlicensed worker falls off a ladder and injures themselves, you may be liable for medical bills and even lost wages.
- Your tenants remain satisfied that work is being done properly.
We don’t recommend that you do the work yourself. This can often lead to delays, and that’s going to be frustrating for your tenant. Invest in high-quality work from good vendors with whom you already have an established relationship. You don’t want to find yourself in the position of trying to find someone to help you when an emergency is occurring at the rental property. Relationships are important.
This is one of the best reasons to work with professional Roseville property managers. Maintenance costs are rising and vendors are busier than ever. It can be challenging to find someone to respond to your emergencies and it can really be difficult to find someone with affordable prices. Your property manager will help. We already have relationships in place and we’re able to negotiate their most competitive pricing.
Preventative Maintenance Saves Money
Preventative maintenance is often more important than your routine and emergency repairs because it protects the condition and value of your investment. A good preventative maintenance plan will also save you money. There will be fewer surprises and emergency calls for help. If you can anticipate some of the repairs and replacements that your investment property will need, you’ll save money and time.
When we talk about preventative maintenance, we’re usually focused on preventing plumbing disasters, problems with the HVAC system, and even minor issues like pest control and landscaping.
Remember – good maintenance starts with safety and habitability. Your preventative maintenance plan should start there, too. Checking smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors should be a routine part of your preventative maintenance plan. Before a new tenant moves in, make sure every handrail is sturdy and look for cracks or problems outside on stairs, patios, or driveways. You want to make sure your rental home can withstand disasters like earthquakes and extreme heat.
Rain is rarely a problem in Roseville, especially during droughts, but you still need to avoid problems with water. A leaking pipe or a burst water heater can cause more damage to your property than anything else. During preventative maintenance inspections, make sure you’re checking for leaks. Look under sinks and check ceilings and walls for discoloration or dampness. Leaks or moisture that go unattended could lead to mold and rot.
Make sure there’s plenty of ventilation in your home and that your insulation is working properly. Check any irrigation systems outdoors as well.
Roseville summers can become uncomfortably hot, especially recently. Your tenants will also need reliable heat in the winter. Part of your preventative maintenance plan should be keeping a close eye on your HVAC system. Have your cooling unit inspected annually? Get a technician to visit the home at least once a year to make sure everything is working properly. You don’t want any coils rusting or systems getting clogged. Have the entire system inspected, cleaned, and maintained regularly.
All of the preventative maintenance work you do will prevent surprise emergencies. You’ll spend less money overall on maintenance, even if it means paying for annual inspections and services throughout the year.
Managing Maintenance Requests from Roseville Tenants
When your residents request maintenance, you want to be responsive. This is important in retaining those tenants and also in protecting the condition of your asset. Deferred maintenance is going to be more expensive. It’s going to lead to faster deterioration and wear and tear.
Let your tenants know that you want to hear about all repair needs promptly. Sometimes tenants worry about making unnecessary requests. They don’t want to be blamed for something going wrong. Put those worries to rest when you’re going over the lease agreement with your new tenant. Stress the importance of immediate maintenance reports.
During emergencies, you’ll likely want your tenants to call you. It’s essential they have your contact information. You must make sure you’re prepared for these emergency calls. Tenants will likely be frustrated, frightened, and highly emotional. Be prepared to stay calm, professional, and act quickly.
For non-emergencies, consider a system where tenants put their maintenance requests in writing. This will help you track and document the work that needs to be done. It also allows you to document the steps you took to resolve the issue. This can be incredibly important if there’s ever a dispute or a complaint that you did not act quickly enough to solve a maintenance problem.
Roseville property management companies often have an online portal where tenants can make their maintenance requests electronically. This is convenient for them and efficient. If you’re managing on your own, you may not have access to this kind of technology. However, you could ask your tenants to send their routine repair requests via email or text so you have that written record of what needs to be done.
These are some of our best maintenance tips, and we’d be happy to tell you more. When you have questions about your Roseville rental property, please contact us at Action Properties. We lease, manage, and maintain rental properties in Roseville, Rocklin, Loomis, Lincoln, Granite Bay, and the surrounding areas.