There are no two ways about it: properly maintaining a rental property requires an ongoing financial investment. In some cases, you may even need to overhaul your property or make substantial upgrades, further taxing your property budget. While certain expenses are inevitable, savvy investors need to find the right balance between keeping their homes well cared for and bleeding cash every month. If you're concerned about spending too much money on maintenance, learn how you can keep your costs low below.
Respond to problems promptly.
Many landlords are tempted to put repairs off for later, as they're hesitant to spend money. Unfortunately, this approach can backfire, creating further challenges and a more expensive issue to fix. For this reason, it's essential to take care of small stuff before it escalates into something bigger.
On a practical level, this means responding to maintenance requests quickly. Furthermore, it's important to schedule regular inspections to identify potential damage that needs immediate attention. At BMG Rentals, we scheduled such inspections twice each year, giving our staff adequate opportunities to look for trouble.
Send money proactively.
Spending money on repairs and upgrades seems counterintuitive to saving money on your monthly expenses, but taking a proactive approach to maintenance often pays off in the long run. For example, it may be less expensive to simply replace an outdated appliance, rather than spending a few hundred dollars on ongoing repair calls over the next few years.
Updating fixtures and appliances also keeps your tenants happy and could even help you command higher rent. It's a win-win approach that reduces headaches, protects the longterm health of your home, and hopefully, eliminates some of the maintenance requests that come in on a regular basis.
Build a plan for future expenses.
If something goes wrong in your rental home, you'll need the funds to get it repaired. Appliance failures, roof leaks, bursting pipes...these are all challenges that could occur at some point. While ongoing maintenance can reduce the risk of such problems occurring, there is no surefire way to eliminate them completely.
Building a financial plan for handling such issues is the smartest way to ease the burden on your shoulders. Don't find yourself grappling with a massive bill and wondering how you'll ever afford it. Instead, build a savings fund you can tap to save your home in the event of a major problem.
Perhaps the single easiest way to reduce costs for your rental property is to focus on retaining great tenants. Neglecting maintenance chores because they are expensive may anger your home's residents, drastically reducing the likelihood of a lease renewal. Unfortunately, a vacancy will cost you money, as you pay for any repairs necessary and wait for a new renter to be found.
Instead of taking the loss, put in the ongoing work to keep your property in great shape. This approach keeps everybody happy and will help ensure your property continues to generate a healthy return for years to come.