Avoid losing good tenants due to lack of property maintenance
As property managers one of our main duties, and most time consuming, is dealing with property maintenance issues. Most of these are repairs to items that have broken or just stopped working. Plumbers, electricians and the handyman are required more than any other kind of tradesperson – leaky taps, lack of hot water, toilet cisterns overfilling are the most common requests for plumbers; faulty switches, light fittings, power points, cooktop burners that don’t work are common for electricians. Then there are doors that don’t close, windows that won’t open, fans that stop working and doors that fall off. Everyday someone has a problem somewhere. Maintenance of an investment property is often considered only when something goes wrong but it is an umbrella term that covers four separate types of maintenance, according to Peter Gianoli of Investor Assist. Here is a summary of the four types:
- REPAIRS: reactive response when something goes wrong e.g. blocked pipe, broken oven – as mentioned above.
- SEASONAL MAINTENANCE: items should be regularly addressed to ensure the number of repairs in the previous category is kept to a minimum. e.g. gutter clearing, air conditioner servicing, garden pruning, pest control.
- INVESTMENT MAINTENANCE: planned replacement of any item in the property that depreciates in value, including carpets, blinds, ovens, hot water systems, etc. Planned maintenance prevents the further repairs that would otherwise fall into the first category, and enables a good level of control over the standard of the property and the cost of maintenance.
- CAPITAL WORKS: any new elements or improvements that are introduced to a property. Examples include adding a dishwasher, a new sprinkler system to enable tenants to look after the garden, or an air-conditioning system. This type of expense is likely to increase the value of the property as well as the rental return.
Ideally, a landlord should be aware of all types and make allowances for associated costs. It will help to minimise expensive repairs (number 1) by undertaking regular property maintenance (numbers 2-4) so problems don’t become big ones. Water damage is a common one that if not addressed promptly can become a very expensive repair. Another benefit to keeping the property well maintained is the type of tenant it will attract. Prospective tenants viewing a neglected property are less likely to want to rent it. When a property is run down and uncared for it will attract the same type of treatment from a tenant. One of the most common reasons tenants choose to move is due to landlords not maintaining the property. So to attract a good tenant and keep them, make sure the property is well maintained. If we manage your property please contact us to arrange annual servicing of items. Or call us for any information about the above – 9450 3398 Sean.