Maintaining your Portland rental property often feels like a headache because it can be expensive and time-consuming. Protecting the condition of your investment is non-negotiable, however. You need to pay attention to maintenance and you need to keep your property safe, habitable, and profitable.
We see many maintenance mistakes, especially when it comes to self-managing landlords. If you’re not working with a professional Portland property management company, make sure you have a strong maintenance plan in place and a budget to support it.
These are the three most common mistakes we see, and we’re offering some tips on how to avoid them.
Mistake No. 1: Deferred and Unreported Maintenance
Don’t ignore the small problems. A dripping sink may seem like no big deal today, but, in a week or two, it could turn into a plumbing disaster. Take care of minor maintenance issues while they’re inexpensive and manageable. You don’t want to give these situations an opportunity to get more complicated and costly. Deferred maintenance is a major mistake.
Train your tenants to report repair issues right away. Sometimes, tenants hesitate. They worry that they’ll be blamed or charged. They wonder if it’s worth having a repair person come into the home to fix something that seems silly. You always want to know when something is wrong, even if it’s minor. Help your tenants to understand that everything should be documented and reported, even if it’s small. Unreported maintenance increases costs.
Finally, take a preventative approach to maintaining your rental property. Have the heating and cooling system inspected and serviced annually. Get the roof and the gutters cleaned annually. Hire a pest control service to perform routine treatments.
Mistake No. 2: Not Using Licensed and Insured Vendors
You have to protect yourself, your property, and your residents by working with professional vendors when you need work done. It may seem like you’re saving money when you send your brother or your cousin over to make a repair instead of a professional vendor. Maybe you’re tempted to hire someone off Craigslist who claims he can paint a house or install a window.
This can actually be more expensive, especially if the work isn’t performed correctly. You’ll spend more money paying for the same repair over and over again, or you’ll have to hire a professional to re-do what was incorrectly done. There’s also a lot of liability. If you hire someone who isn’t insured and they fall off a ladder or get hurt at your property, you could be sued. You may find yourself responsible for medical costs or lost wages. Stick to licensed professionals.
Mistake No. 3: Lack of Responsiveness
A mistake that’s completely avoidable is not responding to tenants when they make a maintenance request. One of the main reasons that tenants do not renew their lease agreements is that maintenance isn’t taken seriously or treated as a priority. You don’t want to lose tenants by avoiding the necessary repairs at your property. Not only does it frustrate and chase away your residents, it puts the condition and value of your asset at risk.
These are only three maintenance mistakes we see frequently. Unfortunately, there are many more. Find out how to take better, more cost-effective care of your rental property. Contact us at Performance Properties for all your Portland property management needs.