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Every rental property owner knows the challenge that is ongoing maintenance. By definition, this is a task that is never complete - there will always be more work to do. Unfortunately, without a finish line in sight, many owners get overwhelmed by the long list of maintenance tasks that need to be managed.
If you are going to enjoy your experience as an owner and make it as positive and profitable as possible, you’ll need to get maintenance under control once and for all. With that backdrop in mind, we’d like to present you with a rental maintenance checklist - or, more accurately, multiple checklists - to help you finally get the upper hand on the maintenance monster. Let’s get started!
Managing the Move-In and Move-Out Process
Perhaps the busiest time in the life of a landlord comes when a tenant is moving in or moving out of a property. During these stages, it’s important to provide tenants with everything they need to make the process run smoothly - and to make sure that your interests are protected along the way.
By having a tenant move-in maintenance checklist in place, you can make sure the property is ready to go on day one. Rather than having to scramble to deal with maintenance requests right from the start, you can provide a space that is ready for your tenant to call home. Here are some key points to include in this checklist -
You’ll likely have some other points you want to add to your move-in checklist based on the specifics of the property, but this should serve as a starting point. As far as the move-out is concerned, you are primarily going to focus on anything that was damaged during the last tenant’s stay, along with getting a head start on the items above. After all, the sooner you address the various move-in points, the sooner you will be ready to show the property to potential new renters.
Cutting Down on Maintenance Requests
In a perfect world, your tenants are able to live happily in your rental property while needing very little support. One of the most common reasons for a tenant to reach out to a property manager or owner is when a maintenance request comes up. Something in the property is not working properly, and the tenant wants it fixed as soon as possible.
Of course, as an owner, you’d like to cut down on how often these maintenance requests land at your feet. It’s not that you don’t want to help your tenants - rather, it’s that you don’t want them to need any help. When the home is functioning as it should, everyone is happy and there are no repairs to be made.
You aren’t ever going to eliminate maintenance requests entirely, but you can go a long way toward limiting them by keeping up with some basic, periodic chores. Most of these fall into the category of preventive maintenance - in other words, they are things you do to prevent a problem from ever arising in the first place.
Turning an emergency maintenance request into a scheduled service visit by getting ahead of the game has multiple benefits. For one thing, you won’t have to scramble to get a contractor out to deal with an issue at an inconvenient time - meaning you’ll save money by scheduling service and not paying extra charges for off-hours work. Also, your tenants will be happier in a building that is reliable and comfortable, so they are more likely to stay and your turnover rate will decline.
A Targeted Approach to Maintenance
Planning to keep up with the maintenance needs of your property is a nice intention, but it’s only going to pay off if you have a specific, strategic plan in place. That means thinking about the actual maintenance needs of the property and designing a process that gives the right level of attention and care to each area.
If you have owned this home for at least a few years, you should already be familiar with the areas that need the most attention. So, build a maintenance checklist that emphasizes the known problem areas. That doesn’t mean you are going to completely neglect the rest of the property, of course, but skew the balance towards components that have proven themselves to be troublesome.
For example, you might know that your HVAC system has trouble keeping up with air conditioning demands in the middle of the summer. If that is the case, consider adding in an extra service visit right before summer arrives, and have the air filter for the system changed more often in the hot months. Those steps will go toward addressing a known issue and may wind up saving you significantly down the line.
Marble is Ready to Help
When you work with Marble as your virtual property manager, you’ll enjoy a streamlined maintenance process that dramatically cuts down on the time you spend dealing with requests and solving tenant problems. Reach out today to get started for free or to learn more.
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