Tools for how to handle maintenance and repair of a rental property

A True Story of a Suffered Home with Cheap Rental Repairs.

When we say we look at your investment property like our own, we’re really not kidding. Seeing a home on the market approach the 20 day mark starts making us really cringe and once we see 30 days, we’re going crazy. We know how important it is to keep that investment income rolling in, especially in the slower Fall and Winter months. High quality tenants with top rental rates are our number one priority and a home’s aesthetic plays an important role in that.

Tenants are pickier than ever. We can’t begin to tell you how many move-outs happen after just a one year lease because of shoddy repair work or lack of modern upgrades. Tenants are willing to pay big bucks for premier rental homes and anything less will surely feel the heat. In the past, we never had the issue of pet-owners taking less than perfect carpet in exchange for a reduced pet fee. Oftentimes tenants were willing to take on a paint job themselves when they moved in with little complaints and with zero rental credits. But those days are long gone. No longer are highly qualified tenants willing to overlook some mismatched touch up paint or dated fixtures and appliances. These tenants know how important they are to the success of a landlord’s property and are more than happy to move on to the next home- we see it all the time with our less luxurious rentals. Your mismatched home will only attract what it commands. Showing your future tenants that you don’t care about a few burnt out lightbulbs, dirty air filters, and filthy appliances only leads them to not care about you, your house, or your property manager. 

Top 10 Things Renters Want In Their Homes

As rental managers though, we also understand money doesn’t grow on trees and that upgrades and rental repairs aren’t cheap. Trust us, we really do get it. Since COVID19 we’ve seen all of our vendors increase their rates. Most of that being materials costs but others are facing extreme labor shortages. Time is money and always will be and in order to protect your investment we search high and low for the best rates in town. We’re used to cutting corners where we can but theres always a very hard line we need to set when doing so.

We recently had a home in the heart of Raleigh – in a truly perfect location – sit on the market for almost two months in the busiest moving season of the year because of several minor issues and a few larger ones. Some touch up paint, yard maintenance complaints, and overall dirty feel sent tour after tour heading for the hills. In this time frame, we were forced to drop the rate of this home over $200 to attract anyone that would be willing. Doing the math, that’s roughly $2400 a year the owner of the home lost for their unwillingness to spend $1000 on repairs- repairs that are likely to be tax deductible. This doesn’t even include the roughly $3600 of lost rental income during its vacant period. 

One of the largest issues we encountered in this same home was the unregulated decking structure. Not only was it not to code but you could clearly see that several cheap rental repairs were attempted. These cut corners are simply unacceptable. Not only is it unsightly but it is a clear and obvious safety hazard- something we will absolutely not stand for in our managed rental homes. Nothing is more important than a tenants (or pets) safety. We get there is a time and place to make less than perfect repairs but this kind of situation will never be that kind of case. It will always negatively affect the home’s rental rate and could ultimately land any homeowner investor in some seriously hot water. Not only will your rental rate suffer but as we say “The cheap person pays twice”; don’t pay for shoddy work just to have to pay someone again to do it correctly. Unfortunately for this homeowner, things like this cost him more than just twice the labor and materials; Months of vacancy, extreme rental income loss, and they likely ended up with questionable tenants.

Still want to risk all this loss with some cut corners? Feel free to, we wont stop you. But we will consistently hound you to make repairs after a certain period of time. Like we said before, we see your investment property like our own and want nothing but the best for it, you, and ourselves. After all, our names are on each listing and we never want to release a half finished product. We ask ourselves daily “Would we want to move into this situation?” and we encourage all of our homeowner investors to do the same. It will save you in the long run. 

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