Boosting Property Value Through Preventative Maintenance
The best “insurance policy” that MULTIfamily property owners can buy is a solid preventative maintenance program.
Best of all, this is the one insurance policy you can own without paying any premiums.
What’s involved? All you must do is embrace effective preventative maintenance practices.
You’ve heard the adage, “Don’t expect what you don’t inspect.”
Regular inspection lies at the heart of the best preventative maintenance practices. There are two aspects to inspection for MULTIfamily property owners:
Inside the rental units
- Move-in inspection
- Periodic inspection
- Move-out inspection
Outside the rental units, including communal areas like hallways and storage facilities
- Periodic Inspection
Inside inspections are important for protecting the value of your property as well as being significant contributors to overall tenant satisfaction.
Regular outside inspections keep your property attractive and in good repair. Curb appeal is important for attracting new tenants and can help maintain or even boost rental rates. Also, remember that the condition and appearance of your property will influence the value of your building over time.
What’s the ideal preventative maintenance schedule?
The timing of Move-in and Move-out inside inspections is self-explanatory.
It’s important to keep an eye on the appearance of each unit and check the functionality of the plumbing, electrical, and appliances. It’s a good idea to photograph everything and make notes, even if there are no issues. You should share your observations with your tenant.
For periodic inspections, you should strive to perform inside and outside inspections every six months.
Inside: Provide each of your tenants a notice of intention to inspect their units at least two days beforehand. Walk through each unit, sharing observations about items that require maintenance and stipulating whether you or the tenant is responsible.
Keep a photographic and written record of your inspection and consider giving a copy to your tenant.
Outside: You can inspect by simply walking around. Go through the halls to look for malfunctioning lights, loose bannisters, worn carpets, etc. Walk around the outside of the building to look for damaged or deteriorating roofing, windows, paint, stucco, fencing, or landscaping. If there’s a swimming pool or playground equipment, inspect to ensure that everything is in proper and safe condition.
Take pictures and make notes for your records and as aids in communicating to contractors.
What are the benefits of preventative maintenance?
There are four benefits to having a consistent preventative maintenance routine:
- You nip maintenance problems in the bud, thus preventing them from developing into larger, more expensive, or safety issues. These include issues that tenants might overlook or fail to report.
- You encourage your property’s value to increase, which will enhance your wealth and can justify higher rents.
- You establish better tenant relationships. Tenants appreciate your attention to the condition of their living spaces and are consequently more inclined to re-sign leases, accept rent increases, create favorable word-of-mouth advertising, and take better care of the property.
Periodic inspections can alert you to illegal or inappropriate behavior by a tenant. This helps you to quickly remove them from your property and garners the appreciation of other tenants because you are providing a safer, more pleasant place to live.
What’s required to embrace preventative maintenance?
The two basic components of a good preventative maintenance program are:
- Time. The more units you own, the more time it takes to execute a good preventative maintenance program. And, if issues crop up, you must invest the time to contact and hire contractors or to do the job yourself.
- Resources. When maintenance needs arise, you must have an extensive list of licensed, insured, and dependable vendors to expeditiously remedy any problems. Or you must have the skills and equipment to make repairs yourself.
Are there consequences to not having a preventative maintenance program?
We’ve already discussed how quickly small maintenance issues can develop into major headaches that can diminish the value of your investment in MULTIfamily property.
You can also prevent uncomfortable confrontations regarding deductions from the amount of a security deposit refund or arguing over the cost of damages that exceed the amount of the security deposit.
Staying on top of your property’s maintenance demands opens the lines of communication and enables you to clarify what your tenant is responsible for on an ongoing basis, thus avoiding volatile situations when leases end.
Preventative maintenance without the hassle?
MULTIfamily property owners agree on two things when it comes to maintaining their property:
- Preventative maintenance is important and worthwhile.
- Preventative maintenance consumes an inordinate amount of time and energy.
This is especially true if you own numerous properties. Most MULTIfamily property owners have full-time jobs, so finding the time and energy to regularly inspect their buildings is challenging.
Enlightened property owners hire a property manager.
What does a property management company do?
Briefly – everything. This allows you to enjoy your passive income while shifting the preventative maintenance and other demands related to owning MULTIfamily property to experienced professionals who are diligent and affordable.
Here’s a list of what a good property management company does for you in context of preventative maintenance:
- Routinely inspects your property, inside and out.
- Clearly communicates with tenants regarding maintenance issues and tactfully defines which are your responsibility and which are the tenant’s.
- Arranges and oversees required maintenance tasks on your behalf through an extensive and continuously updated network of licensed, insured, and dependable contractors.
- Ensures that all work is performed to your tenant’s and your satisfaction and takes responsibility for any necessary rework.
- Fosters good tenant relationships by representing you in good light as they demonstrate your care for the building and the convenience of your tenants.
Preventative maintenance is important to MULTIfamily property owners.
Preventative maintenance can increase property value and rental income while fostering positive owner-tenant relationships by providing a pleasant, safe environment.
Property owners can be overwhelmed by the considerable time and resource demands of an effective preventative maintenance program. They can shift the burden by hiring an experienced property management company.
Property management companies are affordable and effective.
Looking for MULTIfamily investment opportunities? If you’re a first-time investor or already an investor looking to expand your portfolio, you’ll find exceptional opportunities at our website.