When you own your own home, you tend to have a good idea of when maintenance work needs to be done. You notice when things aren’t right, and you have at least a general idea of when maintenance was last done or the last time something was replaced.
But when you own a rental property, it’s a little trickier. You’re not present every day to notice things. You might not have a solid grasp of when items were last maintained or replaced. It’s risky to simply expect your tenants to keep you up to speed when something needs to be repaired.
So rental owners are wise to be proactive. Inspections should be done, repairs documented, and regular maintenance scheduled on the calendar. With that in mind, here are some property maintenance tips for rental owners.
Know your rules
There are state and local rules and regulations that owners of rental properties must adhere to, and some of them deal with the condition of a property.
If you’re managing the property on your own, it’s important to know state regulations and local ordinances and to keep abreast of changes to the requirements. If you hire a property management company, you should make sure they are familiar with requirements as they pertain to the condition of a property.
Different municipalities have different ordinances, too. A San Jose property manager, for example, must be familiar with the local ordinances where each managed property is located. Rental inspections and HVAC certifications are required in some areas and need to be documented for the local government.
Pencil it in on your calendar
Plenty of rental owners do unscheduled “drive-by” inspections of their properties, but a drive-by won’t tell you if the furnace is making awful noises or the garbage disposal has stopped working. It can be important, therefore, to schedule regular inspections of a property’s overall interior, mechanical systems, and roof if it’s aging.
It’s also helpful to document dates of regular maintenance done. When was the furnace filter last changed? When did the sprinkler system last get a check-up? A good property manager keeps track of dates in order to ensure a property is on a proper maintenance schedule.
Realize what’s at stake
In Santa Clara County, the median sales price of a home was $1.3 million in 2020 – no small investment. And when you’re making that kind of investment, it only makes sense to protect it.
Homeowners insurance will cover you against most catastrophes, but regular maintenance can extend the life of rather expensive components of a property. A reputable Santa Clara property management company would know it’s dealing with million-dollar-plus investments and protect them accordingly with responsible maintenance. If you’re managing the property yourself, shouldn’t you do the same?
Ignoring seemingly small problems over time can lead to big problems in the future, and who wants big problems with such a high-dollar investment?
Know your limits
If you have a rental property with a lawn that’s overgrown, you can probably mow it yourself. Maybe you can fix a leaky toilet or put a coat of paint where it’s needed. But unless you’re a contractor-level do-it-yourselfer, it’s unlikely that you’re going to replace an electrical panel or shingle a roof.
Knowing these limitations is important because, again, your investment is likely sizable. There will be times you need a professional. If you own rental property in San Jose, hiring a professional San Jose property manager not only allows you to save your own time but also means you have professional services ready to go when things get beyond your level of expertise.
Valley Management Group has been providing trustworthy and affordable property management services in San Jose and throughout Santa Clara County for more than 40 years. They also offer a free property management quote and one free month of property management services for rental owners who sign up for their services.
Reviewed and Approved by Lloyd Kipp
Property Manager and Owner of Valley Management Group