Investors looking to manage a rental property with long term tenants must make the condition of the property their priority. Below is a simple to-do list. It’s easy to let these tasks slide, but that would be a mistake. Too many investors learn the hard way. You don’t have to.
Mistake #1: Not having a savings account for emergencies and repairs
You never know when something will come up, and having a budget for repairs will help you when it does. Consider setting aside some portion of the rent in an account for repairs so you can slowly build a safety net. That way, you are prepared for a large emergency in the future.
Remember, your tenant’s security deposit is not for repairs while the tenants live there; it is for after they move out. You should set up another account, separate from their security deposit, to make sure you don’t mix funds and put their deposit at risk.
Remember to set aside money for an emergency and keep track of all the warranties you have in the unit. Save scanned documents in one place, so it’s easy to access them. Set reminders in your calendar app when warranties expire; this will help you plan for maintenance on your appliances or anything you’ve installed in your rental.
Mistake #2: Not recording the condition of the unit at move-in
The move-in condition report is a critical step to protect your rental from excessive damage. Take photos and detailed notes with the tenants when they move into your rental so you can inspect and document damage at the end of their lease.
While each tenant is allowed normal wear and tear, some damages will likely be their responsibility. Clear and detailed notes from move-in will be essential as you determine which repairs are your responsibility or the tenant’s security deposit.
Walking through the property with the tenants is also an excellent opportunity to help them understand the unit’s quirks if there are any. Show them how to use the thermostat or how to reset the garbage disposal. These little tips will empower your tenants to feel even more comfortable in your home and trust you as questions and issues arise.
Mistake #3: Not making yearly inspections of the property to check on it’s condition
Every landlord should know their rental property inside and out. Schedule a yearly inspection to see if any repairs are needed.
Check on things that tenants might miss, especially crawl spaces, exterior damage, windows, and appliances. The tenant could easily miss a hole made by a rodent or a slow leak that wasn’t there before.
These guidelines will give you peace of mind knowing that the tenants are taking care of your house and a better idea of what repairs are needed sooner rather than later.