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Should Owners Handle Rental Property Maintenance?

By Courtney Rosen

Along with the loss of rental income and uncooperative tenants, maintenance of your rental properties is one of the biggest worries for landlords. Rental property maintenance is crucial for success and better returns! However, it can be incredibly time-consuming and costly if not done correctly. 


To keep good tenants happy and ensure that your investment is in good condition, it is essential to do regular maintenance—but is it a good idea to handle property maintenance yourself? Or should you entrust the task to a professional? Keep reading to find out!

Is DIY Maintenance a Good Idea?

If you have the DIY skills and a stable relationship with your tenants, tackling routine maintenance and repair jobs may be advantageous. However, most property owners don't have the DIY skills to handle the many maintenance tasks required to keep their rental properties in good condition. It's also not uncommon for property owners to lack the expertise necessary for significant repairs when something goes wrong.


If landlords insist on seeing to maintenance issues on their own, challenges may arise, including:

  • When tenants realize that you are not just the maintenance guy, it may compromise your relationship with them. For example, if you are on the property fixing a leaky faucet, your tenants may convince you to repair or replace something that is not your responsibility to resolve.
  • Attending to maintenance issues yourself could lead to confusion. Tenants may not know whether to report maintenance issues to you or the property manager. This could undermine the responsibilities and negate the efficiency of your property manager.
  • It can become difficult for your property manager to build good relationships with the renters, track maintenance requests and repairs effectively, and manage the maintenance budget for rental property.

In most cases, letting experts handle property maintenance is better for tenants, owners, and rental properties!


Should Landlords Do Tenant Turnover Repairs?

Conducting repairs and maintenance between leases means there is no risk of disrupting tenant and property manager relationships. You may also save a bit of money doing the work yourself. 


However, there are several disadvantages to this approach:

  • Usually, handling your own make-ready process can lengthen the turnover time, which can be very costly.
  • You work for free when you do the repairs yourself. No one is paying for your time, which you could spend more lucratively or enjoyably doing something else.
  • The property manager cannot charge landlord-effected repairs against the security deposit.

While it's easy to believe you could save money handling the rental-ready tasks, you will likely lose money on a lengthier vacancy time and repairs that won't last. 


Strategies for Stress-Free Maintenance

To take the stress out of maintenance for your rental properties, San Antonio, TX property management companies recommend several systems to reduce costs, keep properties in excellent condition, and help improve tenant retention!


1. Regular Maintenance

To avoid costly emergency repairs, it is critical to perform regular maintenance on your rental property. A well-maintained property should demand a higher rent and attract tenants who will take care of your investment property. This will also help to reduce running costs of wear and tear on your property and improve your ROI.


2. Regular Inspections

Most landlords inspect their property before a new tenant moves in and before releasing the security deposit at the end of a lease. However, it's also good business practice to do mid-term property inspections. 


Performing regular inspections is a surefire way to ensure that minor issues are resolved before they turn into expensive emergencies. Additional benefits of regular rental property inspections include:

  • Putting your tenants at ease that you are invested in the good condition of your property
  • Tenants taking better care of the property and improved lease renewal rates
  • Minimize the turnover time between tenants

These benefits translate into better profits for your bottom line!


3. Adhere to a Maintenance Budget for Rental Property

To fulfill a property's maintenance requirements, it's crucial to budget for maintenance expenses. Set aside capital or cash reserves for unforeseen emergencies and replacing big-ticket items such as roofs or carpets from time to time. 


A property manager can recommend a few tried-and-true methods for setting the maintenance budget for rental property, including:

  • The 1% Rule: This budgeting guideline stipulates that a property's maintenance costs for one year could amount to approximately 1% of the property's value. In other words, if a property is worth $200,000, stash away $2,000 for annual maintenance.
  • The Square-Foot Formula: Your annual maintenance costs will cost roughly $1 per square foot of the property. So, if your property's surface area measures 1,800 square feet, plan maintenance costs of about $1,800 per year.
  • The 50% Rule: This rule accounts for more than the maintenance expense. According to the 50% rule, the total operating costs (maintenance, repairs, property insurance, taxes, and property management fees) should equal approximately half the monthly rent amount. For example, for a property with a rental price of $1,500, $750 should go toward your operating expenses. 

Ultimately, how you budget for property maintenance is up to you! However, San Antonio property managers can guide you to the best solution for your needs. 


Why Choose Professional Property Management and Maintenance

Performing the necessary property inspections and maintenance and repairs adds up to a considerably time-consuming task—even more so if you have more than one investment property. However, choosing San Antonio, TX, property management professionals to oversee your rental property management and maintenance needs will make your life easier and help to improve your ROI.Group of professional construction workersisolated white background

Hiring property managers means:

  • You can trust the experts to receive (at any time of the day or night), manage maintenance requests, schedule repairs, and conduct routine maintenance throughout the year.
  • The right property manager will do routine inspections to note problems before they become costly emergencies.
  • You will have a vetted network of reliable vendors to handle the different maintenance tasks.
  • Cost-effective, time-efficient maintenance services.
  • A buffer between the landlord and the tenant to handle issues or disputes.
  • Years of industry experience in the best approaches to repairs or upgrades.
  • An online system for tenants to submit repair requests 24/7 and receive a prompt response.

In addition, as your investment portfolio grows, a San Antonio property manager will have all the necessary resources to handle all your properties.


Entrust Rental Property Maintenance to the Professionals

While property owners "can" handle their own maintenance, we generally discourage it. One of the leading causes of tenant turnover is poor rental property maintenance! Don't lose good tenants and waste time and money on frequent tenant turnovers. 


Entrust rental properties to MHN Property Management. When you trust us with your properties, you can enjoy more free time and better returns while we take care of everything!

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