Congratulations! You’ve purchased a new investment property in Orlando, and you're on your way to the peaceful and profitable life of a landlord. All that's left is to sit back and collect your monthly rent checks, right? Not so fast—Your rental property needs a new dishwasher! There’s also a growing roof leak from that last rain storm. Who’s going to replace the damaged linoleum flooring before your new tenants move in? Don't forget, that tree in the yard needs trimming before limbs fall in the driveway—plus, someone needs to change the locks from the previous owners.
These are all typical landlord maintenance tasks! Before you get overwhelmed at the thought of becoming a professional roofer, painter, plumber, or electrician, check out our tips for rental property maintenance.
You Can, but Should You?
Maybe you can change those locks yourself; you might have a friend with a chainsaw willing to help you tackle those tree limbs. Should you do this stuff yourself? Probably not.
For many landlords, owning a rental property is an additional source of income: it’s an extra job on top of their “day” job. As a landlord, you can take on as much (or as little) of the day-to-day tasks as you want. Generally, Orlando landlords find it’s best—and most cost-effective—to outsource maintenance work.
- Changing locks turns into needing to replace the front door because you didn’t notice the last tenants left a dent.
- Trimming those limbs turns into taking down the whole tree because it’s more of a hazard than you thought.
- Taking on repair projects can also risk your health and safety without the investment in proper equipment—plus, who's there to "hold the ladder?"
You’ll quickly find yourself working too many hours to maintain a property that’s supposed to be a source of passive income. Often, trying to save money on DIY repairs costs more when you factor in the time spent on any repair.
When it comes to rental property maintenance, develop a network of contractors you trust to handle repairs—large or small.
Screen Your Service Providers
Your Orlando rental property is a money-making asset; protect it by screening anyone who enters the property.
Just as you screen tenants before you allow them to live in your rental home, it’s critical to screen contractors before hiring them to work in your property.
- Verify applicable licenses, insurance, and certifications
- Check online reviews and ask for referrals
- Compare pricing (although cheaper isn’t always better!)
- If you have a family with children in your rental property, do a background check on any workers who may enter.
Your job as a landlord includes providing a safe living space for your tenants: make sure any and all contractors you hire are allowed to be on your property. Many contractors reward loyalty: as you develop a trusted list of contractors, landlords often find that they save money on repairs as a repeat customer or in the event of an emergency.
Keep an “I” on Repairs!
One of the best ways to reduce headaches and avoid major repairs is to keep an eye on your property with regular inspections.
- Keep a schedule of seasonal inspections. Use those opportunities to take note of any repairs needed on your property.
- You can also use seasonal inspections to prepare your property for the upcoming seasons.
- Regular inspections also help you keep up with how well your tenants take care of your property. You might see something they haven’t yet reported for repair.
A consistent schedule of inspections also helps you plan with your contractors. If your trusted network of contractors knows when you do your property inspections, they can plan their schedule availability for repairs or maintenance on your property. Remember: excellent customer service for your tenants includes timely repairs and maintenance.
Prepare for Emergencies
You never know when an emergency maintenance issue will strike, but you can prepare yourself for the inevitability that it will happen at some point.
Every tenant experiences an emergency maintenance problem at some point during their lease: landlords must accept that late night or weekend maintenance calls are part of the job. Prepare yourself to respond quickly when an emergency happens:
- Have an emergency/after-hours phone line that can reach you in an emergency
- Respond quickly when you receive a call
- Have contractors on standby for emergency issues
It may be one of the toughest elements of being a landlord, but tenants need a quick response when dealing with an emergency.
You Don’t Have to Be the Handyman (Or Woman)
If wielding a hammer or amateur plumbing isn’t what you had in mind as a landlord, you don’t have to be the one wrangling repairs. Hire a property management company to handle all of your rental property maintenance. Property managers use a list of trusted contractors, and they are available after-hours—so you don’t have to be!
In the Orlando and Lake Nona area, Verandah Properties is ready to handle your property management and upkeep! Contact us for a FREE Rental Analysis to see how we can put our skills to work for your Central Florida property!