Deferring maintenance can be one of the costliest moves a landlord can make in the long term. It’s important to stay on top of minor repairs for a variety of reasons. The most important thing is to stop what is now a small repair from becoming a big, expensive repair. That loose screw in the storm door can mean the door can be ripped off in heavy winds. Failure to address that minor leak promptly can mean a ceiling falling down and in conjunction, require mold remediation. These are real-life examples of how a repair that would have been less than $100 turned into a cost of several hundred dollars.
Our goal as effective property managers in Northern Virginia is to look at the long-term picture and maintenance for our clients to reduce the exposure to unnecessarily large expenses. Deferring maintenance for too long will cause your property to look rundown and not cared for. This impacts its appeal and eventually the overall value of the property.
People want to move into a property that is well-taken care of. We occasionally hear “it’s just a rental.” Here at Peake Management, we don’t believe in “just a rental.” The property is someone’s home and they want to be able to fully enjoy it. It’s also an investment. You want to be a good steward of your investment and make sure that the value is maintained. It’s also a property that many of our clients in the military and foreign service will return to, and certainly don’t want to return to it in a lesser condition than when they left.
Every six months, one should go through with a critical eye to see what maintenance needs to be done. Check the caulking in the bathrooms, check the smoke detector batteries, confirm that the HVAC filters are being changed regularly. Has the unit been serviced? (It should be cleaned every six months as well.) Make sure the gutters and downspouts are clear, look at the bushes and trees; do they need trimming? Do the deck and/or fence need to be sealed for longevity? What is the condition of the outside paint? (Make sure to paint it before it is heavily peeling.) Is there any rotted wood on the outside? Make sure to replace it before you get a leak. How does the roof look? Can you see any missing shingles? When was the chimney last swept and inspected? As you can see, our property management team in Northern Virginia likes to keep a close eye on every property we manage. Our extensive list of checks is there for a reason.
The list of required ongoing maintenance is long, and this is certainly not comprehensive. Bottom line, staying on top of maintenance issues may cost money every month or two, but it will reduce the overall cost of ownership and keep the property in good condition for years to come. Our professional home managers make sure to inform not only the property owners of these maintenance checks, but also the tenants too so they are aware of what is being done to the home they currently reside in. Take pride in your home, take pride in your rental property, take pride in your home’s maintenance. Call Peake Management Inc. today!