When you buy a property to be rented out the mortgage is not the last check you write for it. There are a variety of expenses that come with owning a rental property. Some of those expenses can be managed easier if you catch maintenance problems early. A dripping sink is easier (and less expensive) to fix than a flooded bathroom.
Property walk-throughs and good communication with tenants are two of the best ways to help prevent large maintenance issues, though regular maintenance is a must. If you keep the property up it will allow your tenants to live more comfortably and for you to have a bit more peace of mind when it comes to unforeseen and unexpected maintenance catastrophes. Older appliances and uncared for pipes are much more likely to break down than if you keep up with these. Spending a little money along the way to keep things in shape is much more sensible than allowing it to fall into disrepair and being forced into spending a much larger chunk of money to fix not only to original problem, but the damage the original problem finally brings about to the property.
Property upkeep helps to keep tenants happy and bring in more interest when it's time to list the property for rent. The appearance of the outside is going to be the first thing that the applicant sees as they're driving by, so make sure that it's put together and well taken care of. If it's a multi-family property you will want to keep an eye on heavy traffic areas as well as common areas. If it's a single-family home, make sure the lawn is well manicured and that the current tenants are keeping everything neat and tidy.
The law requires you to keep the property safe and habitable, but making sure that you go beyond that and head off any potential problems will help you relax and know that you're doing everything you can to make sure your business runs smoothly.
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