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Prudent Planning: How to Manage Property Maintenance Expenses

Prudent Planning: How to Manage Property Maintenance Expenses

As any landlord will tell you, property maintenance is a daily task. From talking to tenants to logging work orders, there's always something to do.

Of course, such a large time investment must come with large expenses. If you're not careful, it's easy to blow the standard budget of one dollar per square foot. And this doesn't include other key factors like the age of your property.

Want to ensure your maintenance expenses don't get out of hand? This guide will help you develop a solid maintenance management plan!

Prioritize the Right Tasks

There are many ways maintenance can improve a property. That said, not all of them will be worth the time and money you spend on them.

If you're looking to prioritize, always start with health and safety hazards. These issues include loose railings, non-functional alarms, and so on. Pay particular attention to fire safety systems like smoke detectors.

Beyond immediate risks, it's worth prioritizing tenant concerns. Taking care of them quickly will keep tenants happy. Plus, resolving an issue on time often means you'll avoid bigger maintenance expenses down the road.

Keep in mind that the Fair Housing Act says that delaying maintenance can be a form of discrimination. To avoid this, do property inspections on time and let your tenants know where to contact you.

Account for Seasonality

Key maintenance tasks change with each passing season. A good property owner will be aware of that and adapt to new circumstances.

A winter maintenance checklist, for example, is lengthier than others. It involves tasks like:

  • Insulating pipes and windows
  • Inspecting boilers and furnaces
  • Clearing the snow around the property
  • Clearing autumn debris from the gutters
  • Having a supply of de-icing chemicals

With winter storms getting worse, the last thing you want is for one to take you by surprise. If you don't take preventive maintenance seriously, you could end up spending thousands of dollars on expenses.

Other seasons aren't as dangerous, but it's still worth preparing for them. Many seasonal tasks, like enhancing curb appeal, are crucial for preserving property value.

Stay in Touch With Providers

Having strong connections with service providers can help you cut down on maintenance costs. The question is: how do you build those connections?

First, look at your current maintenance contracts. Pinpoint the most successful relationships and look into expanding them. Find out how your tenants feel about recently completed maintenance projects as well.

Next, make a list of recurring maintenance projects. This will help you line up contracts before you need them. If you're allowing pets, for instance, discuss the ideal cleaning schedule with your preferred provider.

If your maintenance needs are serious enough, hire some specialists as full-time employees. Having a plumber on-site gives you flexibility when it comes to emergency repairs.

Need Help With Property Maintenance?

There's no getting around it: property maintenance is hard. At the same time, a well-maintained property is huge for upping the value of your portfolio. The above guide will help you keep track of the essentials!

Looking to outsource your maintenance needs to professionals? At Hunter Property Management, we've helped clients like you for 34 years! Get in touch with us to learn more about our services!