And before you ask, yes, it DOES matter!
Keeping your property well maintained and well-presented is vital for landlords, as it is in their financial interests to keep tenants happy and reduce vacancies.
As a landlord and property manager, you should act as quickly as possible when it comes to repairs and maintenance. This is where good communication skills are essential. Experienced property managers know repairs and maintenance issues should be responded to promptly. For a tenant, it can be frustrating if you report a problem to your property manager or landlord and it doesn’t get fixed for weeks. You should treat your investment property as if you are the one living in it. Disgruntled tenants will not make anyone’s life any easier.
Aside from unhappy tenants, ignoring maintenance issues can often become more expensive and time consuming the longer you ignore them. This translates to a decreased value of your investment and decreased income potential. This is particularly evident when the property is vacant. If the property isn’t maintained whilst you’re showing it to tenants, your property will sit vacant for longer. This will cost you rental income (not to mention the accompanying stress!) Many tenants actually say that they would have extended their leases if the property was better maintained.
This is one to focus on when you’re in between tenancies. Cosmetic touch-ups such as repainting walls, adding new blinds, polishing appliances and redoing the garden are all inexpensive ways to make your property look a million dollars! Well, maybe not… but it can certainly help attract great tenants and might even allow you to add a couple of extra dollars to the rent.
Imagine yourself as a tenant looking for a property to rent. If you walk into a house or apartment that has dirty floors, broken lights, cracked windows and/or faulty appliances, for example, you wouldn’t want to live there.
If your property doesn’t look presentable, you won’t have many tenants interested, which will drive down the rental price you can charge. Not only is the price an issue, but you may also end up with people who don’t respect your property and cause more damage and a lot of trouble.
Tenants who take pride in a neat and tidy property will treat it as such. Maintaining your property constantly will attract a better calibre of tenants, meaning your property is looked after.
Legally, tenants are entitled to have a safe environment to live in. That seems fair, doesn’t it?
Many landlord insurance providers can also deny claims if they believe the landlord hasn’t taken reasonable steps to maintain their property to the standards in the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act.
Inspections are a handy tool for landlords and property managers to uncover potential problems and check up on household items which may have caused problems in the past. A good property manager will inspect aspects such as drains and gutters, check for mould, check appliances, inspect the walls and fences for damage and take a look at the roof.
When it comes to maintenance, a good property manager will be invaluable to you. Among a variety of other services, they will perform inspections, they will have an ongoing maintenance plan in place and they will have a network of cost-effective and trusted tradespeople.
To have your questions answered, get in touch with a property manager at Red & Co on 1300 88 73 28 or email Kathy Laverty at [email protected].