Maintenance is often a headache for rental property owners, but it doesn’t have to be. If you want to keep costs low, prevent frustrating emergency calls, and protect the condition and the value of your Los Angeles investment property, prioritize proactive property maintenance.
Getting ahead of those potential disasters will save you money and time. It will also contribute to tenant retention.
You want to avoid deferred and unreported maintenance. Those repairs are always more expensive, and in all of our experience managing and maintaining properties, we’ve never known a problem to become easier with time.
Let’s take a look at some of the preventative maintenance strategies you can put into place to better protect your property, keep your maintenance budget intact, and ensure that your residents are willing to renew their lease agreement when the time comes.
Here’s how to prevent maintenance headaches.
Partner with Reliable Vendors and Contractors
You can’t have a good preventative maintenance plan without a great team of vendors and contractors who will take care of that work that needs to be done on a regular basis. Your handyman can probably take care of minor issues when a tenant calls with a complaint, but when it comes to avoiding disasters, establish relationships with licensed and insured professionals.
You’ll need a plumber and an electrician. An HVAC service technician and a roofer. Don’t forget your team of service professionals like landscapers, cleaners, and pest control providers.
Develop relationships with professionals before you need them, and that way you won’t feel stressed out when it’s time to call a vendor with an emergency or a special request. Listen to their advice and recommendations when it comes to caring for your property. Make sure all of the vendors you work with are licensed and insured to prevent additional risk and liability.
Partner with Your Los Angeles Tenants
A proactive maintenance plan requires more than just good relationships with vendors and contractors. It also requires good relationships with your residents.
Your tenants are living at the home. They see the condition of appliances, floors, sinks, and lights every day. They know when things are breaking or in need of replacements.
Make sure they understand their responsibilities when it comes to maintenance and repairs. You want to know right away when something goes wrong; instruct your tenants to be quick with their repair requests. Don’t let them wait for a situation to become dire before they finally reach out.
Your lease is a great place to share expectations and list responsibilities. Reinforce those expectations when you’re talking to tenants and make sure they understand that you need their help to maintain their rental home.
Pay Attention to Expensive Systems: Be Proactive with HVAC Inspections
Tenants in Los Angeles will use both the air conditioning and the heat in your property throughout the year. The HVAC system will be well-used, and to avoid expensive repairs and replacements, it must be maintained.
The HVAC is perhaps one of the most expensive systems to replace. You want to keep it running as efficiently and effectively as possible. Preventative maintenance can reduce repair costs and extend the life expectancy of your system.
Consider entering into a service contract with a local HVAC company. They’ll send a technician out to your property once or twice a year to inspect and clean the HVAC. This will ensure that any problems are detected early. You’ll know your tenants are unlikely to complain about their air conditioning not working in the middle of July. Air quality will be better, and so will tenant satisfaction.
Plumbing is an Important Preventative Maintenance Issue
Water in Los Angeles rental properties is never a good situation. Make sure leaks, drips, and water intrusion are noticed right away and remedied. Before you know it, you’ll have mold and mildew and a major headache if water issues go untreated.
Small leaks are easy to ignore, but they almost always turn into larger leaks that damage floors and walls and eventually lead to rot and mold. Be proactive about preventing them in your rental property, and educate your tenants on the importance of reporting water issues right away.
Anytime you are in the property, take a look at the areas under sinks. Check the floors around toilets and tubs to be sure there isn’t any softening. Look for drooping or discolored ceilings and walls.
Make a Seasonal Schedule for Preventative Maintenance
The best way to ensure that nothing gets missed when it comes to maintaining your property is to establish a schedule of preventative maintenance that’s needed annually. Why not make this seasonal?
While we don’t have dramatic seasonal changes like other parts of the country, making your preventative maintenance plans a seasonal issue can help you stay organized and avoid forgetting the things that need to be done. Take care of landscaping, pest control, roof inspections, sprinkler flushing, and gutter cleaning once or twice a year, depending on the needs of your property. This will ensure you don’t suddenly have to make major and expensive repairs. It will keep you on a system and protect you from sudden emergencies or major repairs.
Consider Los Angeles Property Management for Proactive Maintenance
One of the best ways to put together a preventative maintenance plan is with the help of a professional Los Angeles property management company. Our job is to protect the condition of your home and to ensure it’s safe and habitable for your tenants. We’ll save you money with preferred vendors and careful attention to the small problems so that they don’t become big headaches.
Preventative maintenance allows you to be proactive instead of reactive, and you’ll find it leads to a better rental experience for you and your tenants. If you’d like to hear additional tips, please contact us at Earnest Homes. We prioritize proactive repairs and maintenance in the properties we manage, and that leads to better tenant satisfaction, healthier homes, and a more profitable investment experience for our Los Angeles rental property owners.