Property Maintenance Costs to Expect in Los Angeles - Article Banner

Rental property maintenance is an expense that will impact every investment property owner, whether you’re renting out just one property or an entire portfolio of residential units. To avoid surprise repair costs, make sure you have a budget in place and a reserve set aside to meet these expenses. 

Let’s talk about the property maintenance costs you can expect for your Los Angeles rental property. We’re approaching this from a place of understanding the local market and the needs of the properties here as well as wanting to focus on the value of preventative maintenance. When you keep up with routine repairs, there are far fewer emergencies and surprises to worry about. 

Whether you’re currently renting out a home in Los Angeles or you’re thinking about investing in the area, this will help you prepare and budget for the most common maintenance expenses. 

Los Angeles is a diverse real estate market. When you buy here, you have options that span every size, neighborhood, and price range. You can buy a fourplex or a mansion. Even with its diversity, most of the maintenance issues are generally the same.

Plumbing and Water Issues in Los Angeles Properties

Water can be damaging to your rental property, and not only do drips become leaks and then floods; water left unattended can turn into mold and rot under sinks, behind walls, and beneath floors. You want to make sure you’re inspecting your plumbing on a regular basis. 

Respond to any plumbing issues right away to save yourself money on larger issues. Investing in routine plumbing inspections will help you avoid expensive repairs. 

Invest what you can in your plumbing fixtures, as well. Toilets will leak, they can stop flushing, and they can run all the time. We have found that finding a great mid-range toilet that has good water pressure and flushes well cuts out a lot of issues that rental property owners often run into. Sometimes that cost associated with installing a better toilet can cancel out one or two service calls. Replace your old toilets with safer, more efficient models.

HVAC Inspections and Services 

Preventative maintenance is a cost you should be delighted to incur when it comes to maintenance. This will ensure you aren’t surprised by unreported or deferred maintenance issues. 

The HVAC is a great example. It’s the most expensive system in your property, and if you’re consistent with having your HVAC system serviced and inspected every year, you’re going to extend its life expectancy and ensure it’s functional, efficient, and safe. 

You’ll spend less money responding to heating and cooling repair needs when you have your HVAC taken care of year-round. 

Rental Property Turnovers in Los Angeles

There will be maintenance needs between tenants. 

For some owners, it’s not expensive to turn a property. This is especially true when you’ve had a great tenant move out, and they took excellent care of the home. Usually, however, you should expect to invest some money repairing, updating, and cleaning your property when one tenant moves out. You’ll need to make it attractive and move-in ready for the next tenant. You’ll have to pay for paint, new floors maybe, and perhaps updated appliances and fixtures. 

Invest in quality work and durable materials. Cheaper is not always cheaper. Work with reliable vendors who can do good work between tenants and get the property into excellent condition quickly. Make the big moves instead of the incremental ones. For example, don’t touch up the paint. Instead, paint the whole wall. It will look better, and it won’t cost you too much more.

Maintenance on Major Appliances and Systems

Regularly servicing your major appliances will save you money in the long term on your maintenance expenses. Look at your kitchen appliances and test the electrical outlets. Flush all the toilets and look for rust on the water heater. 

Think about the age of your Los Angeles investment property as well. This will impact what you need to spend on maintenance. 

The maintenance costs are always a good thing to consider when you’re purchasing a rental property in Los Angeles. Get proper inspections and do your due diligence. There’s a wide variance in how these properties have been treated over time. Factor in what these costs are going to be before you buy. That truly could make or break your investment strategy. If you didn’t plan on these maintenance costs and you don’t have the reserves to cover it, you’re in trouble. 

Have your inspections done so you know what you’re getting. Make sure you’re paying attention to all the things that can potentially break or need work at the property.  

Inspect the Landscaping and Trees 

LandscapingExpect to spend some maintenance money on landscaping, especially if you’re in an area that’s pretty wooded or has a lot of trees. Multi-family property owners will want to have their buildings professionally landscaped. Single-family rental property owners have multiple options when it comes to how the outdoor space will be maintained. You can do it, your tenants can do it, or you can hire a landscaping service. 

There are costs associated with all those options. 

If your property is surrounded by trees, there’s a danger that the branches will get too close to power lines. This could cause fires, so keep the trees trimmed. You also don’t want branches, leaves, and debris to gather on your roof or in your gutters. Hire a professional to trim back branches on a regular basis so they don’t interfere with the wires or with your property’s roof.

Make sure the landscaping isn’t creating a safety hazard. Overgrown bushes in front of the house can block windows, leaving tenants vulnerable. Make sure there is plenty of exterior lighting and keep the outdoor spaces free of weeds, branches, and debris. Invest in pest control services as part of your routine maintenance plan to avoid infestations.  

At Earnest Homes, we always recommend that our property owners set 7-13% of monthly rent aside for potential maintenance issues, depending on the age of the property. Those maintenance costs will be higher or lower depending on whether you own a condo or a single family home.

Maintenance costs vary depending on the size, age, and condition of your property. Let us take a look at your Los Angeles investment property, and we’ll give you an accurate idea of what you can expect to spend maintaining it. Contact us at Earnest Homes.