Maintenance Matters- A Comprehensive Approach to Rental Property Upkeep

Staying in good physical shape can help you live longer and enjoy life. Meanwhile, having your car regularly serviced will help it run smoothly, without breaking down and needing costly repairs.

So, it makes sense to take care of the other significant assets in your life – like your investment properties.

Payments for repairs and maintenance are part of life for a property investor. But you don’t always want to be paying those out-of-hours callout fees to tradies, which is why it pays to engage in some basic planning. Staying on top of the upkeep of your assets can save major money over the long term.

First, get help

If you have multiple properties spread across various towns or states, it’s impossible to look after them yourself. Even if, on the rare occasion that your investment property is close.

to your principal place of residence, we are all time poor these days and it’s still best to engage a professional.

Good property managers have great ongoing relationships with the best local tradies they can find. And if they have been in business for some time, they will likely know which dodgy operators to avoid from experience.

 It’s better to have someone on a first-name basis with a reputable repairer be the one in charge of averting a crisis, than to start Googling names yourself and trying to decide who is reliable and who isn’t from the thousands of service providers out there.

Your property manager will also schedule all appropriate rental inspections and maintenance checks so that you don’t have to, and will stay on top of work that needs doing so it doesn’t blow out in price down the track.

Consistency is key

When you have the right property managers in place, you will notice that the feedback from the routine inspections isn’t the same old ‘clean/not clean, good working order/needs replacement’ box ticking exercise.

Rather, their recommendations should have financial impacts to the property in mind, not just in the short term, but working towards future value increases and sustained appeal to the tenant market.

They should look for opportunities to avoid major repairs later down the track by stopping problems at a much earlier, and cheaper, stage.

Cheaper when efficient

Packaging multiple tasks and checks into single appointments with tradespeople can also mean avoiding individual callout fees for spot jobs.

If the plumber comes to assess what’s required for the new hot water system, you could also get them to take a look at something else in the laundry, and then re-issue a new Water Efficiency

Compliance certificate while they’re there. 

If all of that takes them an hour, then it’s saved you two extra hours’ worth of their (expensive) time and fees, because you may have found those other problems later and been forced to have them attended to individually. 

If you happen to have a group of investment properties with the same property management firm, you might even find they can score discounts by using the same tradies for all your properties, which they may then pass on to you.

Brilliant deductions

Remember, most of the money you have to spend on your investment properties will be tax deductible. Repairs and maintenance can be claimed back, along with property management fees, landlord insurance and interest paid on loans.