It doesn’t matter how new your investment property is in Ashburn, and it doesn’t matter how excellent its condition is: eventually, it will need repairs and maintenance. You need to be prepared with a maintenance plan and a budget to take care of routine and emergency maintenance. Deferred maintenance will only cause more expensive problems. It will cause your home to deteriorate faster, and it will also chase away great tenants. Don’t put off necessary maintenance, and don’t ignore tenant requests for repairs.
Routine Maintenance Expectations for Rental Homes
First, take a look at the exterior of your property to get an idea of what will need regular maintenance. If you have a deck, it will need to be resealed occasionally. You’ll need to pay attention to your landscaping and make sure the gutters are cleaned regularly. If you’re renting out a single-family home, consider hiring a lawn service to take care of the yard. You never know if the tenants are going to keep it up to the standards that you expect. You can include the cost of lawn service in the rent.
Inside, tenants are responsible for maintaining the home. It should be kept clean, sanitary, and free of pests and damage. Your lease should indicate that tenants must replace light bulbs and air filters. Scheduling an annual or semi-annual HVAC inspection can help you ensure your systems are running properly. If your property has a sump pump, make sure you have a battery back-up. You can damage your basement if you lose power during a storm without one. While the back-up system will cost around $700 to $900, it will save you a lot of money on damage in the long term.
Preventative and routine maintenance is worth investing in when you’re renting out a home. Small problems are easier and more cost-effective to fix. No maintenance issue ever became easier and less expensive with time.
Have an Emergency Repair Plan in Place
Your tenants will need to be able to contact someone in the event that there’s an emergency at the property. If a tenant loses heat in the winter or air conditioning in the summer, you need to treat it as an emergency. If there’s a water leak or a fire, those are emergencies. Immediate action is required.
As a landlord, you’re responsible for providing a habitable and safe environment for your tenants. So, if the temperature is over 80 degrees or below 62 degrees for 24 hours or longer, you need to think about paying for your tenants to go to a hotel or other temporary housing. We recommend an allowance that is no more than 1/30th of the rent. So, if your tenants pay $2,400 per month, you should give them $80 per day for housing while repairs are being made. Be sure to ask for a receipt from your tenants for their hotel expenses.
You should also do this if there is flooding at the home or a lack of water. However, if there’s a utility issue that’s causing a lack of power, and other homes in the area are affected, it’s not your responsibility to fix. There’s no need to offer a hotel allowance, even though such an event can be disruptive and inconvenient.
Maintenance issues need your attention, and if you would like some help or additional advice on maintaining your Ashburn rental property, please contact us at Castle Property Management.