Temecula Property Management | Benefit National

The Dangers Of Deferred Maintenance


One thing investors learn very quickly as they venture into property investing and management is that rentals are always in need of maintenance. It can often feel like just as you’re finishing up one home improvement project, something else needs your attention. It can be easy to push home maintenance to the bottom of your To-Do list and call it deferred maintenance, but this often ends in disaster.


Deferred maintenance is pretty common. Like waiting for an appliance in the home to   become inoperable before replacing it with a new one. It may seem more cost-effective than regular, preventative maintenance, but it’s not. Here’s why:


Health and Safety

One of the biggest dangers of deferred maintenance is the impact on health and safety. A wobbly ceiling fan, unbalanced steps, weak flooring, and faulty electrical systems can put tenants at high risk for injury. Ignoring these small problems increases the chance that somebody will get hurt on the property. If there is any evidence that a system or appliance in the home could be a danger to the tenants, these issues must be addressed right away.


Deferred maintenance can also be detrimental to the health of a tenant. Ignoring normal home maintenance issues such as changing out the air filters and addressing leaks can lead to the growth of mold and mildew. This can be a serious health concern for tenants, especially those with pre-existing breathing conditions.


Compliance Standards

If you ever find yourself in the situation where your property is undergoing a compliance inspection, one of your first thoughts might be “I wish I fixed XYZ when I had the chance.” If your rental property does not meet compliance regulations, you could be faced with thousands of dollars in fines. It’s just not worth it. Preventative maintenance allows you to walk into a compliance inspection with confidence.


Some of the most common rental property violations that are often picked up upon inspection include:


  • Missing or broken smoke detectors
  • Leaking pipes/faulty plumbing
  • Insufficient ventilation
  • Electrical problems
  • Inadequate weatherproofing
  • Evidence bug/pest infestation


Most of these issues can be addressed pretty easily. You’ll be kicking yourself if you get a violation and fine for something so easy to repair or replace.


Deferred Maintenance | Benefit National Property Management Temecula

Limited Equipment Efficiency

While you’re waiting for an appliance or system to completely break down, it will become increasingly more inefficient. This means your tenants will be working with appliances and systems that aren’t working at their best. This leads to frustration and inconvenience for the tenant, which eventually gets passed down to the landlord or property manager. Requiring your tenants to live with subpar appliances or equipment is not a landlord’s best practice. And when the appliance does finally breakdown, emergency maintenance and repairs are so much more expensive than preventive maintenance. Your tenants will expect a quick response for their broken refrigerator or washing machine. This will end up costing you a lot more than simply fixing a part.


Damage To Your Reputation

If deferred maintenance is your standard maintenance strategy, it won’t take long for the word to spread about the way you prioritize home maintenance. This can do damage to your reputation. If you own a property investment company, this can do irreparable damage to your name. Tenants will talk to their friends and family about the way you leave maintenance until the very last minute. Also advising other renters in their social circles not to rent from you. If your goal is to invest in properties that generate a steady stream of rental income, it’s important to stay on top of whole maintenance so that your tenants stay happy and safe.


Small Issues Cause Chain Reactions

It may seem like a faulty light switch or slowly leaking pipe is just a small problem that can wait to be fixed. But these small issues often cause chain reactions, sometimes reading to complete system failures. The amount of time and money it would take to call an electrician or a plumber to fix these small issues is nothing compared to trying to repair an entire home system in a short amount of time. Small issues are often signs of bigger, but not so obvious issues. What may seem like a small leak could be evidence of a deeper-rooted problem, such as a roof leak or mold growth. Preventive maintenance helps track these issues back to the source so they can be fixed before they become a dangerous and costly problem.


Deferred Maintenance | Property Manager


Increased Stress, Decreased Productivity

Another reason that deferred maintenance can be so detrimental to a rental property is that an emergency breakdown never happens at a convenient time. This means, instead of taking the time and money to fix a small problem, you will be faced with a big problem at the most inopportune time. This may mean you have to step away from bigger projects, family functions, social activities, or other work-related responsibilities to take care of a major problem in your investment property. This can lead to diminished productivity and efficiency in other areas of your life. This can be a very stressful situation, one which can be avoided with simple preventive maintenance.


The Next Steps

If deferred maintenance is your go-to strategy, it’s important to ask yourself why. Are you overworked in other areas of your life and find it difficult to find the time to perform regular maintenance on your investment property? Are you finding it difficult to juggle multiple rental properties? Having issues connecting with professional and reliable contractors to perform regular home maintenance? If any of these are true, your next right step is to hire a professional property management company.


Benefit National Property Management Company works with a wide range of trusted professionals who can handle property management before the issues get out of hand. We work as an extra set of eyes on your property. We can spot small issues before they become big ones. Benefit National knows the dangers of deferred maintenance, and strive to stay on top of all regular and emergency maintenance issues so that you don’t have to.

Want to learn more about how a property management company can make your investments work for you? Let’s get connected.



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