Top 10 Most Common Rental Property Repairs
Owning an investment property comes with a lot of perks, but it’s not without its fair share of work. A rental property, just like any other property, requires routine maintenance and upgrades to stay functional. Owning a rental property means being prepared to repair things in a quick and efficient way, or at least know who to hire to do it for you. Benefit National Management Company are experts in managing rental properties in the Riverside County area, including Murrieta and Temecula, and we’ve put together a list of the ten most common repairs that you can expect to run into when owning a rental property.
Appliances are one of those things that usually require a qualified and professional technician to fix. Something small like replacing the heating element in the stove can usually be done for pretty cheap and without much training. But since most major appliances are essential for the tenant’s daily living, it’s imperative that bigger issues be repaired right away, or replaced. It usually costs anywhere between $50-100 an hour for a basic appliance to be repaired. If it needs to be replaced, consider buying used. While it’s not recommended to buy second-hand dishwashers, almost all other major household appliances will work just fine the second time around.
It’s usually your nose that leads you to a leaky kitchen sink. Stagnant water that has puddled underneath the sink has it’s own very distinct odor. And a leaky sink could be slowly increasing your water bill as well. A leaky sink could be caused by a faulty supply line or an issue with the drain. Most of the time it’s a drain issue, and with a little guidance from some helpful YouTube videos, you can fix a leaking bathroom or kitchen sink yourself.
Hot Water Issues
Every landlord has received the less than pleasant phone call from a tenant that they’re not getting any hot water. Cold showers are a quick way to cranky tenants and is something that should be addressed right away. The lack of hot water is usually caused by an issue with the water heater. If it’s just the heating element inside, you could probably figure out how to replace it. But if it’s something more technical, you may need to hire a plumber. If the hot water heater has seen its last days, a new one will cost you around $500.
Nothing is worse than finding out there are creepy crawling visitors to your rental property. Crumbs and food being left out by tenants usually cause bug issues, but even so, it’s the landlord’s job to take care of the pests. Getting rid of pests can be done in two ways: educating the tenant on how to NOT attract bugs, and hiring a pest control company to keep the bugs out.
The good news: if a tenant clogs their toilet, it’s not your job to come over and fix it. The bad news: if they clog their toilet and it does extensive damage to the plumbing or sewer system that is your responsibility. If the bathroom sink and tub are clogged too, it could be a sign of a bigger problem. You may have an issue with a drain pipe.
Running toilets are one of the quickest ways to rack up a water bill. It’s one of the first things to check when you see an unusual spike in the utility bills. Replacing the flapper usually solves the problem and can be done for less than $20.
Most landlords can attest that garbage disposals are one of the most annoying rental property issues. They seem always to be acting up or breaking, and it’s usually because tenants are putting things down there that don’t belong. Garbage disposal issues usually boil down to two things: being stuck (which can be resolved with an Allen wrench and a little elbow grease) and a burnt-out motor (which means a couple hundred dollars to repair/replacement)
A beautiful lawn doesn’t happen by accident, and the sprinkler system plays a big role in keeping the front and back yards of your property looking great. A busted sprinkler will not only waste water and spike your water bill, but it could also cause your lawn to be over or under watered. It usually only requires replacing the sprinkler head to resolve.
Most landlords can tell you that the most common time for the AC unit to call it quits is in the middle of summer. Mostly because tenants crank the unit down to below freezing, and partly because that’s just how the Universe works. An AC unit that is not working should be treated as an emergency repair and the professionals should be called in ASAP. Having your unit serviced regularly is a proactive way to stay on top of the status of your unit, so you’re not surprised when it needs to be repaired or replaced.
Just as the AC will probably cause you problems in the summer, the heater is a popular time for the furnace on your property to need some attention. When temps dip down to the 40’s in areas like Temecula CA and Lake Elisnore, a faulty furnace is a big problem. When the heater goes out, it could be a number of things. It could be something easy like the pilot light going out. Or it could be a big issue like a gas leak. When you get the call from your cold tenants that the heater needs to be looked at, call the professionals right away. Replacing your furnace filter is a smart way to prevent common problems, so make that part of your regular maintenance (or better yet, teach your tenants how to do it)
Many real estate pros suggest factoring in 1% of the property value per year in for home repairs. So if your property is valued at $160,000, you should estimate $1,600 a year (about) in repair costs. Whether you consider yourself especially handy, or you rely on the pros for your home maintenance issues, being prepared is the best way to stay on top of these common issues. If these issues seem overwhelming or you don’t have the time or skill to address these, you may want to consider hiring a competent management company to handle the day to day issues and scheduled maintenance.
Benefit National Property Management | 29995 Technology Drive 105A | Murrieta, CA 92563 | benefitnational.com