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Why Landlords Shouldn’t Overlook Property Maintenance

  • Date Listed 14th Feb
  • Written by Tanja Le Roux

A lot goes into maintaining a property. Even smaller apartments and units require regular maintenance and oversight. From sudden plumbing leaks to electrical faults or damage to security locks, there’s a never-ending list of things that could go wrong.

While tenants are responsible for keeping the property clean and tidy, other jobs are outside of their control. In a legal sense, there are also measures that do not allow tenants to make adjustments to the property’s utilities, structure, or accessibility.

This brings us to today’s topic: why landlords shouldn’t overlook regular maintenance. Throughout this article, we’ll dive into why maintenance is vital, valuable, and ultimately beneficial for any homeowner.

Who Looks After Your Property?

As a landlord, there are two main approaches or ‘methods’ at your disposal; leasing directly to the tenant or employing the help of a property management firm to oversee and assist with the tenancy. As we covered in a recent article , each approach has its distinct differences, one being how property maintenance is handled.

Of course, while any physical maintenance is handled by the tradespeople you employ, a key difference lies in how this is all arranged. If you’re going at it alone, the onus falls on you to liaise with the tradespeople and organise everything involved. If you’re employing a property manager, they will be able to act as a go-between and ensure that you coordinate with the relevant parties to get the issue fixed.

Many property management firms also have plumbers, locksmiths, and electricians they already trust and know they can rely on in an emergency.

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Protecting the Property

A property is a major investment, and if you’re planning to lease, you won’t always be there to deal with issues on a personal level.

Neglecting maintenance tasks can result in small issues that quickly escalate into major problems. In some cases, these unattended issues may even compromise the structural integrity of the building. For instance, a minor roof leak that’s left unattended can result in water damage to ceilings, walls, and even the foundation.

As a landlord, the ability to think and act quickly ultimately allows you to protect your investment and avoid any serious maintenance concerns.

Let’s consider the example of a rental property with wooden deckings. Without regular maintenance, such as sealing or staining, the wood is susceptible to rot, mould, and decay due to exposure to weather elements. However, with routine inspections and timely treatments, landlords can extend the lifespan of the decking, which helps to preserve its aesthetic appeal and functional purpose.

Preventing Accidents and Injury

Regular maintenance not only safeguards the property, but also protects the well-being of its occupants. Outdated smoke alarms, faulty electrical wiring, damaged floors, or malfunctioning appliances can create serious safety hazards to any inside.

Recently, more and more stories have come to light highlighting the injuries suffered by Australian tenants as a result of a lack of property maintenance. In turn, this has also led to legal involvement in a number of these situations. By promptly addressing maintenance issues, landlords can mitigate the risk of accidents and injuries on their premises.

For instance, scheduling regular inspections of electrical systems can help identify potential hazards like frayed wires or overloaded circuits. By promptly repairing or replacing faulty components, landlords can prevent electrical fires or electrocution incidents. This also includes organising the relevant inspections for smoke alarms and gas appliances. Once again, this is another service that can be facilitated by a property manager.

Similarly, maintaining walkways and common areas to ensure proper lighting and non-slip surfaces reduces the risk of slips and falls, particularly during adverse weather conditions.

Saving Money Over the Long Term

While it may seem like an additional expense, investing in regular maintenance can actually save landlords money in the long run. By addressing minor issues before they escalate into major problems, landlords can avoid costly repairs and replacements down the line. For example, replacing a worn-out roof or a malfunctioning HVAC system can be significantly more expensive than conducting routine inspections and maintenance tasks.

Furthermore, well-maintained properties tend to retain their value better over time. A property with a history of diligent maintenance is more attractive to tenants and potential buyers alike, allowing landlords to command higher rental rates and property prices. Ultimately, the upfront investment in maintenance yields significant financial returns by reducing repair costs, minimising vacancies, and maximising property value.

Listening to Concerns

Effective communication between landlords and tenants is essential for addressing any maintenance issues. Landlords should encourage tenants to report any concerns or problems as soon as they arise, and they should respond promptly to resolve these issues. By actively listening to tenants’ feedback and addressing their concerns, landlords can foster a positive relationship with their tenants and create a conducive living environment for all parties involved.

For instance, if a tenant reports a leaking faucet, the landlord or property manager should promptly arrange for a plumber to repair the issue. By acknowledging and addressing tenant concerns in a timely manner, this also demonstrates a commitment to maintaining the property and ensuring tenant satisfaction.

This proactive approach not only enhances tenant retention, but also prevents minor issues from escalating into larger problems.

How Property Managers Can Help

Property managers play a crucial role in ensuring that regular maintenance tasks are carried out efficiently and effectively. These professionals have the expertise and resources to oversee all aspects of property maintenance, from scheduling inspections to coordinating repairs and renovations. By outsourcing maintenance responsibilities to a property manager, landlords can free up their time and focus on other aspects of property management.

For example, property managers can develop comprehensive maintenance schedules tailored to the specific needs of each property, ensuring that no maintenance tasks are overlooked. They can also leverage their network of reliable contractors and service providers to obtain competitive pricing and quality workmanship for maintenance projects. Additionally, property managers can conduct regular property inspections to identify maintenance issues proactively and address them before they escalate.

Overall, property managers play a vital role in streamlining the maintenance process and ensuring that properties are well-maintained to attract and retain tenants, maximise rental income, and preserve property value over time.

Whether you need help from property managers in Caloundra or Alexandra Headland , we are proud to be the leading property management company on the Sunshine Coast. Contact us today and speak with our friendly team!

Dealing with Emergencies

Even with ongoing maintenance efforts and reliable tenants, emergencies are an unfortunate byproduct of the rental process. Whether it’s a burst pipe, a gas leak, damaged locks, or a sudden power outage, landlords must be prepared to handle emergencies swiftly and effectively to minimise damage and keep their tenants safe.

In the event of an emergency, landlords or their property managers should have clear protocols in place to guide their response and ensure a coordinated effort to resolve the situation. Prompt communication with tenants is crucial to keep them informed and reassure them that steps are being taken to address the emergency.

As we noted earlier, property managers can be the first point of contact for the tenants, as well as arrange for maintenance to be completed as soon as possible. Whatever the arrangement may be, all landlords need to react quickly to any serious emergency situations.

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The Importance of Property Inspections

Unless the landlord is aware of an issue (especially if it is recent and has not been noted in the condition report, the owner may not even know that property maintenance is required. Other than receiving word from the tenant, another way to uncover issues is during the property manager’s inspection.

Here, the tenant may be able to point out an issue directly, or the property manager may pick up on it themselves. Overall, property inspections are a great way to assess and verify that the property is in good condition and either requires or doesn’t require further attention.

Working with We Do Property

We Do Property has a team of seasoned professionals who specialise in the rental property sector. Our agents are well-versed in landlord and tenancy laws, and have significant experience with the various demands, processes and requirements related to property maintenance.

Many property investors tend to overlook the importance of fostering a healthy owner-tenant relationship. This is why we focus on this specific area. We always adopt a careful and measured approach to tenant screening to ensure that they fulfil your unique requirements and pass our thorough approval process.

After tenants are approved and a lease has been finalised, we continue to offer our support and guidance wherever it may be required. The best part? Our services come with no admin, statement or lease renewal fees.

To find out more, contact our friendly Contact property managers on the Sunshine Coast today.

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