Take care of maintenance issues regularly.
When you avoid cleaning, painting and making repairs, you are deferring maintenance. You may think it saves you money, but in the long-run deferred maintenance costs more. In fact, it sends a dangerous message to the tenants:
I don’t care about my property. Why should you?
Good tenants will leave in search for a better maintained rental, leaving you with those who don’t mind the shabby conditions.
Deferred maintenance also lowers the value of your property. If you decide to sell, you either spend extra time and money to bring the property up to selling standards or sell at a lower price.
It’s much easier and less expensive to take care of maintenance issues regularly. You’ll get better tenants at a higher rent price, and your property will maintain its value.
Save 5-7 percent of your gross yearly rental income for maintenance and capital expenditures.
We recommend keeping 5 to 7 percent of your gross yearly rental income in reserve for unexpected and costly repairs (like a roof repair or AC replacement). This is a better option than paying hundreds of dollars to home warranty companies every year.
Use one paint color for all your rentals.
Using one color saves money and time when repainting. Painting over the same color can be done in hours instead of days. Plus, the amount of paint you’ll need on hand for one color is much less. We prefer contemporary colors, like beige or grey, for an updated and modern look.
Install tile instead of replacing the carpet.
In Florida, tenants prefer tile or wood floors, especially in the living area. Using tile makes your property more appealing to future tenants and means that you’ll never have to pay for a carpet replacement again. If replacing the carpet with tile is not an option, try professional cleaning, stretching (if necessary), or patching.
Email your tenant a move out checklist.
Not everyone has the same idea of “clean” , and not all people think to clean the same things. On move out day, our tenants know exactly how much cleaning is expected of them via the move out checklist. It removes uncertainty and ensures that you and the tenant are on the same page, and it’s especially helpful if you don’t collect cleaning fees. (An example of our letter is included in the Move Out section).
Continuously upgrade your property to stay competitive.
Tenants have certain expectations, and not meeting those expectations makes it difficult to attract high-quality renters. Here’s an example:
One of our clients bought a builder model home and turned it into a rental. He purchased the property without appliances and then installed the cheapest stove and refrigerator you can buy from Home Depot. The house was in otherwise perfect condition, but it was hard to rent out because the tenants were expecting more than the lowest quality appliances. After we upgraded the appliances suit tenants’ expectations, the home rented immediately.
When making a decision to upgrade, landlording resources often recommend calculating the return on investment (ROI) for each improvement. This seems like a solid approach, but the calculation can be tricky. It’s hard to put a number on how much a future vacancy will cost due to the lack of upgrade.
Before you decide how much to upgrade, investigate what similar properties have. You don’t need to install designer appliances, but you probably do need more than the lowest quality options. Surveying competing properties can help you gauge how to meet tenants expectations as inexpensively as possible—ultimately, improving your ROI and reducing vacancy risk.