Property Managers Melb | The Importance of Property Maintenance
When it comes to property maintenance prevention is better than cure. We discuss the importance of regular maintenance to keeping long terms costs in down.
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The Importance of Property Maintenance

All tenants prefer to live in a well-maintained property, and poor maintenance is why many will choose to leave and find another rental.

 

However, this isn’t the main reason or only benefit of using proactive maintenance on your property.

 

This article aims to show you why maintenance is suitable for your property. We’ll uncover why we’ve chosen these reasons and discuss how they can be beneficial for an ongoing investment property.

THE IMPORTANCE OF PROPERTY MAINTENANCE

Why should landlords maintain their rental property?

 

Well-maintained investment property offers several advantages for the investor, with the main one aimed at keeping your tenants happy. Paying for preventive maintenance can feel like an unnecessary charge, and some landlords feel it is an extra expense and burden they could do without.

 

However, maintenance is necessary with an investment property, and keeping on top of things can stop a small problem from becoming a larger and more expensive one!

 

Here we’ve put together five of the best reasons you need to keep your investment property maintained.

Lowers the cost of repairs over the long term

 

Repairs on a property are unavoidable, and often, you can’t rely on the tenant to report something until the issue is causing them problems. The amount you spend on regular maintenance will often be returned by not having a huge repair bill later.

 

Maintenance often requires regular inspections to ensure that nothing is wrong with your property and then scheduling repairs when required. For example, if you have blocked roof gutters due to leaf matter, this can cause an overflow of water into the roof cavity or the gutters to become rusted. The small expense of cleaning the gutters and then removing nearby branches can save you the expensive repairs of replacing your gutters and other damages.

Check out our podcast on the importance of regular property maintenance. 

Reduces the chances your property will be vacant

 

When a tenant has a clean and well-maintained property to live in, they’ll often stay for the long term. The best tenants will take the time required to find a suitable property, and most are willing to pay for a home that does not show signs of wear and tear.

 

However, it’s not just during the leasing period where maintenance will help you find good tenants. When a tenant is living in your home, they’ll appreciate regular maintenance, showing you care about the property they’re living in. Your tenants will know that if there is a problem, you’ll handle it swiftly and without any issues, which means they are more likely to stay in the home for longer.

 

Maintaining your investment property is the best way to ensure your property spends less time vacant and more time earning an income.

You’ll be able to charge more rent with a well-maintained rental property

 

Many investment properties will charge rent based on what is vacant at one particular time. However, when your property is well-maintained and offers better value for tenants, you can comfortably ask for more rent. Potential tenants can see the value you offer and are more inclined to pay more to secure a suitable property.

 

There are some reasonably easy steps to show potential tenants they are leasing a well-maintained property. You can start by freshening up the wet areas of the home. This can mean replacing outdated or broken tapware, resealing showers, replacing the tiles, or adding new shower curtains.

 

Giving the property a fresh coat of wall paint between tenants is also an excellent idea. A freshly painted home draws people in and gives a new feel to an older home. Choose a neutral colour for the walls, such as white or beige. Sometimes, a freshly painted home can ask for an additional $10/week in rent, more than other properties in your area.

 

Other areas you can focus on include replacing any old or worn curtains for roller-blinds or blackout blinds, replacing carpets if they are heavily stained or damaged, and completing garden maintenance to allow additional light into the yard or home.

 

A well-maintained property will have a higher standing than others on the market; even if you don’t wish to pursue a higher rent, you can list the property at the same rate as others and secure a tenant faster than your competitors.

Certain maintenance expenses can help to lower your tax obligations.

 

You can’t claim property renovations as a tax deduction as a general guide. Still, you can claim some repairs and general maintenance, which can lower your overall tax obligations. It is best to check with your accountant on deductions. Still, you may find that maintenance costs associated with property upkeep and repairs (e.g., replacing broken hardware) can be lodged under investment property maintenance tax deductions.

 

You’ll find many things you can do to your investment property to help with your tax deductions and increase its rental appeal and value. In most cases, the more you put into a property, the more you’ll see a return in value. Completing regular maintenance such as painting the interior is an excellent low-cost project that can deliver a high return for your investment.

 

Replacing or cleaning blinds and repairing fly screens and door locks can usually be claimed as immediate deductions if under $300. You can also repair any issues with the property fence as a part of your maintenance schedule. Not only does this improve security for your tenants, but the cost is also tax-deductible. 

It increases the long-term value of your property

 

The home renovation industry is worth around $12.3 billion in 2022,  and most homeowners are aware of how this can affect the value of a property. When people think about renovations, they may think of popular television shows where the home is gutted and a total makeover happens. While this is true for some properties, most renovations are small and only have a budget of less than 1-2% of the property’s value.

 

If you look at a modest kitchen renovation of around $10,000, the resulting value could easily reach 2-3 times that investment. While you may not be in a position to renovate the kitchen on the property every year, upgrading a tired and outdated kitchen can undoubtedly be on your planned maintenance schedule. If you’re considering selling the property in a few years, then it could certainly be on the cards and help secure a better return at the time of sale.

 

While a total kitchen renovation can deliver the returns during a sale, you may prefer to only complete minor upgrades. Fixing things like old tapware or outdated tiles can give your property a similar lift without attracting the significant price tag associated with a complete renovation. You’ll often find that minor upgrades can keep tenants happy and increase the property’s value over time.

 

When it comes time to sell your investment, you’ll notice that all these minor upgrades work together and receive a higher valuation and a fast sale. If you’re selling the property as an investment, then having a long-term tenant currently renting can be an excellent way to demonstrate the home’s rental value.

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