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Common Repairs on Rentals

Common Repairs on Rentals

Let’s talk about some common rental repairs. If you're new to being a landlord or property manager there are repairs and maintenance that can be expensive and stressful. You should always budget, and plan accordingly and always have a cushion to fall back on for the unexpected.

Let’s discuss a few of the most common, but more inexpensive repairs.

The perfect scenario is, we buy a property, it needs some rehab, so we reach out to our contractor who is a part of our power team. He knows that we don't want to put top dollar appliances, toilets, or sinks in this property as it's going to be a rental. We want to make it decent and livable, all while not breaking the bank. But what about when it’s not the perfect scenario?

Common Repairs that Every Property will Eventually Need:

  • Appliances - As we all know they can be extremely expensive. Although they don’t break often, especially if bought new. When appliances like dishwashers, refrigerators, microwaves, and ovens break it can tend to get pricey. Many times, you'll have to contact a repair company specific to the brand, and they can charge up to $100 an hour, even just for a handyman. You may want to consider buying used appliances from a credible appliance store. Now you can buy new appliances that might have a few dents or scratches at some of the big box stores, at significant discounts.
  • Hot water heater – Tenants may think a hot water heater is broken, when in fact it might just be the heating element. A brand-new hot water heater can range anywhere from $600-$1200, but a heating element is a small part and can cost $20-$30. Even after hiring a plumber or handyman to install the part, you will still be way under what you would be if you had to go out and purchase a brand new one.
  • Garbage disposals – These can be one of the biggest nuisances in a rental property. This one small thing can create much bigger problems, usually due to tenants putting things down that do not belong. For instance, large amounts of grease can then clog up the drain or the septic and create many other problems. If you have a property and it already has one and it's in great condition there are some clauses that you can put in your lease agreement that can help protect you as the landlord or the homeowner. For instance, if it needs a repair due to the tenant’s error, per my lease agreement, it is their responsibility to pay for it.
  • Toilets - Toilets themselves are made of long-lasting porcelain, but the parts that make the toilet work are made of cheap plastic. A toilet that runs nonstop means water being wasted and costing you money. You can easily call a plumber or handyman and have the flapper in the back of the toilet replaced. In most cases this is a simple fix, and you may even want to consider doing it yourself. Clogged toilets are another issue. Nine out of 10 times when a tenant calls you to tell you that the toilet is stopped up or overflowing, it's because they have flushed something that has created a blockage. Many times, those flushable wipes are the culprit of clogged toilets.
  • Faucets – A dripping faucet is also costing you money. Many times, it's just a small washer that's needed and it only takes about 30 minutes to repair. In some cases, the entire faucet may need to be replaced. When it comes to an item like this, do not buy the cheap $30 faucet. Go with a Moen or a Kohler, as they both have lifetime warranties on their products.
  • Leaks - A drip of water under the kitchen or bathroom sink is usually one of two causes. Either the supply line to the drain (which sends the water from the sink to the sewer), might not be fitting correctly, or the pipe might be brittle and need replaced. It's a fairly easy fix to do yourself, or obviously a plumber can fix it for you. This is definitely something that needs to be taken care of as soon as possible. Dripping water overtime can mean mold and ruined wood under the sink.
  • HVAC - Heating and cooling is vital to a rental property but the repairs can be extremely expensive. If a furnace stops working, especially in the winter, it can be as simple as a pilot light that went out or as complicated as a gas leak. Whether it’s heat or air conditioning, when your tenant calls you, make sure to call a specialist. Again, I cannot stress the importance of having a power team of people you rely on when you need them. These are people that you trust and consistently work with. They don't overcharge you and many of them are familiar with your properties as they've been out to them several times.
  • Detectors – Smoke detectors, and if needed, carbon monoxide detectors are a must have for every rental property. They're not super expensive and they're super easy to install. Most anyone, even with little experience, can install one. Once they're installed all that’s needed is to check the batteries every so often.
  • Electrical – Electrical work is something that is a must, and no tenant or landlord should attempt to fix unless licensed in this area. When it comes to electricity, always hire a trained professional that is licensed and insured. Again, having an electrician on your power team is a must.

These are just a few common issues you will find as a property manager or a landlord. Although they may seem huge, if you have a great power team to fall back on, getting the problems taken care of in a timely manner is a breeze. Knowing that the people you hired to do the work are reliable, honest, and won’t overcharge you is the best feeling. Make sure you are structured correctly so that you are not stressed over a simple fix.

We here at legacy have many more resources on building your power team. Please be sure to check out our website for more info.

Areas of Review

Big picture takeaway points

Big picture takeaway points

  1. Every property at some point will need some repairs so keep some money aside for things that may come up that are unexpected.
  2. If you have purchased a property and done total rehab on it you are less likely to have a huge repair that is needed.
  3. Before you buy a property know what you are getting into and factor that into the purchase price.


Self-reflection questions to think more about the content

  1. Have I set the correct standard in my rental agreement?
  2. How are the appliances in my rentals?It may seem picky but if you put the money for good appliances up front that have a warrantee it saves you money overall.
  3. Do I have a good power team? Have a great handyman that will fix things for you when needed but not charge you and arm and leg for doing it.

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