All landlords must keep their properties maintained and repaired! Some of the most common maintenance mistakes are:
Not doing any maintenance - this is probably the single most commonplace mistake made by novice property owners ‘ignoring anything that isn’t broken.’ If you do not want to deal with maintenance issues personally, hire a handyman! The cost of regular preventative maintenance undercuts the cost of occasionally replacing an entire appliance.
Underestimating costs - common business practice dictates that you budget every month for ‘regular maintenance costs.’ But no matter what you do, something will eventually break and be beyond maintenance. When it does, you will end up taking money out of another part of the budget to make up for the shortfall.
Note: Those landlords with foresight will create both ‘maintenance and repair budgets.’
Some of the most common repair mistakes are:
Not monitoring repairs - be there when your handyman performs maintenance to ascertain if the tenant is doing something (or failing to do something) that caused the problem. Additionally, it is a great excuse to get inside the unit and see if there is anything else that might need attention.
If you have a lot of properties or if they are not readily accessible, you might consider video monitoring. Yes, have your handyman / contractor video their work and send the video to you.
Not charging the tenant (if it is their fault) - when you find that the tenant broke something or caused a problem and then did nothing to fix it, you should charge them for the repair. Your tenant needs to understand that they are obligated to take care of the property in which they live, even if they do not own it, and that means owning up to their own mistakes.