When we think of maintenance on an investment rental property, we like to take the approach from the 90’s classic movie “The Program.” In the film, the scene sets with “well, if you’re injured, I can’t let you go back in, but if you are hurt, then you can play.” You can take the same approach to maintenance. Now by no means, am I saying maintenance should be ignored at all, and your state/local laws and legislation may determine the timeliness of each maintenance item. Still, for the urgency factor, we like to take the approach from “The Program.” To compare this to maintenance, we must understand the basics. The Institute of Real Estate Management describes maintenance on a rental property, “as the process by which a property is maintained in its existing state and preserved from physical deterioration.” The reference to “The Program” comes into play when we are trying to determine the distinction between maintenance and repairs. To make the connection to the movie, if your hurt, then you can still play, but if your injured, you’re out of commission, and you are not going back in. The same goes for the distinction of maintenance and repair.
Rental Property Maintenance is the same way, it keeps going but will need service to keep its existing state.
Rental Property Repair is if it is out of commission, it’s not going back in for the play—your throwing in a replacement or a fix for, something that is broke now.
When it comes to maintenance, you have three categories as a real estate investor.
1) Preventive Rental Property Maintenance
2) Corrective Rental Property Maintenance
3) Deferred Rental Property Maintenance
All three are addressed in a maintenance and risk management program for a rental property. This is something you or your property management provider should always reflect on. Among these types, preventive is the most important and requires the most planning. Corrective maintenance is the least desirable, but the most pressing. Deferred maintenance is something that may have been planned. The maintenance item should have been completed, but due to outside circumstances and/or purposeful delays for any number of reasons. It may or may not be corrected depending on your plan and goals for your rental property investment, for example, (e.g., asphalt resurfacing, exterior painting, new roof, etc).
Now let us go into each one of the maintenance categorizes as a real estate investor, starting with your “hurt” or preventative maintenance or “Injured” corrective repair. Preventative maintenance as a real estate investor is a proactive approach that requires planning and prioritizing of the maintenance items. For example, if your number one forward goes out, you plan to replace him with your number two forward will be initiated. Maintenance is the process by which a property is maintained in its existing state and preserved from physical deterioration.
An important distinction exists between rental property maintenance and repairs.
Maintenance: Keeps something in an existing state.
Repair: Fix something that broken.
There are three types of maintenance: 1) preventive, 2) corrective, and 3) deferred. All three are addressed in a maintenance and risk management program or plan. Among these types, preventive is the most important and requires the most planning with a tactical strategy. Corrective maintenance is the least desirable, but the most urgent & pressing.
Again, The Institute of Real Estate Management defines the following terms below.
Preventive Rental Property Maintenance is a proactive approach that requires planning and prioritizing maintenance activities.
Corrective Rental Property Maintenance is a reactive approach that is done after the fact. These items are almost 100% of the time reported by tenants, such as a trip hazard, electric outage, plumbing leak.
Deferred Rental Property Maintenance is a repair or replacement that should have been completed but was purposely delayed for any reason, and may or may not be corrected depending on your wishes and goals for the property (e.g., asphalt resurfacing, roof replacement, exterior painting, common area carpeting)
To ensure your rental property is operating efficiently and your investment will stand the test of time. A preventive approach for the property must always be at the top of mind. It’s far better to be proactive rather than the easy trap of reactive for your rental property. When you’re at the property inspection, check out the mechanics of the rental property. Be observant with your head on a swivel. The benefits to a preventive maintenance approach will add years to the property, the equipment life, sustain issues the property may have, leaving it in good condition, and will ultimately contribute to tenant satisfaction with lower costs/risk for the preservation of your asset.
7 Tips For A Preventative Maintenance Approach For Your Rental Property.
Develop your strategy and involve others in your action plan. You can’t accomplish anything significant in this world, going at it alone. Assign specific responsibilities, determine tasks, cover activities to completion, and set up a detailed record or reporting system.
Make sure actions are in line with your goals and objectives for the property. If you plan to unload your property soon. It may be time to consider some capital improvements.
Determine the tasks to be completed by your team and the functions that are part of the maintenance plan.
Know applicable safety codes and building codes and abide by them when accomplishing a preventative maintenance item.
Establish an open line of communication. Set and make expectations clear, create your checklists, hold people accountable, and look for repair opportunities.
Review the property’s activity regularly. Look for ways to improve at all times. Continuous improvement is a standard you should take with every operation piece of your rental property.
Incorporate new sustainable and innovative practices. With a long-term plan to ensure the longevity and sustainability of the property.
Taking a preventive maintenance approach is crucial to the long-term sustainability of the property. It will pay off ten-fold, whether that be in tenant retention, reduced costs, or when the time comes to unload your asset. Your rental property will be ready for an easy flip. If you have any questions or would like additional information, please don’t hesitate to reach out to The Listing Real Estate Management. We provide the best property management services in Orlando, Florida. We love feedback and if we can provide another perspective for you and your rental properties. We’d love to chat, feel free to contact us. We are the trusted source for Orlando property management.