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Raleigh Rental Property Maintenance Myths

There are a lot of recurring false beliefs about  Raleigh rental property repairs. The necessity for rental property maintenance and repairs is inescapable; however, it doesn’t need to be hard. So let’s put these most common myths about Raleigh rental property maintenance to an end.

Rental Property Maintenance Myth #1: Do-it-Yourself Repairs Makes You Save More Cash

Having the capacity to manage home repairs alone can be indeed favorable. It can also be a good way to save as you handle a rental property. Once you have the handyman skills in performing minor repairs, basic plumbing tasks, or appliance fixes, then you don’t need to pay a local tradesman for the convenience call. But, even the top DIY handyperson must know when to ask for professional help.

While you can perform the rental property repair chores yourself, it does not mean that you should. How valuable your time is for you? Regardless if you have enough time and energy to carry out the repair alone, financially it makes better sense to seek for an expert to do the job. Not only that, skillful DIY property owners even find themselves overwhelmed if they do every repair.

Tenants do not usually care if you save more money by doing the repair by yourself. If you feel you are not able to accurately, quickly, and conveniently do the job, it is better for you and the tenant to hire a qualified technician. Basing on the situations under your control, one of the main reasons why tenants move out when the lease is up is due to the unpleasant experiences brought about by poor maintenance. The money you might save in performing self-repair most likely becomes a greater loss in the long run. The situation is similar when you hire a full-time property manager. Not only does the price of hiring a professional property manager bring convenience, it also makes financial sense in the long term as well.

Rental Property Maintenance Myth #2:  Maintenance and Repairs are Tenants’ Responsibility

Setting certain instances aside, such as battery and light bulb replacement, landlords must have financial and physical responsibility for maintenance and repairs. If the tenant breaks a window by throwing a baseball through it, then the responsibility is theirs. However, the landlord must be aware of that incident and must handle the repair, contacting the tenant to ask for funds or for money from the security deposit. But, deterioration of appliances inevitably occurs during the tenant’s stay. This is because of the normal wear and tear through the years. In this case, the landlord is responsible for the repair or replacement of that appliance.

Landlord or property managers are pros in handling preventive and regular maintenance tasks that residents usually manage. For example, if your tenants can replace smoke detector batteries and furnace filters on a regular basis, it does not mean that they are now responsible for that task. If you don’t replace these items during inspection at scheduled and regular intervals, giving new batteries and filters routinely encourages your renters to do so.

You must also keep the exterior of the rental property in mind. Trees grow, debris accumulate on gutters, leaks develop on faucets and sprinkler systems, and bees make hives. Be cautious of these minor issues both inside and out and solve them quickly. Include recognizing potential future issues that you can avoid or plan ahead.

Rental Property Maintenance Myth #3: Replacing vs Repairing

This certain property management myth commonly come in two forms. One end is about the optimistic belief that repair solves the problem. This includes the avocado-colored refrigerator they bought for the unit that never caused any problem. The other end talks about the notion that replacement will always be cheaper than repair. Disposable appliances are the new ideal since  “they just don’t make them like they used to.”

Both ways are inaccurate. So deciding between repair and replacement of a broken appliance depends upon plenty of factors. Before you repair in a frenzy OR replace hurriedly, take the age and condition of the appliance or structure, the expected lifespan, past fixes, and safety concerns (including the main reason of the deterioration, if necessary) into consideration. One golden rule is that if an appliance is above half of its expected lifetime and the repair cost is above half the replacement cost (note, not necessarily half the original cost – there is a difference), then choose replacement over repair.

For tax purposes, people select repair over replacement. Money spent for rental property repairs can be deductible on that year.

It is important to consider the impact, implications, and impression on your tenants. Ponder the consequences associated with repair such as losing a good tenant since the repair took ages and took countless repair calls only to get an appliance destroyed again one month after. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure… but a pound of cure trumps seventeen individual ounces of repair.

Rental Property Maintenance Myth #4: What Security Deposits Cover What?

Security deposits may cause disputes between renters and property owners. The reason is oftentimes poor communication or understanding about the original intention of a security deposit. These are the two common myths involving security deposits:

  1. Tenant Misconception: The security deposit is for last month’s rent, right?
    Many landlords may ask for a security deposit that equates to a month’s rent, but it does not mean that those funds are designated for the past month’s rent. Unless the tenant and landlord came up with a written agreement, the rent last month must be paid completely and the security deposit will be dealt with separately. Although full return of security deposit is necessary, it should not substitute for the rent of the previous month.
  2. Landlord Misconception: You can use security deposit during the make-ready process, between vacancy repairs and cleaning costs.
    No. The security deposits are there to compensate for unpaid rent and necessary cleaning or repairs not brought about by the normal wear and tear. Some landlords intentionally stretch this rule, while others do it out of ignorance. Despite that, the security deposit is not for the replacement of 15-year-old counter tops or re-painting of the home after 7 years. Unless the tenants’ intentional or careless behavior has caused serious damage, the security deposit should NOT cover these standard wear-and-tear repairs.


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