Ever had a tenant fly into a rage because their refrigerator went out, ruining all of their food? Landlords know what a big deal it is when things break at their properties. Sometimes it’s something small like a window AC unit, but sometimes it’s something major like the hot water heater. Either way, it still means money leaving your pocket in a hurry.  Investing in rental properties means planning for everything, including repairs, maintenance and Cap-Ex. An ounce of prevention, as they say. Being able to anticipate when these repairs and replacements need to be made and planing accordingly can mean the difference between losing good tenants and tenant retention. Beyond the cost to repair or replace, a broken furnace in January can mean putting your tenants up at a hotel or even risking legal action! Plus, some preventative maintenance jobs  can save a landlord thousands of dollars. Preemptively prepare to replace aging household items by writing down when you purchased them and monitoring them closely. Simply Self Storage came up with this handy graphic that explains when items in the interior and exterior of your home might need replacing. The list also includes several major appliances and items around the house you might not have thought to check.  

Exterior of the Property

Figures outside the property tend to suffer the most wear and tear and should be monitored closely to ensure they are in good condition for your tenants. You will want to check things like the window AC unit at around 10 years and the roofing and siding closer to 25-30 years. Decks, depending on what material they’re made of, can last 35 years or longer!  

Property Interior

Fixtures inside the property that might need replacing include the carpet (which can last up to 10 years if properly cared for), the faucets and fixtures (around 15 years, depending on their quality) and the HVAC system (can last around 20 years). Stone countertops can last upwards of 50 years, longer if they are well maintained. As you outfit the interior of your rental properties, look for ways to tenant-proof them so they can withstand the abuse your tenants will inevitably inflict on them!

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Appliances:

Appliances are among some of the smaller repairs to a property but they unfortunately also need to be replaced more often if not well maintained. The microwave will usually last around nine years, a dishwasher closer to ten and washer and dryers will usually start fizzing out around 12 years into their life. If your tenants take good care of them you can usually repair these items to make them last longer. However, if your tenants don’t take good care of them they may need to be replaced more often.

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Miscellaneous:

There are other items around the house that will need monitoring. Things like the smoke alarms and fire extinguisher can last around ten years, but both you and the tenants need to maintain them properly. Check them often to be certain they’re working properly. If your property has a sprinkler system you may need to replace it every 20 years. Electrical wiring will not need to be replaced very often, but due to safety hazards it’s best to monitor it in older homes.

 

If you stick to the timelines included here you should have no problem anticipating repairs or replacements that need to be made in your properties.

Planning ahead not only helps you prepare for the costliness of these repairs but also keeps your tenants happy!

What have you found to be the most expensive parts of your rental to maintain and repair/replace? Any preventative maintenance tips? Don’t be shy!

 

 

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