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Temecula Rental Property Maintenance Myths

Handyman Repairing an Outdoor Air Conditioning UnitThere are plenty of recurring myths regarding Temecula rental property repairs. The reality of doing rental property maintenance and repairs is inevitable, but it doesn’t need to be difficult. So let’s correct the most common myths about Temecula rental property maintenance:

1.      Do-it-Yourself Repairs Help You Save More Cash

Being able to handle home repairs alone can be indeed advantageous. It can also be a good way to save some money as you manage a rental property. If you possess 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. However, even the best DIY handyperson must know when to seek professional assistance.

As a landlord, while you can do the rental property repair chores yourself, it does not mean that you should. How valuable do you consider your time? Despite having ample time and energy to solely carry out the repair, financially it makes better sense to ask for a dependable professional to do the job. Aside from that, skillful DIY property owners even find themselves confused if they perform every repair.

Tenants don’t care about if you are saving money or not by doing the repair alone. If you feel you are not competent in accurately, quickly, and conveniently doing the job, it is appropriate for you and the tenant to hire a qualified technician. Basing on the situations you can control, one of the leading reasons why tenants transfer when the lease is up is due to the less than pleasant experiences brought about by poor maintenance. The money you might save by performing self-repair most likely becomes a bigger loss for you in the long run. The situation is the same when you hire a full-time property manager. Not only does the cost of hiring a professional property manager to bring convenience, it also makes financial sense in the long run as well.

2.      Maintenance and Repairs are Tenants’ Responsibility

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

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

Never overlook the outdoors. Trees grow, debris accumulates on gutters, leaks develop on faucets and sprinkler systems, and bees make hives. Be wary of these small issues both inside and out and solve them quickly. Include identifying potential future issues that you can avoid or plan ahead.

3.      Replacing vs Repairing

This certain property management myth comes in two forms. One end focuses on the optimistic belief that repair solves the problem. This includes the avocado-colored refrigerator they bought for the unit that never induced any problem. The other end tackles about the notion that replacement will always be cost-effective than repair. Disposable appliances are the new standard because “they just don’t make them like they used to.”

Both ways are unreliable. So deciding between repairing and replacing a broken appliance relies upon a variety 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. The general rule is that if an appliance is more than half of its expected lifetime and the repair cost is beyond half the replacement cost (note, not necessarily half the original cost – there is a difference), then select replacement over repair.

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

For emphasis, it is essential to consider the impact, implications, and impression for your tenants. Contemplate the consequences associated with repair such as losing a good tenant because 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.

4.      What Do Security Deposits Cover?

Security deposits may ignite conflict among renters and property owners. Usually, the reason is poor communication or understanding of the original purpose of a security deposit. Here are the two common myths that revolve around security deposits:

Tenant Misconception: The security deposit is for last month’s rent, right?
A lot of landlords may ask for a security deposit that equates to a month’s rent, but it does not mean that those funds are assigned for the previous month’s rent. Unless the tenant and landlord signed a written agreement, the rent last month must be paid completely, and the security deposit will be handled separately. Although the full return of security deposit is a must, it should not substitute for the past month’s rent.

Landlord Misconception: You can utilize security deposit during the make-ready process, between vacancy repairs and cleaning costs.
No. The security deposit’s purpose is to cover unpaid rent and necessary cleaning or repairs that were not caused by the normal wear and tear. Some landlords intentionally extend this rule, while others do it out of ignorance. Despite that, the security deposit should not replace 15-year-old countertops or paint the home after 7 years. Unless the tenants’ intentional or careless behavior has caused the serious damage, the security deposit should NOT compensate for these standard wear-and-tear repairs.

Would you like to learn more about the services that Realevate Specialists offers? Please contact us online or call our Mission Valley office at 858-997-2100 or our Temecula office at 951-461-0100 for more information.

We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.