Maintaining your Orlando rental property is more expensive than it was a few years ago. And while the required maintenance and repairs may seem expensive in the short-term, you can keep costs down over the long term by implementing sound maintenance policies that protect your asset for years to come.
Smart investors are interested in buy and hold strategies. When your investment goals include holding onto your assets for 10 years or more, you’ll need to understand the best ways to maintain those homes through tenant turnovers, aging appliances, and deteriorating floors, fixtures, and roofs.
Preventative maintenance is the key to keeping your property in great condition for the long term. It will also contribute to a better investment experience overall.
Here’s how to maintain your Orlando rental property over time.
Prioritizing Preventative Maintenance
Preventative maintenance every month or every few months can protect the condition and the value of your property now and in the future. If you’re planning to keep renting this home out 10 or 20 years from now, you need to know it’s not going to deteriorate beyond the point of providing value.
We always recommend working with licensed and insured contractors, but when it comes to checking for preventative issues, you can usually do some of this inspection work yourself. Put together checklists to use when you happen to be in the property, responding to a need that your tenants have or preparing for turnovers.
These are some of the best preventative measures you can take to keep your investment in good shape over the long term.
Air filter changes. Let your tenants know you expect them to be changed every month or every three months, depending on your property and how quickly the filters fill up.
Contract with an HVAC technician to inspect your units. Have an expert take a look at your heating and cooling unit annually, because replacing it will cost thousands of dollars. In Orlando, we use our air conditioning year-round. You’ll want to keep those systems running efficiently.
Preventative plumbing. Always look for leaks and signs of water intrusion. Water can be problematic, whether it’s a burst pipe or an irrigation system that is out of control. Keeping your plumbing system in good shape will contribute to the long-term health of the house.
Inspect the exterior of the property. Look for tree branches that may be dangerously close to the windows or knocking against the roof. Check for foundation issues, gutter and drainpipe clogs, or any safety issues such as uneven pavement
This type of preventative maintenance catches problems right away and allows the systems and functions of your home to last longer.
Seasonal Maintenance for Orlando Rental Homes
Hot summers. Rainy seasons. Tropical weather. A lot of your maintenance over the years in Orlando will be seasonal. While we won’t have to worry about snow or freezing temperatures, it’s always a good idea to winterize your property by checking insulation and draining sprinkler systems when the worst of the summer weather is behind us.
Inspect your landscaping before the summer heat sets in and make any upgrades you can to reduce the amount of water your property needs. Prepare for tropical weather by checking windows and doors. If you’re going to keep your property for the long term, consider installing hurricane impact windows. They’re worth the investment.
Preferred Vendors and Orlando Rental Maintenance
Long term maintenance is a team effort.
You need to partner with your tenants and even more importantly - your vendors.
When you develop strong working relationships with vendors and contractors, they have an opportunity to really get to know your property. That personal relationship and expertise can help you take care of it now and in the future.
If you need referrals or you’re not sure where to find the vendors you need, talk to an Orlando property manager. Property managers have their own in-house maintenance teams or they have access to the best vendors and contractors in the area. These are licensed and insured professionals who stand behind their work. The long term care and maintenance of your investment property will require a great network of vendors.
If you’re managing on your own, start gathering your preferred vendors early. Start with a plumber and then keep asking for referrals until you have a great team put together. These are the professionals who will let you know when attention is needed or a seemingly minor repair is actually something more serious.
It’s virtually impossible to maintain your property over time without the help of great vendors and contractors.
Orlando Tenants and Property Maintenance
Tenants can help you maintain your home over time, even when you have tenants coming and going through the years.
Even with short term tenants, you can establish expectations and assign responsibilities. Tenants will come and go but if they’re all taking care of your property consistently, you can expect less deterioration, wear, and tear.
Always stress to your tenants the importance of making maintenance requests right away. When they notice that something is broken or needs to be replaced, you want them to tell you as soon as possible. Those deferred maintenance issues are expensive.
Once you receive a request, don’t wait to respond. Take care of maintenance requests right away. It’s the only way to protect your property’s condition and value for the long term.
Your lease agreement should tell tenants what they’re responsible for. If they cause any damage, they’re obviously required to pay for it. You can also put them in charge of replacing air filters, batteries, light bulbs, etc.
Well-maintained rental properties rent for more money and to better tenants. They also appreciate faster and provide you with a stronger investment portfolio. We love working with investors who plan to hold onto their properties for many years to come. We know that’s how real wealth is created with real estate.
If you’d like to hear more about how we can help you, please contact us at RE/MAX 200 Realty. We’re your local experts when it comes to Orlando property management.