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by Michael Monteiro

When it comes to tiny property repairs, a molehill can very easily become a mountain if it’s not resolved quickly.

molehillWhether you’re a DIY kind of person or would prefer to have a contractor or handyman take care of your property’s repairs, time is of the essence.

Not only is it important to take care of repairs and maintenance quickly for your tenants’ sakes, but also for your bank account’s. In so many cases, a little problem that goes unaddressed can turn into a big, expensive problem not so far down the line.

Budget for the unexpected.

As we’ve discussed before, setting money aside for those unexpected repairs that always come up sooner or later is one of the smartest moves you can make as a landlord. No matter how good your intentions are, it’s almost impossible to move on any repair quickly if the funding simply isn’t there.

Move quickly, no matter how innocent an issue appears.

Cracked plaster? Leaking roof? Chipped window? All of these are examples of little issues that are easy to set aside, but will only grow with time. Cracked plaster can easily begin to crumble, resulting in a much bigger mess. A leak can expand and run rampant, causing significant water damage. A tiny window chip can quickly spread, leaving no other option than a complete window replacement.

Maintenance and small repairs go hand-in-hand. There are some maintenance duties that count just as much as repairs, and should be performed just as efficiently. Cleaning gutters on a bi-annual basis, for example, is critical. Sure, it may not seem like the most pressing job, but you’ll save yourself a lot of money in the long run. Other regular maintenance work that staves off big repairs includes: draining your water heater (once a year); cleaning stove grease filters (every time a tenant moves out); and turning off the water for exterior water faucets (every year when the temperature dips below freezing).

handymanKeep the basics on-hand.If you choose to take the DIY route when it comes to repairs and maintenance, make sure you have the basic tools you’ll need to complete a range of tasks on-hand. You’ll be much more likely to take care of things quickly if everything you need to do it is easily accessible. Click here for tips on putting a basic home repair tool kit together”and, of course, you can add to this kit over time.

Have a professional in mind ahead of time.

Much as it pays to budget for problems before they happen, it also pays to research handyman and contractor options ahead of time. If you already know exactly who the man for the job is, you won’t have to waste any time once the need for a repair crops up.

Repairs don’t have to be a big deal. But they may well become one if not addressed in a timely manner. Having a plan of action in place before repair items ever arise and a no-holds-barred attitude about addressing them immediately is a great way to save yourself a lot of money in the long-run.

Michael Monteiro works for Buildium LLC, maker of online property management software and landlord software for professional property managers, condos and homeowner associations (HOAs) and is author of the The Buildium Property Management Blog.

See Michael Monteiro’s feature, Staying on Top of Wear and Tear.

American Apartment Owners Association offers discounts on products and services for landlords related to your real estate investment including REAL ESTATE FORMS, tenant debt collection, tenant background checks, insurance and financing. Find out more at joinaaoa.

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