Tenants, Toilets and Other Rental Property Repairs

Being a rental property owner means dealing with maintenance, repairs and tenant upgrade requests. Even if you’ve hired a property manager, you will still have decisions to make regarding the upkeep of your property.

In general, you should set a maintenance schedule that keeps your property and the unit(s) in your property in the best shape possible. There are several reasons for doing this, but the biggest one is that a property that is kept in good condition attracts and keeps good tenants. The second big reason for doing this is that regular maintenance is often a good way to keep costs down. If you leave things unfixed for long periods of time it can cause other issues. For example, a leaky sink left unfixed could be damaging the cupboards and even the floor underneath the sink.

If you have a property manager ask about their schedule for doing the following things. If you manager your own property, then here’s a suggested schedule for checking on things.

Monthly:

Walk the exterior of the property and pick up garbage from around the property. Make sure the lawn is mowed, weeds are pulled and everything is in good shape. If you have laundry facilities, check that the lint is being removed from the dryers and take out any money if they are coin operated.

Quarterly:

Check windows, doors, and exterior of the house for any leaks or damage. It’s also a good time to check on the furnace or air conditioner and change filters.

Semi-annually:

Change the batteries in the smoke detectors, check carbon monoxide detectors, clean gutters, check appliances, plumbing and electrical outlets in the house. Check for things that might be loose as well (door knobs, railings, or screws). You aren’t looking for things to fix but you want to be aware of things that may require maintenance when a tenant moves out or trying to find little things to repair cheaply as a way to prevent bigger problems later on.

When tenants move out:

Have the carpets and drapery cleaned. Paint the walls if necessary (and usually it is), and get the unit professionally cleaned (including the stove and fridge).

Planning for this regular maintenance on your rental property makes things fairly easy. You will have a good idea of when major expenses like a new roof, a dishwasher or a paint job will be required. You can set aside a little extra rent money to cover these costs. The trickier part can be knowing when to make improvements to a rental property when a tenant is asking you to spend money.

In our Toronto tri-plex we recently turned down our tenant’s request for blinds in the living room of one unit. But at the same time, we agreed to put in a new toilet in another unit. Our tenants can easily figure out that we’re bringing in nearly $ 4,000 in rent per month from this property, so they may think we’re being stingy by refusing their requests. But, you have to keep in mind that, while you want to keep your tenants happy the money your spending needs to either prevent or reduce an expense or it needs to generate revenue.

In the case of a renovation or upgrade requested by a tenant, we ask ourselves a few questions when we’re considering whether to do the work the tenant is asking for:

What are the costs of not doing it (is the tenant likely to leave and what will that cost if they do?)?
Is there another way to address the problem?
Are there any issues with delaying the expenditure?

After we consider these things, we use a final formula to calculate how long it will take to recover our costs.

Total Cost of the Upgrade or Repair / New Money Earned (or Money Saved) each Month = # of months to repay the expense.

On items under $ 1,000, as a general rule of thumb, if you can recover the cost in 12 to 18 months then the money is well spent.

In the case of the blinds, the tenants wouldn’t pay more rent just to have blinds. Instead we agreed to pay for dry cleaning the curtains which will be less than $ 100. There’s no direct return on this – but the tenants wanted the “dirty curtains” replaced so this will keep them happy and it’s not a large expense – especially given that the tenants have been long term.

For the toilet replacement request, we decided that getting rid of the grungy old toilet will not get us higher rent, but it will make it easier to attract and keep good tenants. And, if we replace it now, our tenant’s father (an experienced plumber) will install it for free. Finally, we’re replacing a water guzzler with a low flush model (est. water savings of $ 10/month) that will qualify for a $ 75 water conservation rebate from the City of Toronto. The formula of benefits looks like this:

$ 250 – $ 75 rebate = $ 175 Cost of the Toilet

$ 175 – $ 10/month water savings = 17 months to pay off (PLUS we save $ 80 on installation).

The cost savings plus the added benefits of saving installation costs made it a very appealing use of our cash. Just remember – real estate investing is a business and you need to get a return on any money you spent – even if that return is simply in cost savings!

If you are managing a property yourself there are some great books out there to help you. Two books definitely worth checking out are:

(From the Dummies Series of Books) Property Management Kit
The CompleteLandlord.com Ultimate Landlord Handbook

I know that’s a lot of information to digest, but your monthly cash flow is dependent on you maximizing your rental revenue and minimizing your expenses – so this is pretty important stuff to know!

Dave Peniuk is a real estate investor with a free newsletter on real estate investing. Learn the insider secrets to building a seven-figure real estate portfolio while so many properties present once-in-a-lifetime opportunities… Get the free Rev N You with Real Estate newsletter and start realizing your dreams today. http://www.revnyou.com

Faq For A Divorce Lawyer In San Diego: Property

Even though the financial, emotional and legal ramifications of the end of a marriage will be felt for many years after, a divorce lawyer in San Diego can help lessen the blow, so to speak. With alimony issues and spousal support, child support and custody, there are so many different facets to all points which must be touched upon during hearings, trials and proceedings. Property division is one of the most vehemently argued points of divorce, and rightly so. People work hard for what they have, and they work hard. What happens when there are two people but only one house, or one car?

Whether your case is concluded by settlement or trial, you need to be advised by a divorce lawyer in San Diego who is well versed in the intricacies of the law as it relates to dissolution of marriage. You need someone who is familiar with community property and separate property what is the difference? California is a community property state, which means that marriage is viewed lawfully as a partnership, where both people involved have equal rights to all assets that were acquired during a marriage. Assets include things like cars, boats, furniture, the home, and even stocks and bonds, bank accounts, and retirement benefits. And equally, obligations that were incurred during the union are considered community debts again, both parties are equally responsible for repayment.

Separate property is owned 100% by only one of the people; the other person in the union has no interest or right to it whatsoever. This is the property that was acquired before the marriage that is still in possession of either the wife or husband. A divorce lawyer in San Diego will tell you that separate property can also be acquired by way of a gift. One of the most common examples of this is jewelry that one spouse has given to the other. The jewelry is the property of the person to whom it was given, plain and simple. Likewise, if one party receives an inheritance during the marriage, it is solely the recipients separate property.

As far as the community property is concerned, your divorce lawyer in San Diego will help you with all facets in its regards. In California, when a couple elects to dissolve their marriage, the court is going to take on the duty of determining the value of all of the community property, and it will divide it equally. Not every state is a community state, but in California it would really do you well to hire a divorce lawyer in San Diego to assist you with the matter of property.

To learn more about divorce lawyer San Diego, please visit our website.

Sell Property Fast Tips: Hallway & Living Room

If you would like to sell house fast you may wish to consider whether it is worthwhile making some improvements to property. A good hall presents the scene for entire property and people make their instant buying decision based on your decor.

Sell Property Fast Presentation Tip #1

Hide the clutter!

· Put all coats, shoes and bikes into the cloakroom, out of sight!

· If you can get rid of excessive storage items in the hall, it will make it more welcoming.

· Is your hallway too narrow? Why not remove any furniture and put extra furniture into storage space?

· Your visitors should be able to move freely without dodgy objects.

· If you do not know what to do with furniture in hall then you can either put it away into a storage unit or consider selling it if it does not carry a lot of sentimental value.

Sell Property Fast Presentation Tip #2

Lighten up!

Often without a window to let in natural light, the hall can be one of the darkest places in a house.

Make the hall lighter and brighter by:

· Consider repainting the walls with neutral colours.

· Replace lights bulbs to halogens.

· Put a large mirror in the hall at a prominent place.

Sell Property Fast Presentation Tip #3

Is the flooring right?

To sell your property fast everything needs to clean and tidy including your flooring. If the floors look tired and dated and beyond repairs then consider replacing it. If the carpets are stained then either get them cleaned professionally or have them replaced with brand new carpets. Remember to keep them clean during the sale of your property.

· Using same flooring from living room into hall and dining room gives a sense of space.

· Use natural wooden flooring with hardwearing such as sea grass, coir or sisal.

Sell Property Fast Presentation Tip #4

Final Touches!

There is no need to go over the top when it comes to decorating your hall however; introducing some flowers will give it a sense of colour and personality. Unless you have cast-iron radiators, exposed radiators can look like an eyesore. You may therefore, consider installing a decorative cover. A good non-slip and durable front door mat is also essential feature in any property.

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