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5 Ways to Keep Your San Diego Rental Property Low Maintenance - Article Banner

Low-maintenance rental properties will help you earn more on your investment and spend less. 

You’ll also find you’re not frustrated nearly as much as you will be when you have to juggle heavy maintenance responsibilities. 

We’ve been leasing, managing, and maintaining rental properties in San Diego for years, and these are our five best ways to keep your maintenance level as low as possible. 

1. Work with San Diego Property Managers

If you’re not already working with a San Diego property management company, your rental property maintenance is an excellent reason to start. When you’re renting out a home, you’re running into routine maintenance needs, emergency maintenance needs, and preventative maintenance requirements. 

Property managers have a long list of relationships, resources, and expertise that will keep your maintenance needs on the low end.  

When you partner with property managers:

  • You don’t have to worry about vendor relationships because we already have them in place. 
  • We usually negotiate discounted rates for our owners, too. 
  • You don’t have to worry about deferred maintenance because our routine inspections and tenant relationships don’t allow it to happen. 
  • We have preventative measures in place and we know which upgrades and improvements will work best for your property. 

Renting out low-maintenance properties is what we do best. We save you money and we protect the condition and value of your San Diego investment. 

2. Create a List of Preferred Vendors 

Let’s say you don’t have the benefit of a property management partner, and you’re managing on your own. The best thing you can do when it comes to maintaining your property is to work with some outstanding vendors and contractors. 

Good vendors are important to maintaining your home. They’re your partners in protecting your property and keeping it safe and habitable. When you’re putting together a list of quality vendors, make sure you’re working with:

  • Plumbers
  • Electricians
  • Roofers
  • HVAC contractors 
  • Drywall experts
  • Painters
  • Flooring experts
  • Landscapers
  • Cleaners

This is not a comprehensive list, but it’s a good start. Always insist on working with licensed and insured vendors. You don’t want to be left with excessive liability and undue risk. It may cost a little more, but it’s worth it. You don’t need the extra liability and risk that comes with unlicensed workers.

When maintenance is needed at your rental property, you don’t want to be looking for people to help you for the first time. You want to already have relationships in place so the work can get done quickly and with minimal expense and fuss. 

3. Invest in Preventative Maintenance

Save your money by preventing emergency repairs. 

How do you prevent emergency repairs? With a great preventative maintenance plan. 

Preventative maintenance keeps costs down by avoiding emergency repairs and unexpected disasters. It protects the condition of your property and its value. 

When we recommend a strong preventative maintenance plan, we’re talking about annual service and inspection of HVAC systems, including the furnace, air conditioning unit, and ductwork. Make sure tenants are changing filters regularly. 

You want to schedule routine plumbing inspections, too. Look for leaks or drips under sinks and behind toilets and tubs. Have the roof inspected. Keep up with landscaping and pest control services. 

Ongoing inspections and service contracts with reliable vendors will keep your property in good condition without a lot of effort on your part. You’ll have fewer maintenance requests from tenants and an investment that easily maintains its value. 

4. Partner with Tenants to Avoid Deferred and Unreported Maintenance 

A low-maintenance property is not a home with a lot of deferred maintenance. It’s actually the exact opposite. You know that small repairs never get easier or less expensive with time. They only get worse. 

Talk to your tenants about the importance of making repair requests as soon as they’re needed. Sometimes, tenants will put off making a maintenance request because they don’t think it’s serious or they don’t want to bother you or they’re worried they’ll get blamed. Make it clear that you need to know when work is needed. 

Deferred maintenance comes with expensive, long-term costs. It also causes your property to deteriorate faster. If an appliance has needed to be repaired or replaced for a year and you keep putting it off, you’re going to risk more than the appliance. You’re putting your floors, walls, and other parts of your property at risk. 

5. Make Consistent Upgrades and Updates 

Renovations and UpgradesDon’t forget the value of keeping your property modern and renovated. It’s good for attracting tenants. It’s also good for earning higher rental values. 

Perhaps more importantly, it’s good for avoiding huge maintenance issues. 

If you want to keep your property low maintenance, make sure you’re improving it whenever you have the opportunity. Usually, the turnover periods are the best times to make upgrades and updates. You don’t have a tenant present, so you can schedule the work and make the renovations. 

Fresh paint, new appliances, updated lighting…all of these things contribute to a more modern, highly functional home. The wear and tear that your property suffers from tenancy to tenancy tend to build up and require extra maintenance unless you’re making constant improvements. 

Install new appliances when the current appliances are beginning to need repairs. Putting in a new refrigerator is far more cost-effective than repairing that old refrigerator three times a year. 

When you go through the process of making these updates to your San Diego rental property, you’re putting yourself in a position to see where things might be wrong. Just like with preventative maintenance – you give yourself a chance to avoid those surprise expensive repairs in the future. Avoiding emergency maintenance is essential when you’re trying to keep your property easy to maintain. 

Here’s a bonus recommendation: when you’re investing in a property, make sure you’re buying something that’s already low-maintenance. Those fixer-uppers aren’t as cheap as they seem.

Please contact us at Ann Tasias & Associates. We manage investment homes in San Diego, along the I-15 corridor in communities like Mira Mesa, Scripps Ranch, and Poway.