Keeping your property’s maintenance up to date is a key strategy to have it earn you more income over the long term. Letting small repair jobs lapse is a costly trap to fall into. Use our expert tips for maintaining your property to make these tasks easier, quicker and completed correctly so you only have to get them done once.
It’s much better to fix maintenance issues as they arise than to wait until they turn into a bigger problem. Chipped paint can lead to water damage, a faulty power point can cause a fire, and a dirty exhaust fan can cause bad smells or mould.
“Those seemingly little things add up to a large cost if you have to do them all at once when it’s time to sell a property or renew a lease. If you want a quicker sale and a better price or to keep attracting quality tenants, regular maintenance speaks volumes to your market,” saidSimone Fogarty, Senior Property Manager of One Agency Orange.
“I notice these things all the time. You wouldn’t believe how many front doorbells don’t work! When people see a small fault, they think the property isn’t being taken care of. Fixing problems early is worth it.”
Fix the big things too
Make examining your property’s structure an annual task. Maintaining a strong structure is vital if you want your property to stand up against time and the elements for as long as possible.
Issues such as cracks in the walls and roof, subsidence or bowing can indicate you need to pay attention right away. Even something as small as a loose tile can lead to a flooded room if left unattended. You need to know the state of your property’s structure so check in at least once a year. Take photos and date them so you can see at a glance if anything is changing.
Write up the details
Before you start any maintenance task, write up exactly what needs to be done and when. You’ll need these details when it comes to asking for quotes. It will also help you clarify the specifics of the project or repair and may even shine a light on the best way to go about it or how to combine tasks into the one job.
Some commonly missed items to include are what waste disposal is needed, the quality of the materials you’d like used, and anything you intend to supply yourself. Most tradespeople don’t cart away the rubbish, they may assume you’ll supply certain fittings or will be happy with the cheapest components. If you think it all through before you start getting quotes, you’re less likely to miss something important or end up with a higher bill than you expected.
Quality materials are worth the investment
We all know we get what we pay for. This is particularly true in property maintenance, especially in those areas where you don’t want to replace materials too often. The investment in quality materials will extend the life of gutters, fences, floor coverings and other items and save you money in the long run.
Find quality tradies
You’ve done an internet search for a local plumber and are now overwhelmed by the number of possibilities. How do you know who you’re getting? Here are a few clever ways you can make sure you’re getting quality trades on your project.
Do make the effort to get three quotes. The price comparison will give you a certainty that the price you finally agree on is good value. It’s an excellent idea to also ask for details of exactly what each tradesperson will do so you don’t get caught out with a cheaper quote but a bigger final bill.
Ask for references and don’t be shy about calling them up to hear about a previous customer’s experience first-hand. There’s nothing like knowing what this tradie’s work and customer relations are really like before you commit to hiring them.
Check out their trade body associations and memberships. Many of these organisations have strict membership criteria that will show you who the real professionals are.
Reputable tradespeople don’t go knocking on doors for business. If someone shows up out of the blue offering services, we suggest politely turning them away.
“Most tradespeople are reliable and honest, but if you don’t do your homework and you end up with one who isn’t, it can be an expensive headache,” said Simone. “The best way to be certain is by recommendation from a trusted source. If your property is in the Orange area, we can help you find excellent local tradies.”
Get expert advice
If you have any concerns or need to know more about getting the best from your investment, including our Investor Support Service and Rental Health Checks for Investors, contact our Property Manager, Simone Fogarty.
02 6362 9560 | Suite 7/230 Summer Street Orange NSW 2800