6 Rental Property Maintenance Tips Landlords Should Know

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Buying a rental property is a significant investment that can provide an excellent return. The idea is that your renters will pay off large chunks of your mortgage, leaving you with equity. 

Your investment will take some work, however, because rental property maintenance will cost you in terms of time and money over the years you own the home or apartment. The maintenance of your properties could involve making repairs, cleaning the home between renters, buying new appliances, and painting the interior and exterior.

Proper maintenance of a property helps it retain its value and makes it a more attractive location for renters to consider. Rental property maintenance can be a lot of work, but it also improves the quality of your investment and helps you develop a positive relationship with your tenants. This guide will take you through the importance of maintaining your rental property and provide tips on how you can maximize your efforts.

Why Rental Property Maintenance Is Important

You must complete the necessary rental property maintenance regularly to make sure you address everything that requires attention. This maintenance is not only good for your tenants, but it can also maximize your ROI. Here are a few reasons to do it well:

Property Value

The main reason to maintain your rental property, of course, is to help it keep its value. A well-cared-for home will hold its value, ensuring you get maximum profits for it if the time comes to sell. You can also rent your well-kept home for more money, providing an immediate return on your investment. 

Happy Tenants

Maintaining your rental property can help keep your renters satisfied. Anyone who leases your home or apartment will want to be comfortable, and keeping the property in good shape is the best way to achieve that. Happy tenants are also likely to stay longer, leaving you with fewer vacancies to fill.

Legal Considerations

You have a legal responsibility to maintain your property. Putting your tenants or their guests in harm’s way because of a poorly maintained home could lead to lawsuits that eat away at the return on your investment. Ensuring that all appliances, stairs, and structures are safe makes it less likely that you’ll experience issues in the future.

Knowing why rental property maintenance is essential can be a motivating factor, pushing you to get it done. Learning more about this process makes it easier to develop a maintenance plan that fits your schedule.

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6 Tips for Optimizing Your Rental Property Maintenance Efforts

You know that maintaining your rental property is necessary, but what does it take, and what are the top priorities? These tips can guide you in the right direction, making it less likely that you forget anything along the way:

1. Check for Water Damage

Have a look around the entire rental property for water damage. It’s crucial to check under the water heater, around the toilets, and near any other plumbing fixtures that could leak. Diagnosing the cause of the water damage early in the process could save you from significant repairs later.

2. Call an Exterminator

Periodically calling in an exterminator can save you a lot of hassle. It might seem like a waste of money to hire one of these service providers if you don’t have a visible problem, but early detection could save you from an infestation. An inspection won’t cost you a lot and will provide peace of mind, especially if you live in an area where termites and vermin are common.

3.Change the Filters

You should replace your furnace filters about once every six months. These filters catch airborne particles before they move through your vents, but the captured dust and debris end up clogging them. A highly clogged filter could be a fire risk, so changing them out regularly is a priority.

4. Test the Smoke Detectors

A simple yet effective property maintenance job involves testing all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in the house and replacing the batteries if necessary. Taking care of this job makes the home far safer and could prevent legal problems in the future. 

5. Do a Thorough Cleaning

Make sure you thoroughly clean the property inside and out between tenants. It doesn’t take long for dust and dirt to accumulate, and leaving it for extended periods can worsen the problem. You might find it advantageous to hire a cleaning crew between tenants if you find yourself in a time crunch.

6. Be Available for Requests

One of the worst calls you can receive as a landlord is from a tenant informing you of an emergency. You must be available to take that call and source the necessary assistance. Getting an emergency repair company on the job can limit property damage and ensure that a professional handles the issues.

Rental property maintenance is a lot of work, but you can prevent yourself from getting overwhelmed by staying proactive and handling jobs on a regular timeline. Creating a schedule means you aren’t left scrambling to complete all these tasks between tenants, reducing stress as you attempt to keep your rental in optimal condition.

Contact a Rental Property Management Expert

Rental properties are a lot of work, and maintaining them can eat away at your free time, making you wonder if you’ve made the best investment. Nomadic Real Estate has a skilled property management team to handle all aspects of your rental assets, including their 24/7 maintenance.

Nomadic Real Estate offers property management services in the Washington, D.C., area. Our team will market your property, screen applicants, create a lease agreement, coordinate move-ins, develop a healthy relationship with your tenants, collect rent, and handle any maintenance requests that arise. Contact us today for a free quote or to speak with a property management expert.

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Enhanced Reporting

Your portal includes a selection of extremely useful reports. Reports are available in the “Reports” section, and are distinct from the financial statements. Unlike financial statements which are static records, Reports are dynamic real-time records that will update with current data every time you view them. 

Scroll down to learn more about Reports:

Navigate to the "Reports" module in your portal:

Owner Portal Reports
  • Keep in mind, these reports are dynamic records. They will refresh to display current information every time you view them. 

Enhanced Rent Roll Report:

Enhanced Rent Roll Report
  • The Enhanced Rent Roll Report will show the rent amount, last payment date, move-in date, lease expiration date, and security deposit amount for each of your tenants. 
  • It will also show a portfolio summary with occupancy percentage, vacancy loss, and more!

Unit Comparison Report:

Unit Comparison Report
  • If you own multiple units (or buildings) with Nomadic, you’ll get access to the Unit Comparison Report. 
  • This report enables you to quickly compare financial performance between your units at a glance without toggling between individual reports. 

Income Statement Month-Over-Month:

Income Statement by Month Report
  • The Income Statement Detail – Monthly Report serves as a month-over-month record of portfolio performance. You’ll see itemized income and expense categories and can track monthly. This report will update with fresh data every time you view it. 

Financial Statements

Financial statements will be published to your portal on a monthly basis. The statements are found in your Documents library, and provide a historical record of all financial performance. The statements serve as a snapshot of financial performance over a given period, and are static documents (unlike Reports, the statements do not update/change in real-time). 

Scroll down for more info about the Financial Statements in your Documents library:

The Documents area contains monthly financial statements:

Owner Portal Documents
  • The statements in the Documents are are static documents. They are posted to the portal once a month to serve as a historical record of financial performance. 

Download a statement to see month and YTD financials:

Owner Portal Property Statement

You'll also find a month-over-month operating statement:

Month over Month Statement

Portal Communication Tool

You can use your owner portal to communicate with our team. Any messages you send through the portal will go straight to your Account Manager. When we reply, you’ll get an email notification and you’ll also see the message in your portal next time you log in. 

Here’s an overview of using the communication platform:

Click "Communications" and navigate to "Conversations":

Commincation Dashboard Screenshot
  • The communications module will contain a record of all messages that you create through the portal. 

Click the "New Message" button and send your message:

Owner Portal New Message Screenshot

Responses will show up in the conversation ticket:

Portal Conversation Response Screenshot
  • You’ll get an email notification whenever you get a response, and you’ll also see the message in your portal next time you log in. 

You can reply in-line using the comment box:

Owner Portal Comment

Each conversation will be logged in its entirety:

Portal Conversation Snapshot

Understanding the Ledger

Your portal includes a ledger with all transactions. The ledger is populated with data in real-time as transactions flow through our accounting software. Much of this information is also available in the Reports area, as well as the Statements in your Documents library, but the ledger is the most comprehensive resource for diving into the details. 

Please scroll through the sections below to get a better understanding of how to interpret the ledger. 

By default, transactions are sorted chronologically:

Owner Ledger Dates
  • The date reflected in the lefthand column is the actual transaction date, not the “bill date”. This is the date the transaction was actually processed. 

If you have multiple properties with Nomadic, you'll see the address for each transaction in the "Location" column:

Ledger Property Column
  • You can filter the ledger to look at just one property, all properties, or specific sets of properties. 
  • If you only have one property with us, you’ll just see the ledger for that property. 

The Description column displays the transaction type:

Owner Ledger Description Column
  • BILL: this is an expense transaction, such as for repair costs or management fees.
  • CHARGE: this is a transaction  billed to the tenant, most typically a rent payment. 
  • NACHA EXPORT: this is a credit we processed to your distribution account. This type of transaction is how you get paid! 

The Amount column shows the dollar value of each transaction:

Owner Ledger Amount Column
  • Positive Amounts: if an amount is positive, it reflects a transaction that is payable to you. Typically, this will be a rent payment that we collected from your tenants. On occasion, a positive number could also signify a journal entry or credit adjustment. 
  • Negative Amounts:  if an amount is negative, this is a transaction that is either payable to Nomadic or is an amount that has already been paid to you. Typically this will be for repair costs or management/leasing fees. Owner draws (net distributions into your checking/savings account) also reflect as negative amounts, since they have already been paid to you. 

The Account Balance column shows a sum of positive/negative transactions at a given point in time:

Owner Ledger Account Balance Column
  • Account Balance should always equal zero after a net distribution has been processed. When the balance is zero, this means that all expenses have been paid and you’ve received the remainder as net operating income, leaving a balance of zero (meaning: no one is due any money, as all funds have been distributed appropriately). 

Navigating the Propertyware Owner Portal

Your portal includes some extremely useful features that help you understand your property’s financial performance at a new level, with real-time transparency into every transaction.

Scroll through the snapshots below for an overview of portal navigation! If you need more help or have specific questions about using the portal, you can reach out to your Account Manager any time for a screen share. 

You can filter all info by date range or property:

PW Portal Filters

View a snapshot of income and expenses on your dashboard:

PW Owner Dashboard View

See every transaction in real-time on your ledger:

Owner Portal Ledger View

Statements and forms will be posted to your documents library:

Owner Portal Document Library

View a suite of real-time financial reports:

Portal Reports View

See a running list of all bills, and drill down for more detail:

Owner Portal Bills View

Under Bill Details, you'll find dates/descriptions/amounts and more:

Portal Bill Details

You can also communicate with your Account Manager through the portal:

Owner Portal Communication Tools

How do net distributions work?

Net distributions keep your accounting clean and simple. Each month we’ll collect rent from the tenants, deduct any repair expenses for the previous month and any management/leasing fees for the current month, and credit the remaining net operating income to your account. 

Net Distribution

You’ll receive a statement via email each time a net distribution is processed, and can view all transaction details in your Propertyware owner portal.