Landlords are constantly exploring avenues to boost their financial returns, enabling them to allocate funds for various purposes. While prudent financial management is crucial, it’s equally important to recognize where to set boundaries.
Certain home improvement tasks are well within the grasp of most landlords, such as lawn maintenance, painting, or fixing a clogged toilet. However, delving into specialized niche repairs can open a Pandora’s box of complications. Even if you possess some handy skills or expertise in a specific area, it’s not the same as a professional touch. Typically, attempts to address these issues yourself result in applying a temporary fix rather than addressing the root cause. This usually leads to more significant expenses down the road when you eventually need to hire someone to rectify the work. While cost-saving and vigilant financial management are crucial, understanding your limitations is equally imperative.
- Electrical. As a rule of thumb, you shouldn’t attempt to do anything that could potentially burn your property down. Just like there is no such thing as minor surgery, there is no such thing as minor electrical work. One false step or mix-up can cause legitimate potential major problems. Even if you have some background working with electrical it doesn’t make you an expert. As they say, a little bit of knowledge on a subject can often be the worst thing for you. For the relatively minor cost of hiring a licensed electrician, it is worth every penny knowing you don’t have to worry about the property at night. There are plenty of things with the property you can do to save money and cut corners, but electrical items shouldn’t be one of them.
- Roofing. There is a difference between getting on a ladder to clean the gutters and getting on the roof to repair some shingles. Admittedly, it can be a pain in the fall to go to the property, lug around the ladder, and clean the gutters. As much of a pain and nuisance as this can be, it is a relatively simple process. Once you start talking about going on the roof it is a different ballgame. Even if you are comfortable with heights and walking on the roof isn’t a problem, there is a big difference with working on it. You need to be able to carry heavy bags on shingles on the ladder and then perform whatever task needs to be done. Additionally, the roof is too big of a fix not to outsource. Any inspector or potential home buyer will notice shoddy work with the roof. If they see lazy or unprofessional work on the roof it leads them to think there are other issues with the house that are done in the same manner. Not only for your safety but for the bottom line of the house, you need to hire a professional roofer for your property.
- Chimney cleaning. A fireplace is a great amenity in any property. In some rentals, it can be one of the items that attract interest and help fill vacancies. Like most other things in a rental property, your tenant will not take care of things the same way a homeowner would. This isn’t to say they will trash the fireplace, but they certainly won’t clean and maintain it the same way you would as the owner. Every winter you should have the fireplace professionally cleaned. Professional cleaning is not the same as vacuuming up the remnants of last year’s soot and debris. You may think you are cleaning the fireplace because it looks nice from the living room. However, with every fire, there are particles and even chemicals that attach to the flue. Unless you stick your head up the fireplace, you can’t get a gauge of just how clogged and dirty it may be. You don’t want to have your tenants lighting fires unless you know the flue and fireplace, are professionally cleaned.
- Drywall. Anyone can repair a patch or hole in a wall, right? While most people probably could it doesn’t mean it will look good. There is a definite skill in repairing nicks in the wall to look smooth and clean. A blemish in the living room wall will stick out like a sore thumb. Additionally, you would be shocked at just how much work goes into replacing even one piece of sheetrock. Not only are the pieces heavy, they can create quite a mess. There will be dust and debris everywhere. If you are not careful you can spread it all over the property.
- Plumbing/sewer. Minor plumbing repairs like unclogging a toilet are something every landlord should have in their tool belt. However, like everything else on this list, you need to know where to draw the line. If you are not careful you can create bigger, more expensive, problems. A slow drip in a sink or a running toilet can literally add hundreds to the water bill. Fixing one thing may lead to additional problems. If there are pipes that need to be cut or fixed in the basement, call a plumber right away. Even if it is just a patch job, you don’t want to do it wrong and get a call from your tenant in the middle of the night telling you the basement is flooding.
As a landlord, there are a handful of items that you should expect to pay for. Know what you can do and understand when you should pay to have things done right.
But if you decide you don’t want to rent out anymore and just sell it as-is, then let us help. We at A Team buy homes cash and as-is, in any condition! Just give us a call at 855-66A-TEAM (855-662-8326) or fill out our contact form here!