Whether you like it or not, your rental property has a lifespan. It’s only a matter of time until the plumbing needs to be fixed or doorknobs need to be replaced. As a landlord, handling repairs is a big part of your job. The landlord-tenant law requires all property owners to maintain their rentals, ensuring the space is livable. Luckily, when you work with a property manager these are fixes that we can deal with instead. For landlords and property managers ready to roll up their sleeves and get their hands dirty, here are five common repairs all property owners will encounter.
Plumbing is one of the most common fixes landlords have to deal with, and it’s one we suggest you tend to quickly. A seemingly small leak under the kitchen sink could end up dramatically increasing your next water bill. Depending on the cause of the leak, this is a repair you can possibly take on yourself. However, if you don’t know your way around those pipes, you might want to get a plumber to take on this project.
2. Clogged toilets
While fixing a clogged toilet isn’t always your job as a property manager, it is a situation that comes up quite often. When the toilet in your rental property is clogged, you have to first figure out the cause. If your tenant clogs the toilet themselves, they’re responsible for getting it fixed. However, not all clogs are the tenant’s fault. Sometimes it’s a symptom of a larger issue with the main plumbing line or your drainpipe. If this is the case, then it’s something a landlord has to handle. And, with problems this big, we suggest calling a pro.
3. Leaky ceilings
A leaky ceiling is arguably one of the worst things that could happen to a home. If left unchecked, it could destroy everything from drywall and hardwood to flooring. Leaky ceilings, if left unchecked, also lead to mold which could make your rental inhabitable, and would cost a fortune to get under control. So, when your tenant calls you about a leak from the roof, put it at the top of your priority list.
4. Furnace repairs
Furnaces play an important role in regulating the temperature in your rental. So, furnace repairs should be another fix at the top of your priority list. To prevent the furnace in your rental from breaking down, you should get it serviced yearly and your tenants should replace the furnace filter every three months. However, if problems still arise despite regular maintenance, property managers should have a furnace specialist ready to help when needed.
5. Rundown appliances
Appliances in every home are used quite often, so it’s no surprise if they break down every now and then. Luckily, most of these issues can be easily fixed. New heating elements can be easily installed, and old dishwashers and stoves can be replaced. If the appliances in your rental property need replacing, we suggest visiting a used appliance store first. These stores have a great selection of stoves, dishwashers etc. that are almost as good as new.
Being a landlord or property manager comes with a lot of responsibilities and handling maintenance and repairs for rental properties is one of them. Luckily, with the right skills and resources handling these emergencies for your tenants should be no problem.
Need help maintaining your rental property? Get in touch with us today!
Creating a rental listing that attracts great tenants is simple, though it does require some thought and creativity! The headline, description, and photos should all be clear, concise, and compelling. Here are some ways you can create a rental listing that will attract great renters.
Write an Attention-Grabbing Headline
A well-written headline will make people want to click on the description to find out more. If your headline doesn’t immediately grab the attention of a prospective tenant, you may be losing out on valuable leads. If you put yourself in the tenant’s shoes, what would you be looking for if you’re scanning rental listings?
Most renters know the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, and price range they want and will click on listings that match their criteria. They’ll also want to know the location and a unique feature to your listing. An example headline would be “$1800/month – newly renovated 2 bed/1 baths in trendy Stoney Creek neighbourhood”. Make the headline direct with a differentiating descriptor and you’ll get noticed.
Include all details, big and small
When you provide as much information as possible, you’ll weed out anyone that isn’t a good match and find those who are. Here are some of the vital pieces of information renters are looking for:
- Location – the neighbourhood your rental is located in and a description of the neighbourhood (is it quiet? Central? Family-oriented?)
- Amenities – access to public transportation; walking distances to groceries, shopping, restaurants; nearby schools; access to highways
- Pets – include any details regarding pets, and if allowed, which kinds are permitted
- Length of lease
- Move-in date
- Square footage
Take high-quality photos
Give prospective tenants a clear feel for the property before they even contact you by taking beautiful photos. It’s best to hire a photographer who specializes in real estate photography. However, if you are taking the photos yourself, here are a few tips to show off your property:
- Get a wide-angle lens to capture the entire room in one shot. There are lens attachments for smartphones that you can find online or at any electronics store.
- Take plenty of pictures from different angles to capture flattering lighting and unique aspects of the room.
- Be sure to stay away from mirrors – seeing someone’s reflection in photographs can appear unprofessional.
- Make sure you use plenty of light – take advantage of the daylight, but also strategically light dark areas and corners with lamps if needed.
If possible, it can be beneficial to show your rental unit furnished to give renters a good idea of not only how large the space is, but also how they can envision themselves living there.
Highlight the differentiators
To ensure that your property is a ‘can’t miss’ opportunity, highlight what makes your unit special. Talk about those features in as much detail as possible to give renters a reason to take notice. Here are just a few features you may want to mention:
- City, park, or lake views
- Large windows that let in plenty of natural light
- A space that’s great for entertaining
- Recently renovated, freshly painted, new flooring, etc.
- Walk-in closet, additional storage, or any other extra space
- Higher-end finishes like granite countertops and hardwood floors
- Parking available for tenants and guests
- A gym, party room, pool, etc.
Be upfront about extra costs
The monthly rent of an apartment may be within a tenant’s budget, however, extras may push a unit out of their range. To ensure your prospective renter knows what they would be signing up for before they even schedule a viewing, include any extra costs that a renter would be responsible for.
- Parking – mention if it’s included or not, the number of stalls, or if it’s underground
- Utilities – explicitly state which utilities are included and those that the tenant is responsible for
- Deposits – mention the damage deposit and pet deposit if applicable
Once the rental listing is written and beautiful photos are taken, give it a final proofread (or two) and post on http://hamiltonhomesforrent.com/ for a wide exposure to prospective tenants in Hamilton.