Spring is in full swing, and it’s time to look at maintenance needed for the exterior of your rental home. Although many items at your property could be put off another year or two, there are a number of financial benefits to being proactive and staying ahead of maintenance instead of waiting for something to break. Let’s review some of the key financial benefits.
Tax Breaks for Capital Improvements
To begin with, you can gain tax breaks for capital improvements. Your rental property’s roof may be just beginning to show a need for new shingles and could wait until next year until replaced. However, replacing your roof now will allow you to take advantage of tax breaks by depreciating the cost over a number of years. Other exterior capital improvements include siding, window replacement or upgrade, foundation repair, or the addition of a sprinkler system, fence, or retaining wall.
Lower Long-Term Maintenance Costs
Benjamin Franklin’s famous quote “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” applies to rental property maintenance as well. For example, performing regular foundation maintenance, such as providing drainage away from the foundation’s perimeter, will cost much less than foundation repair will.
Higher Property Values, Higher Rents, Better Residents
Staying on top of maintenance can also lead to an increase in property value. Proactively maintaining your property’s visual exterior elements such as the roof, siding, paint, and landscaping, can influence neighbors to do the same. This in turn results in a nice-looking neighborhood and increased property values. You can also charge higher rent for a well-maintained property, as well as attract residents who will treat the property well and are less likely to leave, all of which increase your bottom line.
Many Real Property Management franchise offices provide spring maintenance programs for rental property owners. Services include:
- Evaluate the seals and locks on windows and doors
- Service hot water heaters and HVAC
- Change filters
- Assess exterior siding, stucco, paint, and other finishes
- Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
- Ensure that sprinklers and outside spigots are fully operational
- Examine appliances for correct function and efficiency
These maintenance programs not only save you time and money, but also protect your investment.