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How to Keep Your Maintenance Costs Low

Although repairs and maintenance are inevitable, savvy landlords need to find the right balance between spending too much cash every month and keeping their properties well cared for. Thus, having a budget and maintenance plan for your properties is a must.

Unfortunately, the costs of property maintenance can be pricier in some places than others. Fortunately, landlords can lower property maintenance expenses through proper planning and smart decisions, as follows.

1. Plan for future expenses.

Although this may sound obvious, you’d be surprised at the number of landlords who don’t do this. Build a plan for handling future expenses to minimize financial headaches in the future.

Some expenses you can plan for include failing appliances, bursting pipes and roof leaks. By budgeting for future repairs,you can avoid massive bills and worrying about whether you’ll be able to pay those bills or not.

2. Plan for current expenses.

Usually, the total costs of property maintenance for one year are equivalent to about one and half times the monthly rent. Current expenses may differ according to other factors, though.

For example, the amount of money you allocate to a property should be directly proportional to the age of the rental property. As a general rule, you should budget more for aged homes, and less for newer homes.

Aside from maintenance costs, you should also include turnover costs in between tenants, like carpet cleaning, painting and repairs.

3. Respond to problems promptly.

Most landlords put off repairs until later, since they’re quite costly. Keep in mind, however, that the longer you put off repairs, the more you’ll have to spend in the future.

That’s why you need to address issues as soon as they crop up. You can do this by having regularly scheduled inspections. Regular inspections will give your staff ample time to identify problem areas.

4. Find ways to make things more cost-efficient.

For example, you can change your shower heads and toilets to ones that use less water. You can also use energy efficient appliances and light bulbs. You don’t need to spend loads of cash to upgrade to efficient systems, as long as you know what to look for.

5. Know your property codes inside and out.

Consider property codes when handling maintenance requests. The codes are pretty straightforward on how landlords are supposed to fix maintenance issues. They require that certain actions, documentation, and communication be done by the owner according to local and state laws. If you’re not familiar with these laws, get an expert to help you.

6. Respond to maintenance calls ASAP.

Tenants won’t be happy if, say, it takes you one month to fix one leaky faucet. The sooner you address their concerns, the less likely they are to refuse to pay their rent or take legal action, and the happier they will be with their home.


Your ability to manage repair and maintenance costs can make a huge difference in your success as a landlord. By following the tips above, you can limit the maintenance costs associated with your rental property, and keep everyone happy.


If you would like help managing your properties, reach out to Dawson Property Management. We would be happy to speak with you and answer any of your questions.