Maintenance Habits made easy, for the long term.
In a changing market, owners of investment properties think their investment automatically becomes more valuable. Not entirely true. Rent is not the only thing rising here, so is the quality of living. In any market, rising rents is a good sign for investors, not good for tenants. This is a cat and mouse game that landlords and tenants have been playing for years. Don't be a crappy owner. That's the easiest rule that anyone can abide by. Just being an owner who has an investment property does not mean it is going to pay off in the long run. If it were your home would you not update things after 15 years? Imagine if it was your home. You have to continually upgrade the property as if you were living their yourself. Just as the market changes, so does the environment in which our properties exist. Trees die, roofs go bad, siding and gutters need to be cleaned, power washing needs to be done. These are general maintenance items that would typically be done if an owner lived in the property. You want top of the market rent? Then don't forget to do these simple things.
Staying ahead on maintenance issues and updating your property can make increasing rent easy.
Maintenance Costs Money, So does being a landlord.
Landlords tend to get themselves in trouble when they ignore these basic maintenance issues over the years. I would recommend to any owner that they need to find something in the home to upgrade every two years. Whether that be a bathroom, kitchen cabinets, appliances, etc. Especially if you plan on raising the rent and asking the tenant to stay. If you are raising rent and not doing anything differently, even though the market is moving upward, don't assume that the tenant knows this. Make it easy for them to accept a higher rent for a new fridge, a new bathroom vanity, a fresh powerwash to the home, whatever it may be. This will help keep your maintenance costs down in the long run and extend the life of a tenant all while increasing your revenue over the life of the property.
If you continually ignore all of the these, you will have a tenant in a property for five or more years and they move out, now because the home hasn't been upgraded in what seems like forever you have an issue finding a new tenant who appreciates the property. You end up with a tenant who doesn't appreciate the property and they tear it up even more. Now, you have a real problem. You need to get rid of this tenant and put in a lot money to get the property back to the same condition it was when you first made it a rental. At the end of the crappy properties attract crappy tenants. If a property is well maintained and the owner is willing to do a lot of work throughout the leasing process, the better chances you have of keeping a tenant and the better that tenant will care for the home.
Keep things taken care of around your rental property and you will find in the long run, you will be rewarded for it. Let things deteriorate over time and ignore small issues. You will have a great cost at one time and look for someone to point the finger at, when in reality a couple upgrades here and there and you would be profitable, with happy tenants who are more than willing to pay an extra twenty dollars the next time you decide to raise the rent. Check out the reasons why you need to raise the rent here from Appfolio.