Rental Property Maintenance: Plan For Success
Maintenance planning for rentals
Being a landlord is not a hands-off investment. Under New Zealand law—specifically the Residential Tenancies Act 1986, including changes made by the Residential Tenancies (Amendment) Act of 2019—there are many responsibilities that landlords have to their tenants.
These range from how bonds are lodged to ensuring quiet enjoyment of a property. However, one of the major responsibilities that will fall on your plate as a landlord is keeping the property maintained and habitable. This means that it should be well insulated, everything should be in good working order, with all services available. Landlords must fix in a timely manner any damage that arises from burglaries, natural events, or fair wear and tear (i.e, damage which is not the direct fault of the tenant).
Beyond fixing what breaks and keeping the home meets all requirements under the law, most landlords like to look after their investments. While there are rental management services that will take care of everything for you, the full service is expensive so many prefer to manage most of the load themselves—and ultimately, the responsibility still does fall on the landlord.
Remembering to schedule maintenance for a property you don’t live in is not easy! Here are a few suggestions for how to plan and keep to a maintenance schedule and ensure you stay on top of keeping your rental property in great shape.
Check the property out between tenants
When you have a chance, go in and have a really good look around. Get a feel for what might need replacing or refreshing in the next while, so you can add it to your maintenance list. It’s important to keep up to date with the condition of everything and this is easiest when it is empty.
If you are not experienced with property maintenance, it’s a good idea to bring someone with you who is. This might be a willing friend or family member, or a trusted professional who can give expert opinions on what needs work, what’s urgent, and what can wait.
Make a schedule
And write it down! When you aren’t living in a property, it’s easy to forget that the fences need painting every few years and the filters on the heat pump need cleaning regularly. Put together a calendar of jobs that covers need doing, whether that be every six months, annually, or every five or ten years. A digital calendar generally works best for this, so you can set reminders and plan well in advance. This can be added to as you think of and discover new tasks.
Decide on your priorities
As is always the case for any homeowner, whether you live in said home or not, there are many jobs to be done. Sit down and think about how you should prioritise the maintenance tasks for your rental property, and set out your calendar to reflect that. Consider which jobs need to be done to keep the property at required rental standards—those, of course, are top priority.
Find a provider
Especially with a rental, it’s important to find tradies and service providers who are polite and professional—as it can be tricky to coordinate having jobs completed while tenants are living in the house. Make sure you are hiring the right person for the right job: qualified plumbers, electricians, gasfitters, and other specialists when required. For general maintenance tasks, a provider like Maintain Your Property is a good option.
Rental property maintenance is one of our specialised services. Often you just need a handyman on call to, install things like smoke alarms and clotheslines, replace locks or hinges, do small building and repair jobs, carry out minor renovations, paint, water blast, clean gutters, replace weatherboards, and more. Our talented and experienced team is professional, friendly, and easy to deal with. This makes maintenance of your rental property a breeze for both you as the landlord and the tenants who live there.
Taking care of a property you don’t live in can be surprisingly tricky, if only for the fact that it’s more difficult to arrange repairs and maintenance from a distance. With the right attitude, an organised approach, and good providers, however, it becomes easily manageable.
Get in touch with our team if you have questions about our rental property maintenance services!