Investing in rental properties can be a good way to earn passive income (though “passive” is certainly a relative term). What gets in the way of any given unit’s earning potential, however, are the inevitable expenses that come with property maintenance and repairs.

From the routine upkeep to the more expensive once-in-a-decade (or more) repairs or replacements, it should come as no surprise that maintenance is the most expensive category of spending for property owners.

The good news is there are ways to reduce the amount of maintenance expenses that eat into your profits. Here are a few common rental property repairs and how to minimize the expenses associated with them.

HVAC Unit and Water Heater Replacements – You can’t rent a property without a functioning heating and cooling system in place. The same goes for a water heater, but these items are expensive. You want to do everything you can to prolong their current life. There are a few ways to do it:

  • When you do have to replace either a water heater or HVAC unit, invest in a high-quality one – a product that is more likely to go the distance and save you money over the long term.
  • Stay on top of regular maintenance and inspections. You should have your system inspected or tuned up at least annually (some would even say every six months). By doing this, it will continue to perform optimally for the duration of its life and save you money on unnecessary visits from the repair person.

Mold Issues – Mold remediation can quickly get expensive in part because there’s usually more to the story than what meets the eye. That ugly discoloration you see on the walls or ceiling may just be the tip of the iceberg relative to what lurks behind the sheetrock or under the carpet.

Mold can be dangerous for tenants, especially those who suffer from respiratory issues, and significant mold damage will need to be addressed by a professional. You can reduce the likelihood of mold developing in your rental property by:

  • Cleaning up leaks, spills and water damage as soon as possible. Mold can begin growing within 24 hours.
  • Keeping humidity levels low.
  • Circulating air in the unit – this is especially true for bathrooms and kitchens.
  • Encouraging tenants to notify you (or your property manager) right away if they notice any signs of water damage.

Roof Repairs – This is another maintenance category that can get overlooked and delayed. Out of sight, out of mind is often what happens when it comes to roofs, but roof repair costs can escalate quickly, especially when small problems get ignored. Save yourself the expense of a full roof replacement by staying on top of annual roof inspections and fixing any small issues right away.

These and other expenses in the maintenance and repairs category can limit your earning potential, but by being aware of them, you can plan ahead for the financial expenses you will incur and be in a better position to reduce your overall spending in these categories and increase the profitability of your investment.

If you have questions about property management, the costs associated with maintaining units here in Franklin County, Ohio or what we can do for you, get in touch with our team at RL Property Management today.