A key element of managing rental properties for rental property managers or landlords is to understand the importance of keeping property well-maintained. By doing so, you are protecting both the landlords’ and the tenants’ interests.

For starters, tenants are entitled by law to expect that the property is maintained to certain minimum standards. For example, safety standards in terms of construction, electrical work and potential fire hazards must be met – you do not want to feature as the landlord of one of Australia’s ‘deadly homes’!

Secondly, as a landlord, if you are looking after your property and maintaining it well, you are preserving its value, both for if you decide to sell and as an attractive prospect when you need tenants. Don’t underestimate the damage that not keeping things up to scratch can do to your reputation either – word does get around among renters where a landlord is particularly slack and there have even been Facebook pages set up to promote safe housing and out dodgy activity. Remember, without rent coming in each month, how well is that property investment going to work out for you anyway?

Of course, if your property is rundown or has obvious maintenance needs, it is likely to sit vacant for quite some time while you look for tenants. In general, people want to live in quality housing and not worry about such things as dampness or poor ventilation. A rule of thumb is that you will tend to attract the type of tenants that the presentation of your property indicates. If you take pride in appearance and good maintenance then you are more likely to attract tenants who feel the same. If your property is a mess then you will probably only attract messy tenants.

Timeliness is a critical factor when it comes to property maintenance. If you do not respond to maintenance issues promptly then you are likely to garner a poor reputation with tenants. You also run the risk that whatever the problem is worsens and causes the need for more expenditure in the long run.

The ideal solution for property maintenance is to have in place a schedule of preventative maintenance tasks so that things are taken care of before they have the chance to become a problem. Is the bathroom ventilation effective? Take care of this before there is an issue with mildew and mold. If your property has large gardens, make them low maintenance so that tenants are less likely to let them go. The other thing to bear in mind is that most insurance policies for landlords expect a minimum standard of maintenance. If this is let go you may find any claims being denied.

So, if you are a landlord or rental property manager, make sure that property maintenance remains high on your priority list. Remember that good maintenance is more likely to be repaid in the form of good tenants and preserved property values.