4 Tips to Save Money on Maintenance and Repairs Between Renters

4 Tips to Save Money on Maintenance and Repairs Between Renters

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Larry Alton

Larry is an independent, full-time writer and consultant. His writing covers a broad range of topics including business, investment, and technology.

Experience
Larry started his career with Demand Media. There he contributed to and edited nearly every type of business-related content from real estate investing to software and digital media.
Since then, Larry has worked as an independent, full-time writer and consultant. His writing covers a broad range of topics including business, investment and technology. His contributions include top-tier publications like Entrepreneur Media, TechCrunch, and Inc.com.

When he is not writing, Larry assists both entrepreneurs and mid-market businesses in optimizing strategies for growth, cost cutting, and operational optimization.

As an avid real estate investor, Larry cut his teeth in the early 2000s buying land and small single family properties. He has since acquired and flipped over 30 parcels and small homes across the United States. While Larry’s real estate investing experience is a side passion, he will affirm his experience and know-how in real estate investing is derived more from his failures than his successes.

Education
Larry graduated in the top 2% from Iowa State University’s Ivy School of Business Management.

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One of the biggest downsides of high rental property turnover is that it costs money to clean, repair, and touch-up the property in between tenants. Knowing how to save money on these processes can be a lifesaver.

4 Budget-Friendly Maintenance and Repair Tips

As a landlord, you need to focus on cash flow, profitability, and ROI. Unfortunately, there are several speed bumps that often stand in the way of reaching these goals. One of the most troublesome is the stage that takes place after a tenant moves out and before the next tenant moves in.

In this critical window of time, which you want to keep as brief as possible, there are repair and maintenance jobs that need to be done. If you aren’t careful, the costs can quickly add up and leave you reeling.

The good news is you don’t have to go broke in between renters. There are plenty of cost-effective and budget-friendly steps you can take to save money and provide future renters with housing that’s comfortable, safe, and clean.

Here are a few suggestions you may want to implement.

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1. Do jobs yourself.

When you call someone out to perform a maintenance task on a rental property, most of the cost is labor. For example, a $500 plumbing fix probably only costs $75 to $100 in parts. The rest is going towards the plumber’s time.

You don’t need a background in home construction, carpentry, or plumbing to handle simple home maintenance tasks. With a little practice, there are plenty of odd jobs you can do yourself to save some serious money.

Related: 8 Tips for Cleaning Your Rental Kitchen Between Tenants

YouTube is your best friend. Whether it’s replacing a toilet, installing flooring, fixing a plumbing leak, or anything in between, the popular video site has millions of videos from qualified experts. Spend some time watching these videos and you’ll be surprised how much you can learn.

2. Use coupons and discounts.

Never purchase expensive parts or tools without first looking to see if there are coupons, discounts, or group memberships that can save you money.

For example, Costco and Sam’s Club require annual membership fees, but offer a variety of products and services at heavily discounted prices. Sites like Promocodes.com frequently promote coupons for leading retailers and service providers, including Overstock, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Home Depot.

3. Touch up (rather than replace).

There’s often a lot of wear and tear when a tenant moves out—especially if they’ve lived in your property for a lengthy period of time. If you’re on a budget, you need to know when to repair versus when to replace.

Sometimes it’s best to just touch something up rather than totally replace it. Take a drafty door, for example. While you could replace it now, it might be more cost-effective to invest in some weather-stripping and caulking.

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4. Use the tenant’s security deposit.

Remember that security deposit you took when your tenant signed their lease agreement? If the property has been damaged beyond normal wear and tear, you’re within your rights to take some or all of this money and put it towards repairs. (Just make sure you document how much you’re keeping, what it’s going towards, and how the work will be done. The more details the better.)

Related: 12 Tenant Nightmare Stories I Swear Are Actually True

Enjoy Higher Profits

You aren’t in the business of landlording because you enjoy unclogging toilets, installing door locks, and chasing down rent. It’s the opportunity to garner a positive return on your investment that you like. But to maximize your profits, you must keep expenses down.

Hopefully the budget-friendly maintenance and repair tips discussed in this article will help you keep more money in your pockets (while still watching out for the safety and satisfaction of your tenants).

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What would you add to this list?

Comment below!

One of the biggest downsides of high rental property turnover is that it costs money to clean, repair, and touch-up the property in between tenants. Knowing how to save money on these processes can be a lifesaver.