Although the days are starting to get longer, there is still plenty of time to attend to your property maintenance before winter completely sets in. For savvy investors, this is the time to check the condition of your property to see how it can be improved to meet the needs of the marketplace.
‘Repairs and maintenance’ is often used as an umbrella term for anything that needs doing to the property, but there are actually four different categories involved. For any investor who is serious about maximising their returns, all four types of expenses should be regularly considered.
The first type of category falls into the obvious repair category. These occur when something goes wrong as a reactive response. An example would be a blocked pipe, a broken oven or a roof that suddenly starts leaking – they are just the bare minimum required to maintain the property in an adequate condition. Thankfully if you built or purchased a brand new property, these items should be kept to a minimum for a number of years.
The second type is called seasonal maintenance. These are items which should be regularly addressed to ensure the number of repairs in the previous category is kept to a minimum. Gutter clearing, garden pruning, painting to prevent cracking and deterioration, checking of the roof condition and regular pest control all fall into this category. These are great items to attend to before winter arrives.
The next type is called investment maintenance. This is the planned replacement of any item in the property that depreciates in value including carpets, blinds, ovens, hot water systems etc. Planned maintenance negates even more repairs that would otherwise fall into the first category and enables a good level of control over the standard of the property and the cost of maintenance.
Lastly are capital works. This is any new element or improvement that is introduced to a property. An example might be adding a dishwasher, a new sprinkler system to enable tenants to look after the garden or installing an air-conditioning system. This type of expense is likely to actually increase the value of the property as well as the rental return.
If an investor only attends to the items in the first category, over time the property will be worth less and the rental return will effectively fall. With careful consideration of all four categories the property can achieve more rent, a better quality of tenant and the value of the property is likely to increase. And with tax breaks available on property related expenses (and the EOFY just around the corner!) there is every good reason to do so!
If you would like further information about what proactive property maintenance steps you should be taking ahead of the EOFY (and before winter arrives) to maximise the presentation and condition of your property, contact the expert property management team here