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CMC Realty & Property Management

How To Create A Rental Property Maintenance Budget

One of the biggest concerns for rental property owners in Long Beach, CA is the cost of ongoing maintenance and repairs. Properly budgeting for annual and emergency maintenance costs is essential for all investment property owners.

What is rental property maintenance?

Property maintenance is anything that needs to be done to keep your investment property in good condition, including repairs, painting, landscaping, etc. Depending on the age and condition of your property, you may need to budget more for maintenance. Routine property inspections can help you discover hidden issues.

Why is it essential to budget for property maintenance?

There are a few reasons why budgeting for rental property maintenance on a Long Beach investment property is necessary. 

First, if you don’t budget for maintenance and repairs, they can cost you a lot of money in the long run. Second, if your rental rates are too low, you may not be able to cover the cost of repairs when they come up. Finally, if your Long Beach property isn’t well-maintained, it could turn off potential tenants and make it harder to find renters.

Cash flow is key. It is fundamental to keep your investment property cash flow in mind when budgeting for property maintenance. You don’t want to spend so much on repairs that you can’t cover your mortgage or other expenses. Try to set aside a certain amount of money each month to repair and maintain your investment property.

Be proactive. One of the best ways to save money for repairs is to be proactive about maintenance. Take the initiative to regularly check your property for repairs before they become more significant problems. By being proactive, you can avoid costly major repairs down the line.

How can you budget for rental property maintenance?

One of the best ways to budget for investment property maintenance is to set aside a certain amount of money each month into a repairs and maintenance fund. That way, when you inevitably need to fix something, you will already have the funds to cover the cost of repairs. You can also add a clause into your lease agreement that requires tenants to pay for their fault repairs.

Budgeting for property maintenance may seem like a daunting task, but it has a direct bearing on keeping your investment property in good condition.

When it comes to budgeting for property upkeep, your rental fee is one of the essential things to keep in mind. You need to make sure that you are charging enough rent to cover the cost of repairs and maintenance and any other associated costs. In addition, you also need to make sure that you have a buffer in case of unexpected repairs or maintenance issues.

What are rental property maintenance expenses?

Rental property maintenance expenses are the costs associated with the repairs and upkeep of your investment property. Rental property expenses can include:

  • painting
  • appliance repairs
  • plumbing issues
  • landscaping and yard maintenance
  • cleaning products
  • pest control services
  • HVAC filters
  • light bulbs
  • smoke and carbon monoxide detectors

What is the average rental property maintenance expense?

The average rental property maintenance expense is between $500 and $3000 per year. However, this number can vary depending on the age and condition of your property.

It is ideal to budget for other costs and rental property maintenance expenses. One-time repairs not included in your monthly rental property expenses are capital expense repairs. Budgeting for these repairs is necessary because they can be expensive and cause cash flow problems if you’re not prepared.

You should budget between $250 and $500 per unit for CapEx each year as a rule of thumb. CapEx is a term used to describe the money you need to set aside each year for higher-cost repairs, replacements, and improvements.

For example, if you own a rental property with 100 units, you may need to budget $100 per unit for CapEx to cover items like a new roof, water heater, or parking lot repairs.

Operating expenses are the day-to-day costs associated with running your investment property in Long Beach and can include:

  • property taxes
  • insurance
  • utilities
  • trash removal
  • HOA fees

Creating a contingency fund to cover unexpected repairs or maintenance issues is also good. This property maintenance contingency fund should equal about three months’ worth of operating expenses. 

Tax deduction: You may be able to deduct repairs and maintenance expenses from your taxes. For example, if you paint the exterior of your rental property, that is usually considered a repair expense. Keep in mind, though, that upgrades and added amenities are not typically tax-deductible.

Check with your accountant or tax advisor to see what deductible repairs and maintenance expenses qualify.

Who is responsible for rental maintenance?

The answer to this question depends on the type of lease agreement with your tenants. If you require tenants to pay for repairs that they cause, they will be responsible for the cost of rental maintenance beyond normal wear and tear.

If you do not require tenants to pay for repairs, you will be responsible for associated costs as the property owner.

The work itself is the landlord’s responsibility, and therefore, the landlord or property manager should complete the job to ensure quality meets their standards. Prompt repairs or maintenance should minimize disruption to tenants. If you fail to correct the issue on time, it could result in a loss of rent.

How do landlords estimate property maintenance costs?

Estimates vary depending on your property’s location, size, and condition. The following are methods property owners use to help create a budget:

50% Rule

The best way to get an accurate estimate is to use the 50% rule. The 50% rule states that repairs and maintenance will cost about half of the monthly rent. So, if your unit rents for $1000 per month, you can expect to spend about $500 each year.

Square Footage Formula

Another way to estimate repairs and maintenance costs is to use the square footage formula. This formula states that repairs will cost about $0.50 per square foot of living space.

For example, if your unit is 1000 square feet, you can expect repairs to cost about $500 per year.

1% Rule

The 1% rule estimates repairs and maintenance costs based on the value of your property. Repairs and maintenance will cost about one percent of the value of your property each year.

For example, if your property is worth $100,000, you can expect repairs to cost about $1000 per year.

These are guidelines to help establish a rental property maintenance budget. But, no matter which method you use to estimate repairs and maintenance costs, it is always good to have a contingency fund in case of unexpected repairs.

What are some tips for reducing rental property maintenance expenses?

There are a few things you can do to reduce the cost of repairs and maintenance at your rental property: 

  • Use high-quality materials: This will help reduce the number of repairs you need.
  • Hire a professional property manager: A good Long Beach property manager will be able to handle repairs and maintenance issues quickly and efficiently.
  • Stay on top of repairs: The sooner you catch a problem, the less expensive it will be to fix.
  • Inspect your property regularly: This will help you identify any potential repairs needed. 

Remember that being a responsible investment property owner also means being proactive about preventative maintenance. By taking care of the property and keeping up with repairs, you can avoid more extensive, costly problems.

Finally, you need to make sure that you have a plan for dealing with repairs and maintenance issues. You need to know who to call and what to do in an emergency. Having a plan in place will help you budget for repairs and maintenance and keep your tenants happy.

Is Budgeting for Property Maintenance Breaking You? 

Budgeting for repairs and maintenance can be a daunting task for investment property owners, but it is a necessary evil.

As Long Beach’s full-service management company, CMC Realty & Property Management can help you with maintenance and repairs from minor issues to full-scale renovations. We also provide move-in and move-out inspections and 24/7 emergency repair.

Our team of professionals is here so you can focus on what’s important – making money from your investment property.

Don’t let a repairs and maintenance “budget-fail” break you. Contact us today!

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