So, you’re ready to put your home up for rent and become a landlord. Owning your own investment property comes with tons of perks, but just like any property, a rental property will come with its fair share of maintenance issues and needed upgrades. It’s your job as the landlord to be able to conduct any needed repairs quickly and efficiently, or to find a professional who can do it for you. Here at Iron Eagle we’re experts at managing properties, so we’ve compiled a list of the 8 most common rental property repairs you’ll probably encounter.

Smoke Detectors

Smoke detectors are devices that could potentially save lives and protect property. Idaho State Fire Code states that detectors are required and should be connected to the main electrical system with a battery backup. The detectors are also required to be interconnected and hardwired. Be sure to install the smoke detectors in every sleeping area and room or hallway leading into a sleeping area. Smoke travels slowly but can fill an entire house in just 5 minutes, so it’s important to install smoke detectors on every floor of your rental property.
It is vital that you or your tenants notice a fire as soon as possible, and smoke detectors can only help with this when they are functional. Boise Fire recommends purchasing smoke detectors every 10 years with a 10-year build in battery. If the current smoke detectors in your property use replaceable batteries, you need to replace them at least once a year. Smoke detectors will beep or chirp when their batteries are low, so you’ll always know when it’s time to get new batteries.

Garbage Disposals

As handy as a garbage disposal is, they often end up being sources of anguish for landlords due to frequent repairs and constant issues. This typically stems from renters putting items down the drain that don’t belong there like coffee grounds, grease, eggshells, or nuts and pits. Try and educate your tenants on proper garbage disposal use to avoid a disposal repair.
Human error isn’t the only problem that can occur with garbage disposals though. The blades may rust or the motor may burn itself out. If this happens in your property it would be best to hire a professional to diagnose the problem and then order the correct replacement parts.

Water Leaks

Water is one of the most formidable opponents when it comes to any property, and a rental home is no exception. Enough water can destroy wood, drywall, flooring, and almost any other surface you have in your home. Even if it’s just a little, moisture will cause different types of molds to form, which can end up being a costly repair. Even a small leaking faucet can cause big problems on your water bill, so if your tenants report a water problem, you should make it your top concern.
It is smart to hire a professional when it comes to such a serious problem. They will accurately be able to find a solution to the problem, but it might cost you a bit. If the problem is something as simple as a leaky faucet or pipe, you might be able to fix it yourself by reconnecting or tightening up the pipes.

Appliance Maintenance

The more moving parts an object has, the more it is likely to break down, and most appliances have tons of moving parts. You’ll be able to easily fix some appliance problems like burnt out refrigerator bulbs or replacing the heating element on a stove, but for any bigger repairs you’ll need to either hire a professional or replace the item. A professional handyman will typically charge you between $50 and $100 an hour, but most jobs should be done within an hour. If you’re choosing to replace the item instead of fixing it, it would be smart to buy a used appliance instead of a new one. We don’t recommend buying a used dishwasher, but all other used appliances should work just as well as something new!

Water Heaters

While cold showers sometimes feel nice during the summer, we’re rapidly approaching the fall and winter seasons, so cold showers are unacceptable. If your tenant reports losing hot water the problem probably lies with the water heater and should be addressed immediately. Hopefully it is just a problem with the heating element, which you can fix yourself for about $30 and a few hours of work, or you could hire a plumber for a few hundred dollars. If the water heater itself is broken beyond repair you might have to install a new one which can run you about $600.

Toilets

Just like garbage disposals, toilets are often a source of constant needed repairs. Luckily, a clogged toilet is the responsibility of the tenant. That is, until the clog does extensive damage to the tank itself or to the plumbing system. It’s important to remind your tenants that items like cotton balls, baby wipes, cleaning pads, and paper towels should not be flushed down the toilet.
Another problem landlords often see is running toilets. Beyond being generally loud, a running toilet can waste from 30 to 250 gallons of water a day! This is a common problem too, with one in every five toilets having a leak. If a toilet in your rental property is running it’s most likely due to a damaged seal, gap in the flush valve, small cuts in the flush valve, or a fill valve that’s staying open. The good news is that all these problems are easy to fix, and most likely won’t require you to call a plumber.

Furnace Repairs

We all like to have a toasty, warm house when it’s cold outside, so it might be time to take a look at the furnace in your property. A malfunctioning heater can mean anything from the pilot light going off to a gas leak, which can be life threatening. As soon as your tenants report that their furnace is on the fritz, call the professionals immediately.
Sometimes, the problem with the furnace is simply a clogged filter that is making the furnace work overtime. You can put a stop to this problem by regularly changing out your furnace filters. Follow these guidelines for replacing your filters: For 1- to 2-inch filters, replace them every 1 to 3 months. For 3- to 4-inch filters, replace them every 6 to 9 months. For 5- to 6-inch filters, replace them every 9 to 12 months.

Pests

We saved the most annoying problem for last, the pest problem. Creepy crawly bugs and rodents can cause hundreds of dollars in property damage, or just be a general nuisance for your tenant to deal with. The best way to prevent infestations is to have regular pest control sessions. Pests have a lovely habit of sneaking in through even the tiniest cracks, so one thing you can do is make sure all cracks and holes in your walls, floors, doorways, and cabinets are filled in.

Maintenance repairs are inevitable, but don’t let that deter you from becoming a landlord! Always be sure to take the necessary precautions and keep in communication with your tenants to prevent any of these problems from spiraling out of control. If you need any help, Iron Eagle Property Management is here to give you a helping hand while managing your property. Contact Us today to experience the Iron Eagle difference.