Can I Handle Rental Property Maintenance Myself as a Property Owner?

Osprey Property Management   |   date October 2022

It's one of the most common questions that pop up when new property owners face a maintenance issue in their rental property. Can I handle the maintenance myself as a property owner? 

The answer is, well, it depends. 

While it can seem like a real money saver, you may risk damaging your property, upsetting your residents, or even breaking the law if you don't know what you're doing. Plus, it might be even more expensive in the long run. 

Unless you're a professional tradesperson or taking care of a minor fix, you're likely better off in the hands of the professionalsAfter all, maintaining a rental property doesn't mean you do it all yourself. 

In this blog, we'll be looking at some critical points to help you determine whether it's an easy fix, some of the problems associated with trying to do it yourself, and how a professional property manager can help take charge of any issues that arise. 

A Checklist to Know if You Can (or Should) Do It Yourself

While taking care of a maintenance issue yourself may be tempting, it's best to step back and take an objective view of the situation. The questions below can help you decide whether handling rental property maintenance would be the right call for your situation. 

The first and most crucial step is to consider whether you are competent and capable of making repairsi.e., asking the question, "am I handy?" From there, you can consider the following points to help determine whether it may be something you could take care of. 

  • Have I fixed something like this before? 
  • Is it a maintenance emergency
  • Is it a simple repair, such as changing a lock or unclogging a toilet?
  • Will I be invasive or disrupt my residents for longer than is necessary? 
  • Will it be time intensive?
  • Are there building regulations involved in the outcome?
  • Do I have the required permits and licensing?
  • Is there a tax implication involved?

Taking on repairs that require permits or are outside your capabilities can lead to costly problems (and injuries). 

Why Should I Call a Handyperson? 

Property owners must follow the adage, "it's better to be safe than sorry." In most cases, it may be better to call a professional. 

Not only to ensure that the work will be completed to the highest standard, but also, most residents of your property would prefer a professional to handle the maintenance issue. Not to mention, it can be off-putting for tenants when the property owner is the person handling repairs in the residence.

Male technician repairing refrigerator indoors

Some of the other underlying reasons to call a handyperson or skilled tradesperson to do the job include: 

  • Attempting to handle repairs yourself can be a dangerous and expensive exercise. 
  • Repairing or attempting to repair something without the right insights can cause the problem to come back worse than before and compound costs. 
  • Mistakes such as making multiple trips to the hardware store can frustrate tenants who want a quick solution. 
  • Handypeople are insured (or should be).
  • A maintenance professional can check for any additional issues you may have missed. 
  • A handyman will have the right tools and know the suitable materials to get the job done right. 

When in doubt (or even if you're not), property managers recommend leaving property repairs to professionals.

What If I have a Property Manager? 

If you have a property manager, then good news! A quality property manager such as a Virginia Beach property management group can take care of all maintenance issues, big and small! 

If you have a property manager:

  • Let them handle all routine maintenance and repairs as they will have trusted (and experienced) contractors on their books.
  • If you enter the property to handle repairs, residents will identify you as the owner and can start coming directly to you for all issues (which can be easily managed by your property managers) 
  • Because of this, it's best to let property managers handle tenant relationships, including scheduling and maintaining a rental property.
  • They will be able to prioritize and attend to issues on a 24/7 system, minimizing any resident complaints or health issues.

In most cases, letting a property manager handle maintenance issues saves money, reduces scheduling, and keeps your tenants happy. In addition, your best tenants are more likely to leave if maintenance isn't handled promptly and effectively or is a dodgy job! 

Rental Property Maintenance Is Best Left To Professionals 

Maintenance issues are not only a drain on your residents but can also present health issues and ongoing costs which could otherwise be avoided. Unless you're a professional tradesperson or highly experienced in the field, then you're better off soliciting the services of a well-connected and trusted property management group. 

Happy young Caucasian couple relax on cozy sofa at home hugging look in distance dreaming together

With a quality property manager, real estate investors can feel safe in their investment, knowing that any maintenance issues, big or small, will be swiftly taken care of. If you'd like to learn how Osprey Property Management can help savvy investors maintain their property to the highest standard, reach out today!

Learn more about how to find a property management company. Download our free "Guide to Finding the Best Property Manager in Hampton Roads!"


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