The new year is all about setting goals and getting ready for new challenges. For landlords and property managers, the week between Christmas and New Year’s is another chance to catch up and set business goals for the upcoming year. To make a fresh start, be sure to resolve maintenance issues related to your rental properties and complete urgent tasks before the clock strikes twelve, so you can leave any rental troubles behind and stay on good terms with your renters.

Tips for landlords and property managers

The countdown to New Year 2019 is on, and here are four things you should consider:

1. Fix minor damages

There’s always something that needs to be repaired, but we often postpone minor issues hoping that better times will come and better solutions will show up. As the old saying goes, “Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today.” This can be applied not only to big plans, but also to daily tasks such as maintenance issues your tenants encounter. Procrastinating maintenance tasks is a dirty trick—one that you play on yourself. Even if your tenant complains about minor rental damages, try your best to promptly resolve them, and you’ll keep the holiday spirit alive and save your tenants’ nerves on New Year’s Eve.

Depending on the type of maintenance request submitted by your renter, decide whether you’ll resolve the issue by yourself or assign it to a service professional who knows exactly what to do. Issues with the heating and/or boiler system are better left for certified professionals, especially when the outdoor temperature is dipping lower. During the winter season it’s very important to keep your rental warm and prevent pipes from freezing. Additionally, check for any leaks from the walls when there’s snow and/or rain, and inspect lighting to make sure twinkly lights will still create a festive atmosphere till the end of the winter holidays.

Related: How To Boost Property Value: 3 Proven Home Upgrades To Know

2. Check warranties and replace appliances

Many warranties can expire at the end of the year, so check the warranty status of your devices and replace appliances, if necessary. By using a reminder system, which is offered by most property management systems like TenantCloud, you can stay updated by setting up warranty and insurance expiration dates in your calendar. Once you have a notification system in place, you’ll receive online reminders whenever the expiration date is approaching.

Remember that it’s your obligation to replace appliances if they aren’t usable anymore or their warranty has expired, unless any other related clauses have been included in the residential lease agreement signed by both parties. According to those surveyed, multiple tenants complain that their landlords refuse to purchase new appliances or repair broken equipment. Such a scenario could violate the lease agreement. As an alternative, you might allow your tenants to bring their own new appliances and deduct the cost from the rent. Make sure your tenants have your written permission to install them. If a new appliance breaks, you’ll also be responsible for repairing or replacing it. Also ask your tenants to provide receipts so you can keep track of extra expenses. These things might seem insignificant, but once you face a similar problem, you’ll understand how many inconveniences they can cause.

3. Analyze whether your current property management software meets your needs

If you’re still using spreadsheets to manage your rental properties, stop it. There are multiple property management software systems out there providing an endless number of solutions to make running a property management business easier. Most property management systems are designed in the form of a one-stop shop where you can find all the necessary options without the need for additional services. Their fundamental advantage is that you don’t need to manually fill out data, create charts, or perform calculations. The system does it all for you.

If you are an active user of a property management system, analyze whether its current functionality meets your standards. In the long run, you’ll probably need some specific robust functions your current system may lack. Leading property management systems such as TenantCloud provide accounting, online payments, maintenance request management, a built-in messaging service, import and export features, and much more.

4. Get recommendations from tenants   

Maintaining a good relationship with your tenants should be one of your main priorities. It will encourage them to make timely rent payments and decrease tension when it comes to maintenance requests and the move-out process. Ask your tenants to provide any feedback and get their recommendations and suggestions for the upcoming year. Remember that even negative reviews are immensely helpful in improving your work as a landlord. In addition, try to predict trends by analyzing related content on property management platforms and business forums so that you don’t miss out on interesting solutions and new strategies for your property management business.

What else should a landlord do before New Year’s Eve? Any special ideas? Leave a comment below. We’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic! :)

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