Tips for Maintaining Your SoCal Short-Term Rental Investment Property

Maintain Investment PropertyJoining the short-term property rental market can be highly lucrative, especially in Southern California. People flock here year round for vacations and for business, and many are sick of the impersonal nature of hotels. Therefore, renting out a property through agencies like Airbnb is big, big business.

Your place will not look after itself. To maximize your tenancies and financial returns, follow these tips for maintaining an investment property. You may even be looking at remodeling or renovating in order to boost revenue potential.

Think Beyond Esthetics and Ambience

You can add all the special touches you like for your casual renters – flowers, chocolates, fancy linen, etc – but even more important is how well you maintain your investment place.  Even a slight “relaxation” in maintenance can  have severe consequences:

  • If you allow it to fall into disrepair, the cost of fixing it will be far more than following a regular maintenance schedule.
  • A property that is not in good order cannot compete with similar properties in the market.
  • A property with maintenance issues will not realize its market value when it comes time to sell.

Look After the Place and Renters Will Look After You

Maintaining your investment property for Airbnb customers is definitely no hobby or pastime. It’s serious business that requires efficiency, thoroughness and promptness.

Short-term tenants, whether on business or vacation, do not expect to face problems that affect the smooth working of their accommodation. A bad experience can lead to bad word-of-mouth or some other form of negative publicity that will diminish your future revenue.

The drawbacks of bad reviews through Airbnb are severe.

Also, by the very nature of the business, short-term leasing has the potential to bring with it significantly more maintenance problems, simply because of the turnover.

  1. Use Home Remodeling Pros

Maximize your investment and potential for repeat business by using trusted professional contractors to maintain, repair, redesign and remodel your investment property. Use them to coordinate projects and provide consistent service and quality. Build up a relationship of trust so you can call people you know well and who know your property and needs well.

  1. Electrical Inspection

Any tenant, long- or short-term, needs to know that all wiring and appliances are in good order. People are used to comfort and convenience, so aim to provide equal or better standards than they have at home. Anything out of order can be frustrating and upsetting.

Of course, the other major concern is personal safety. Protect your tenants from fire hazards and electric shock at all costs. Regular inspection is not a luxury extra but a must. If something in the wiring is amiss, or if the lighting needs upgrading, get professionals on it and be guaranteed that the work is up to code.

  1. Gas Appliances

If you have any gas appliances in your property, a safety inspection must be scheduled annually.

  1. Painting

Exterior and interior paintwork done with quality paint will help to protect your place from weather, wear and tear, as well as keep it esthetically pleasing. With rental turnover, some touch ups and repainting must be expected, often at short notice.

Make the entire property look and feel the way you would want it if you were the tenant. If it looks rundown or even a little grubby, it gives the impression that you don’t care about it too much and increases the likelihood of tenants being careless with it.

  1. Roof and Chimney

If it’s a house, the chimney(s) should be cleaned once a year to clear any creosote or even bird nests. Chimney fires have been caused by a buildup of creosote.

Have the roof checked regularly for any loose tiles or shingles that can cause leaks. Even the smallest ingress of water from a cracked tile can lead to smelly mold that can cause allergic and breathing problems for some tenants. Mold can also get very costly if not dealt with early.

On top of having a regular maintenance schedule for the roof, arrange extra inspections after storms or high winds. It’s worth it.

  1. Drainage

Have drains and gutters checked by your construction pros for any obstructions or detritus. Keep things open and flowing. Backed up water and effluent can cause major damage to walls, floors, plumbing and foundations.

  1. Pest Control

The signs of damage caused by pest infestation are not always visible to the untrained eye. Ants, termites and even rats can wreak havoc. Regular pest checks are an essential, but often overlooked, part of maintaining an investment property.

  1. Smoke Detectors

All smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in the property should be tested every few months. These devices are there for the purpose of saving lives in the event of a fire or carbon monoxide leak.

If they’re not working properly, a mishap could leave you facing legal action. Your home remodeling contractor is a great source of advice and contacts for information and replacements.

  1. Insulation

Insulation inside the walls and roof should be inspected for any gaps, moisture or deterioration. Otherwise your heating and air conditioning will be an inefficient money drain.

  1. Outdoor Maintenance

It’s up to you to ensure that more happens than just the lawns get mowed and the plants get trimmed. A well maintained outdoor area is an essential selling point for renters. The landscaping and structural work must be safe and effective. That includes patios, decks, pathways, lawns, and so on. Make it look professional and liveable.

Being successful with an Airbnb property involves consistent vigilance and attention to detail, as well as listening to tenants. Follow these tips for maintaining your investment property and enjoy the revenue stream for years to come.

Romney Tripp of RWT Design & Construction“Romney Tripp started construction in 1977 and formed RWT Design & Construction in 1992, eventually setting up the shop in Burbank. From the mid 1980’s Romney has been working on building recording studios as well as…” Read more.

Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to RWT Design & Construction.

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