4 Home Repair Tasks Every Landlord Should Know How to Do

By Brittany Hawes on June 12, 2018

Dear landlords: do you often find yourself swimming in home repair tasks from those inevitable tenants who seem to have little to no clue on how to fix any problem themselves, be it big or small? Tired of outsourcing for help every time home repair tasks need to get done? I know that it can get a little overwhelming to have to call in the professionals every single time something needs to be taken care of at one of your properties. It’s hard to keep track of which company is supposed to be where, and at what time, and how much they’re asking to be paid.

It also can take quite some time to get something concrete scheduled when you go searching for outside help, even more so if the company has strange business hours. If it takes a long spell for your hired help to get the job done, your renting party might start to get a little miffed. Or worse, if you outsource and the company does a horrible job, you’ll be the one who is forced to come up with a way to placate your tenant. After all, reconciliation is a must when facing a miffed tenant who is threatening to withhold rent for the month unless the problem is taken care of.

Did you know that you might be able to save yourself a lot of time, money, and headaches by learning to do a few basic home repair tasks yourself? It’s true—you could be saving a ton of cash by picking up a couple of new skills. No more outsourcing for you. Here are 4 Basic Home Repair Tasks That Every Landlord Should Know How to Do.

home repair tasks every landlord

Image via Pixabay.com

1. Pest control (such as rodents, roaches, ants, bedbugs)

This might be the number one reason a landlord gets a maintenance request. Those little smart critters have ways of turning up inside of even the cleanest of homes, especially during a particularly rainy season or nearby habitat loss. When an unwanted guest arrives in your tenant’s home, the first person they’re going to call is their landlord. Since this usually isn’t a home repair task that should be delayed, you probably dive for the phone and get ready to pay upwards of $100 to hire pest control professionals to take care of the problem.

You could easily solve this problem yourself and save money. In order to do so, you should buy and prepare a few things in advance as a preemptive measure for when tenants call with a pest problem. Bait traps such as basic spring mouse traps and roach motels are easy to set up. All you have to identify are the areas where the rodent or bugs seem to be the most active. Search for small droppings, cords that have been chewed on, or boxes with gnawing marks if you’re on the hunt for rodents. For bugs, ask the tenant where they see the bugs the most often. Set your traps in these areas, in dark areas that are sure to be traversed by the little critters but out of the way of any pets and small children.

You could also create your own bug spray. I’ve had a landlord that concocted her own potent roach spray. The stuff was lethal to roaches and other bugs. After she sprayed, she warned us to wear house shoes for at least an hour while the spray was down. In the next few days, bugs made lethargic from spray would waddle out of their hiding places and we’d be bug-free.

See? Simple!

2. Plumbing

Every landlord should know how to take care of basic plumbing issues. Problems like a backed-up toilet or a leaky sink shouldn’t have you calling for the nearest plumbing technician that’s available. You could wind up spending over a hundred dollars for a fix that’s a simple as using a plunger.

3. Carpet cleaning

This wasn’t always an easy task for your everyday person to accomplish. But now carpet cleaning tools are readily available to everyone in possession of the right amount of money. You could be saving a couple of hundred dollars by buying your own portable carpet cleaning tools and taking care of that dirty carpet with a couple of pushes. This is compared to hiring a company that might charge you $300 per house.

Don’t forget that you’ll need the carpet cleaning solution and possibly a hand-tool for any areas that are harder to reach.

4. Painting

This one can get a little tricky, but not for the reasons you think. The only instances that you might need to call in the professionals are if you need someone to match a color so you can buy the same paint again.

As far as the actual painting process goes, it’s a relatively easy task. If you have the right tools, such as brushes, rollers, trays, a ladder, painter’s tape, and patience, you might be able to do a wonderful job yourself.

Do you have some ideas for home repair tasks every landlord should know how to do themselves? Share with me in the comments and let’s compare!

By Brittany Hawes

Uloop Writer
Florida State University
Hi there! My name's Britt and I'm a senior majoring in English major at Florida State University. I have these crazy, big dreams of traveling the entire world and writing novels in my spare time. I love music, food, and the Japanese culture. I plan on teaching English in Japan upon graduation from Florida State. My first YA novel, Twisted, was published by Deep Sea Publishing Company in 2014. It won a Readers' Favorite Book Award that same year. Alongside schoolwork, I'm working hard on the second book in the Twisted series as well as a number of other novels.

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