There’s a reason the term “lazy landlord” so often drops from renters’ lips – and no, it’s not because the alliterative phrase is fun to say – although it does roll off the tongue nicely. If you lease your property and desperately want to avoid fitting the slumlord cliché, it’s high time you start thinking about setting aside a fund for building repairs.
It’s easy to toss this issue to the wayside like rotten and unwanted food; after all, if the property you rent has no immediate issues, why bother putting your supplemental income away for hypothetical problems in the future? But that’s the thing: oftentimes, landlords don’t bother saving for repairs, which means that when their renter calls to complain about leaky windows, broken doorknobs, or an inefficient HVAC system, there aren’t enough funds to go around to remedy the situation. Problems get put off better than teenagers procrastinate on their homework assignments, and thus the lazy landlord name-calling begins.
Don’t Break the Bank
Saving should begin as soon as renting begins: put aside 10%-15% of monthly rent to go towards potentially costly repairs that are bound to show up at your front door like long-lost relatives after you’ve won the Lotto. Though the temptation to use that money otherwise will exist, and though you may think you can rely on your credit card for repairs, the debt you’d accrue in so doing isn’t worth it – just bank a portion of what you make on the property.
One sure-fire way to avoid having tenants calling you relentlessly with complaints about the state of their place? Simple: have a capital expense budget. This is a one-time amount that is put towards upgrading necessary parts of a property when it is first acquired. A few fix-ups in the beginning can help to avoid a laundry list of repair items down the line.
So go ahead, landlords: don’t be lazy – start your funds for future repairs today.