Expensive Rental Repairs — And How to Avoid Them

Repairs can cut deeply into your month-over-month cash flow as a rental property owner. The more expensive the repairs, the less you have left over at the end of the month. In fact, particularly expensive repairs can turn your profit-driving investment into red ink.

There’s good news, though: With the right preventative measures, you can avoid the expensive repairs that place a drain on your return. At HUNTAHOME, we serve as the leading provider of property management in Dallas and Fort Worth, and we’ve seen the full spectrum of rental property repairs through the years. Here’s a look at 5 of the most expensive rental repairs we’ve seen, with tips on how to avoid them altogether.

1. Water Heater Repair or Replacement

Your home’s water heater is one of its most important appliances. Repairing a water heater will cost hundreds of dollars, and replacing one will run $1,000-plus. The larger the home and its tank, the more you’ll pay for a replacement. And, if you want to invest in a nicer model, like a tankless water heater, you’ll pay even more.

How to prevent water heater issues: As with so many home appliances and systems, regular maintenance by a professional goes a long way toward preventing expensive repairs and replacements. A water heater’s sediment and debris should be removed on a regular basis, and a professional can also check for leaks and adjust the pressure valve.

2. HVAC Replacement

Here in Texas, HVAC systems do some heavy lifting during the hottest months of the year. Repairs can be expensive, and full replacements run into the thousands of dollars. Even a faltering HVAC system that isn’t operating efficiently can make your tenants uncomfortable.

How to prevent HVAC issues: Again, get onto a regular maintenance schedule with a quality heating and cooling company. Regular checkups by a professional can help identify emerging problem spots before they become emergency repair and replacement issues. Also, make sure your rental agreement includes language around the tenant changing AC filters. Changing filters regularly is a small thing that can help your HVAC system run more efficiently and reliably.

3. Roof Repair

Your property’s roof is one of its most important components. Why? Because it represents the home’s structural integrity and water-tightness. If you want to sell your property, roof issues will make it difficult to get a strong return on investment — and they may prevent you from closing a sale at all. Beware of roof leaks, missing shingles and other signs that your roof isn’t structurally sound.

How to prevent roof issues: Always keep an eye out for missing shingles, leaks, weak spots and other signs of trouble. A roof inspection every year or every other year is a good idea. Also, make sure trees are always trimmed so that they don’t encroach on your roof. Scraping tree branches can quickly shorten the lifespan of shingles and the roof overall.

4. Foundation Repair

Foundation issues can turn into an expensive, long-term repair project. You’ll first notice foundation issues when doors and windows no longer shut properly. You may also notice cracks and fissures in your home’s walls. Sloping floors and pooling water are additional signs of foundation issues.

How to prevent foundation issues: First and foremost, make sure that you have proper drainage outside of your home. Standing water is one of the fastest ways to create foundation issues. Also, make sure the soil around your home doesn’t get too dry. Dry soil can also lead to foundation damage.

5. Termites (And Other Pests)

Insect and pest issues at your rental property can bother your tenants and lead to expensive removal services. Termites can do a particularly significant amount of damage. Look for mud tunnels near exterior walls, wood that’s been hollowed out and any swarms of small bugs.

How to prevent termite/pest issues: Sign up for regular pest control services. A pest control professional can quickly identify signs of termites and other insects, and regular service can also help prevent them from entering your home in the first place. The cost of regular pest control is far less expensive than removal service should you experience an infestation.

Need Help With Regular Maintenance and Repairs?

Keeping up with your rental property’s repair and maintenance needs can feel like a full-time job. This holds especially true if you have a portfolio of properties to manage.

At HUNTAHOME, we serve as the leading DFW property management company. Many of our clients ask us to manage regular maintenance and emergency repairs so that they don’t have to. We work with a network of home professionals and service providers who do good work at affordable rates. If you need help managing your property’s many maintenance and repair needs, lean on the experience and knowledge you’ll find at HUNTAHOME.Contact us today to learn more about what we can do as your provider of property management in Fort Worth and Dallas.