As a landlord myself, I completely understand the importance of saving money on maintenance repairs. After all, repair costs can ultimately detract from your bottom line. At the same time, I know that maintenance is not an issue that can be ignored. Properties need to be looked after not only for the protection of your investment but also to attract quality tenants.
Rather than waiting for a maintenance problem to rear its ugly head, one of the best ways that I have found to save money is to simply be proactive. This means instituting a property maintenance schedule. Along with ensuring that work is conducted on a regular basis, a property maintenance schedule will also red flag any small issues that will, over time, develop into a major and more expensive problem.
One of the things that I recommend, if you are not already doing this, is to have exterminations performed monthly. Wait a minute, you may be saying to yourself, I don't have a pest problem. Maybe not, but monthly exterminations will ensure that this type of problem doesn't occur. Yes, monthly exterminations are a cost, but it is a much less expensive option than losing great tenants because the property develops a pest problem. Additionally, a complete pest infestation will also cost much more to treat than if you had simply invested in monthly exterminations to prevent it in the first place.
In the event that your property does need maintenance performed, consider handling it yourself rather than hiring someone to do it. Naturally, if it is a complex issue, you will want to leave it a professional, but for simple repair jobs, you may be able to handle it on your own and save yourself labor costs.
Another great way to save money on maintenance costs is to consider checking with current tenants before you begin searching for a handy man to handle the issue. You might be surprised to find that one of your tenants is perfectly qualified to perform the necessary work. Of course, if the issue is one that requires a licensed professional, you would need to ensure that the tenant does have the proper licensure. For simple maintenance work; however, you may be able to reach a barter agreement in which the work is traded for reduced rent. This can prove to be a great way to save money on maintenance costs or help you to save time in handling it on your own.
If you do need to hire someone to perform the work for you, consider hiring a handy man that works for himself instead of a contractor. There are certainly many contracting companies that could take care of the issue, but they will often be more expensive than handy man. Always make sure you shop around and check references.
In the event that you do hire a handy man or a contractor rather than handling the work on your own, make sure that you pay for the labor costs and materials separately. Buying the materials separately at a discount store or warehouse store can help you to save significantly while also ensuring that your contractor does not add any additional fees to the cost of the materials.