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Unforeseen Costs That Can Surprise an Investor

Frustrated Investor Looking at PaperworkSurprises are rarely a good thing when renting a single-family rental. This is especially valid in cases where the surprises are brought on by unforeseen fees or expenses. These negative surprises are nearly unavoidable for a new real estate investor in Chevy Chase. Rental property investors might be better prepared when one or more surprises arise by learning about some of the most prevalent hidden expenses.

Landlord Insurance

Every single-family rental owner should have a good caliber landlord liability insurance policy. This does not imply that you must purchase the most expensive coverage you can. Insurance policy rates can widely vary, and so can the quality and reputation of the insurance provider. Due to this, it is crucial to compare options before selecting a landlord insurance policy and to check your price each year for adjustments. You can end up spending far more on landlord insurance than necessary if you don’t thoroughly evaluate rates and insurance carriers.

Energy Costs

The utility expenses associated with a property could be a second unpleasant surprise. The cost of energy is generally minimal for an energy-efficient building. However, prospective investors can find that their new investment home has a high energy cost. There are numerous things that property owners may do to make their rental property more energy efficient, even though the causes of this can differ. Having the home examined for air leaks, older appliances, and other energy “vampires” will help you pinpoint potential problem areas. Replacement of weatherstripping, single-pane windows, lightbulbs, and other energy-wasting components can significantly reduce energy expenses. With a few straightforward modifications and yearly maintenance, you may drastically lower the energy costs of your rental property.

Inadvertent Appliance Damage

How rapidly appliances tend to wear out is another unplanned expense that could startle a real estate investor or Chevy Chase property manager. Any investor may experience financial difficulty due to the expense of replacing large equipment every few years. The problem isn’t simply that the tenants are mistreating the appliances; rather, it’s that they lack knowledge about how to operate and maintain them properly. One of the most effective strategies to keep the appliances in your rental house functioning longer and more efficiently is to educate your tenants on appropriate appliance use and upkeep. You will add to the longevity of your property’s appliances by advising your tenants to use and maintain the devices properly.

Pest Control

First-time investors may intend for their tenants to keep unpleasant pests to a minimum through routine cleaning and maintenance. Even in the cleanest properties, renters may encounter a variety of pests, including termites, ants, and rats. As mandated by local law, you might need to offer pest control services occasionally to keep your property livable. Along with having a trusted local pest control service provider on hand, it’s critical to plan ahead financially for such treatments. Otherwise, emergency termites or other treatments can result in negative monthly cash flows.

Erosion Prevention and Repair

Each new season can come with its own surprises during the first year of rental property ownership. Sometimes erosion problems are revealed in the warm spring weather that was hidden in the colder months. In these situations, the expense of erosion control and maintenance may deter an investor and alarm the tenants. Water may collect and cause harm as the soil is lost from a home’s foundation. The simplest method to prevent any unforeseen preventive and repair expenditures is to make sure that your rental property has good drainage and has been thoroughly inspected for symptoms of soil erosion.

Tenant Lawsuits

Even the most careful single-family property owners periodically encounter unforeseen legal costs. Tenant work can be challenging, and disputes can and do arise. It may be wise to set aside money in case a lawsuit arises in the future, but it would be wiser to take all reasonable steps to avoid one in the first place. One of the greatest places to start is by doing regular maintenance on the property and swiftly attending to repair requests. Additionally, you can avoid going to court by making sure your property complies with safety regulations, providing essential safety gear, and looking for hidden problems like mold, asbestos, or lead paint. Honoring your rental agreement and encouraging your tenant to do the same, is another good way to avoid getting sued and paying huge legal fees.

In Conclusion

Knowing a few of the unforeseen expenditures associated with owning single-family rental properties, may help you prepare to minimize or avoid them. Some of the more unwelcome surprises of real estate investing can be averted if you are active with property upkeep, tenant education, and cost comparisons.

When it comes to property management, Real Property Management Washington DC is an expert which makes us the wisest resource for new and inexperienced property investors. Contact us today to see what we can do for you and your property!


Originally published on January 17, 2020.

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