Home Improvement Projects That Landlords Should – and Shouldn’t – Do Themselves

All rental properties will require repairs, maintenance, and preventive maintenance Along with time. Landlords with the right knowledge, tools, and skills for basic refurbishment tasks have no trouble pulling them off. When taking a hands-off approach, it is very important to have multiple service provider contacts. Doing the work yourself reduces your dependence on the contractor’s schedule and saves you money.

On the other hand, coin property owners cannot do all the necessary repairs themselves due to limited tools and expertise. In some cases, owners who try to make certain repairs end up costing more than if they had outsourced them in the first place. There are repairs and repairs that a landlord can perform with simple tools and knowledge, and there are some that require a certified person to handle. Note that some areas may overlap, but the difference lies in the upgrades and skills required.

In short, most people can change tires as part of an auto repair, but not everyone can adjust valve timing. Both activities fall under vehicle maintenance but require different levels of skill and tools to complete.

Home Improvement Projects Landlords Have To Do Itself

  • Base pipe. Some plumbing tasks do require professionally trained workers to complete. There are repairs and other repairs that landlords must handle themselves. Minor issues like leaky faucets cause stains on sinks and tubs, but they’re easy to fix. Disassembling the faucet and replacing the gasket or washer usually solves the problem. Depending on the model, this task can potentially be so easy that following the manufacturer’s directions or a simple YouTube video provides enough information to complete.

Drain and toilet clogs are simple enough for the property owner to fix on their own. To avoid further damage to the property when a plumber can’t be reached immediately, landlords must learn how to sew a gutter, dunk a toilet properly, and dismantle a P-trap. The P-trap is a U-shaped curve in the sewage pipe that connects the drain to the septic tank or sewer equipment.

  • Repair of electrical switches and sockets. Short circuits and flashing or dimming light bulbs are problems that require professional attention. Having an electrician is very helpful for your rental property in such situations. When a switch or outlet doesn’t work as expected due to a minor problem, the owner can remedy the situation by tightening loose connections or replacing faulty equipment. Within 10 to 20 minutes, the device returns to normal without spending any money. Landlords should remember to turn off the circuit breaker before opening the outlet.
  • Drywall patching and replacement. Because it is complicated to repair impact damage to drywall via patching or joint compound, replacement provides the best solution for water and/or mold damage. In both scenarios, landlords save money by knowing how to handle the situation. Repairing drywall can sometimes be a bit messy, but it’s a fairly basic process. It’s also a good skill to have in your arsenal when setting up units for hire after a long stay.

Home Improvement Projects Landlords Don’t Have To Do On Their Own

  • Complex electrical operations. As a precaution, landlords must not attempt any repairs that could set the building on fire. Minor electrical repairs and repairs beforehand, amateurs with no training should not attempt complex electrical installations. Having some background working with electrical installations does not qualify a person to take on every electrical assignment. As the saying goes, “A little knowledge in an area can often be the worst thing for you.” In contrast to the cost of fire repairs, hiring a qualified electrician saves homeowners a significant amount of money.
  • Climbing the ladder to clear gutters and climbing the roof to install new shingles are two very different jobs. As painful as going onto the property, carrying ladders everywhere, and emptying leaves from the gutters, getting on the roof is an entirely different scenario. Experience is very important here because working on a roof requires a lot of muscle memory to prevent you from falling. Tenants also have an eye on amateur work, and considering they have to pay full price for the rent, they also expect the level of workmanship on their home to be up to a certain standard.
  • Chimney cleaning and repair. A fireplace is a great asset to have in your home. For rental units, they attract tenants and increase occupancy rates while reducing idle time. Likewise with other facilities in a rented unit, the tenant will not maintain the fireplace as the landlord does. Every winter, landlords should have their fireplaces professionally cleaned. It does more than suck up the previous year’s debris and accumulated soot. Because of the different allergies people have, it’s not worth the risk of tenants getting sick from dirty chimneys and fireplaces. This can result in landlords footing the medical bills when they could have just hired the services of a professional for a fraction of the cost depending on the scenario. Even if they don’t have to pay such a large bill, the property’s reputation suffers from such an incident.


Easy, basic repairs allow landlords to save money and time and provide tenants with extra convenience. A task that the owner can perfectly perform does not pose a problem. Problems arise when they bite off more than they can chew and do a subpar job. Cost savings usually do not materialize immediately, appropriate repairs will be required. For landlords, it’s all about finding the right ratio between what to outsource and what to achieve on your own.

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