We recently worked with a homeowner who had a duplex in Oceanside just off of Highway 76. The rental property had brought about great returns as it was conveniently located near the beach and everything Downtown Oceanside has to offer, but also close proximity to the Camp Pendleton base. Due to the location and high renter demand, he never had an issue with getting his units rented out. But, just because occupancy wasn’t a problem, this didn’t mean that being a landlord was easy. Both of the units in his duplex were 30+ years old, and required constant maintenance and attention. He found himself wondering, “are these repairs worth it” and “maybe it’s time to sell.” Here are some suggestions we offered him about repairs, and more.
If you have to make them, make sure they’re deductible:
Just some friendly advice (as we know how tough it can be being a landlord), is to maximize the number of projects that are tax deductible. The major difference between what does and doesn’t qualify for tax deductions is whether it is an “improvement.” Anything that is determined to have a long-term impact on your asset or restores it to operating condition is considered an improvement. In which case, you cannot deduct the expense. The activities that don’t result in improvement are classified as tax deductible.
With that in mind, you may stray away from completely replacing items (improvement) and instead repairing them. For example, if your tenant is having roof troubles, just replace the problem shingles and not the entire roof. Or, if a dryer stops working, fix it rather than buying a new one. Repairs are also usually much cheaper than replacement. The IRS clarifies that in most cases, repairs don’t provide significant increased value or extend the life of your property.
If you plan to deduct property repair costs, be sure that you’re documenting everything. If the repair resulted from a tenant complaint, save that complaint to your records. This will protect you because it proves that something was broken and you had to invest to fix it.
Prevent the need for replacement:
Another way to prevent incurring costs that are not tax deductible is to prevent the need to replace or upgrade items altogether. Preventative maintenance can not only save you in the long-run and make your tenants happy, but the expense are usually deductible.
Or, be certain they add value:
If you can’t deduct the expenses from repairing or upgrading your rental property, ensure that the projects taken on do in fact add value. While the expense may hurt when it hits, it will pay off in the long run when you turn to sell and your property is now worth more.
The Most Common Rental Property Repairs
- Appliances: Because appliances have so many moving parts and can be impacted largely by their users, they do tend to break quite often. You may find yourself needing to replace appliances, or pay specialists to have them fixed (this can run anywhere from $50-100 per hour.
- Plumbing: Whether we’re talking a leaky faucet or a leak from the ceiling, plumbing problems come in many forms…and none are particularly fun to deal with. What seems to be an innocent drip underneath the kitchen sink could lead to an excessively large water bill at the end of the month. The faster they are addressed, the less they will cost.
- Clogged Toilets: While some clogged toilets are the responsibility of your tenants, some are not. There could be problems with the main plumbing line or a bigger issue (the toilet is just a symptom of the larger problem).
- Rodents or Bugs: Preventative measures are common when it comes to pests or rodents. But, if your home becomes prey of these pests, your tenants can be in danger. Infestations need to be addressed immediately for healthy and safety concerns.
- Furnace: This is one of the most important repairs on the list as heat is so vital during colder months. While we are lucky to not have to endure cold winters in California, anything below 70 degrees may feel cold and leave you anxious for heat. People get cold no matter where you are!
Say Goodbye to Landlord Repair Woes and Hello to Rental Sale Profits
If you’ve become exhausted by your rental property repairs and the cost to upkeep the property and you’re ready to sell, consider your options. We know how stressful it can be to sell a rental property because it also affects the tenants you currently have occupying the space. How will they react? Will they keep the property in open house condition? Is the house even as clean and well-kept as you remember? And, will you be putting them at a disadvantage by not having a clearly defined “move-out” date?
If you’re a landlord looking to sell, you may be asking yourself some of these questions. For this reason, I think you may be interested in how selling direct can impact the process. For one, you choose the move out date that you want. So, there is no guessing in when your tenants should and need to be out by…you can provide concrete instructions and a clear idea of what they are to expect. Second, we’ll buy the home no matter what condition it’s in. Not all tenants keep your property in the shape that you would, but we’ll buy it no matter what kind of clearing out or repairs are needed. You don’t even need to worry about whether they’ll leave trash or junk behind- we take care of it all. Lastly, selling to us is easy. You worked hard for a long time to maintain your rental property (and probably stressed out a time or two)…now it’s time to sit back and let us do all the work during the transaction. We’ll take care of your tenants and everything will be handled with EASE.Views: 10