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Seasonality in the Chicago Rental Market

Renting during summer can be a challenge!

Renting during summer can be a challenge!


If you’ve ever rented an apartment in Chicago in the middle of the summer, you know it can be a challenge! Properties are listed and then rented very quickly, there are often multiple applicants vying for the same property, and you may arrive to view a property and find that there are several other people there to look at the exact same apartment. As a renter, securing a great apartment during the busy summer months can be very stressful!

If you are a landlord, you might be thinking, “This sounds great! I would love to have this much competition for my rentals. What’s the secret?” The secret is not much of a secret, really. It’s seasonality! What is seasonality, you ask? According to Investopedia, seasonality is “a characteristic of a time series in which the data experiences regular and predictable changes that recur every calendar year. I am here to tell you that the rental market in Chicago is definitely seasonal. This means that there are certain times of the year that are much better for renting and other times when renting property is much more challenging.

The rental market in Chicago is definitely seasonal!

The rental market in Chicago is definitely seasonal!


In Chicago, for landlords the best time of year to rent an apartment is between April and September. This is when the majority of renters are seeking new apartments, as some move to the city after finishing school, and others who previously moved to Chicago in the summer have their leases expiring. If you are a landlord trying to rent your property in November, December or January, you will have a much harder time finding a tenant and may even have to accept a lower rent or unfavorable terms, as most renters do not want to move in the middle of the winter. The below graph from local rental listing website Domu.com shows the average number of days a property is on the market during each month of the year. According to this graph, July is the month when properties are on the market for the shortest number of days, on average. However, days on market are overall much lower in the summer months than in the winter.

A visual look of the seasonality of Chicago's rental market.

A visual look of the seasonality of Chicago’s rental market.

In my experience, if you are able to push your leases to end during the spring and the early part of summer, you will be able to rent your properties faster and at higher rates. I’d specifically recommend aiming for an April, May, or June rental if at all possible. This is typically better than the later part of the summer as your property will be exposed to the greatest number of people looking for apartments who are flexible and can move in anytime in the summer months. By waiting until July, August, or September to list, rentals are typically still strong but you may lose out on a good number of tenants who have already rented places and moved in during the first part of the summer. Additionally, if you have to do work on your properties or they sit vacant for a month, you can sign a 12 month lease and it will still end during the peak months of the year.

You might be asking, how is it possible to get your leases to end in the summer months if you bought the property during the winter, or if you already have your tenants on leases that end during the off-peak months? This takes a bit more thought, but it is possible! One strategy is to offer tenants leases that end during the peak months, rather than always leasing for 12 month terms. You can either require that leases be 9 months when you are advertising a property in September, or offer incentives for people who will sign for your desired term. For example, if offering a property for rent in September, your ideal lease term would be around 9 months. You could offer a discount of $25-$50/month for people who will sign a 9 month lease while charging more for a 12 month term. You could also try for an 18 month lease if you prefer a longer lease term. The possibilities are endless, and you’ll thank yourself when your property becomes vacant in May and you have applicants lining up to rent!

If you have any questions for how to position your property’s lease so that it ends at the most favorable time of year for you, please contact us at NRS!

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Invest In Your Investment

In today’s real estate market, there has been a lot of movement toward buying investment properties at a very cheap price. Large companies and/or REITs (Real Estate Investment Trusts) are investing in large quantities of real estate to produce residual income through renting and eventually selling the properties to make a very large profit. But there are also individuals out there that have accumulated a large sum of money and are now trying to invest in real estate. Sometimes these individuals are not experienced enough to make the money that they are seeking. The main reason usually is that they don’t want to invest in the property to make it profitable.

Invest and get the most out of your properties.

Invest and get the most out of your properties!

New inexperienced buyers often buy property and expect the property to make money for them right away. The problem is that they don’t want to put money into the property after they buy it. They don’t want to do any upgrades on old appliances or have the property freshly painted or sometimes even cleaned!

Where someone lives is always a big decision .

Where someone lives is always a big decision .

 

 

 

These owners expect the renter to see the property and fall in love with it immediately. Often this is not the case because where someone lives is always a big decision. As the owner tries to piece things together cheaply, the property will sit vacant while no income is coming in. The days turn into weeks, and the weeks turn into months. Before you know it, the owner has lost out on rent for almost a year.

Avoid writing down loses due to vacancy!

Avoid writing down loses due to vacancy!

 

 

Renters like to feel comfortable and safe. They want to feel like they are getting a nice place for the money that they are spending on rent. When you buy an investment property to rent, you should have everything checked. The electrical box should be easily accessible in case of blackouts. All outlets and light fixtures should be checked for proper connections. The plumbing should be inspected for leaks. All appliances should be cleaned and in working order. Walls, ceilings should be cleaned or freshly painted. The floors should be cleaned and free of tripping hazards. If everything is in working order when the tenant moves in, there should not be any problems while the tenant is in the unit. These preventive actions will make the property profitable for months and years to come!

Preventive action makes property profitable for months and years to come!

Preventive action makes property profitable for months and years to come!

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How to Secure Your Dream Apartment (in a Hot Market)

In today’s hot rental market, it can be difficult for even well-qualified tenants to secure their dream apartment. With rental rates climbing and lots of competition for clean, affordable, and safe rentals, you may find that another applicant has been chosen to rent an apartment over you. Don’t stress, but consider these things to give you the best chance of being approved when searching for your next apartment.

Bring References.

Everyone appreciates a good reference!

Everyone appreciates a good reference!

Applicants that can quickly prove that they have good credit, steady income, and positive landlord references will stand out among a group of applicants. While it is true that some landlords require that prospective tenants be screened using their preferred screening software, it does not hurt to bring a copy of your free credit report, recent pay stubs, ID, and favorable landlord references. With just a quick glance, your prospective landlord will likely be impressed that you thought ahead to bring these important documents with you, and this could b e polite. While this should go without being said, it is important to put your best foot forward the first time you meet a prospective landlord. Be polite when scheduling your appointment, and be on time for the appointment to show that you value the landlord’s time. Ask thoughtful questions and thank them for the opportunity to view their rental property. You might be surprised that simply minding your manners goes a long way when meeting prospective landlords.

Move quickly.

There's no time to waste in a hot market!

There’s no time to waste in a hot market!

If you come across an apartment that you’re really interested in, try to schedule an appointment for the soonest available time you can. During peak rental season, apartments do tend to move quickly so it is important to view the property as soon as possible before it is rented by another person. Additionally, if you do see an apartment that you want to rent, do not delay in submitting an application. If you wait a day or two, someone else may have submitted an application and gotten approved while you were waiting.

Be flexible.

Flexibility can help you stand out among many inflexible applicants!

Flexibility can help you stand out among many inflexible applicants!

The ability to be flexible on some things shows the landlord that you will be a tenant who is reasonable. For example, you may let the prospective landlord know that you’re open to a longer or shorter lease term, or that you can move in a few days earlier or later, which might help you “win” the apartment. Landlords understand that sometimes flexibility is not an option, but if you can afford to be flexible on the move in date or lease terms, that may make you stand out as a favorable option among many inflexible applicants.

Renting an apartment is not always easy, particularly during the peak rental season. However, by following this advice, you will be more prepared to secure your dream apartment when you do find it. Are you a renter looking for a new apartment? Check out National Rental Services current rental listings by visiting www.NRSrentals.com to give you a leg up on other applicants.
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8 Ways to Increase Your Rental Income (That Cost Next to Nothing!)

As property managers we at National Rental Services are always looking for ways to help owners upgrade their properties to maximize the return on their investment. Below are eight easy upgrades you can do yourself averaging only about $50 per upgrade that will help you maximize your rent and lower your market time!

Install a curved rod for a more roomy feel!

Install a curved rod for a more roomy feel!

  1. Enhance your bathtub/shower – Install a curved curtain rod to give the user a roomier shower experience. Doing so adds about 30% more space where you need it most – for only about $30.
  2. Increase your closet space – Double hang two thirds of your closets to create more hanging and storage space. At approximately $3/foot for materials, a 6 foot single-sided closet should cost roughly $12 ($3 x ⅔ x 6 feet).
  3. Upgrade your kitchen sink – Replace the kitchen faucet with a gooseneck faucet for as little as $50.

    Gooseneck faucets are an efficient upgrade..

    Gooseneck faucets are an efficient upgrade..

  4. Improve the esthetic of your interior doors – Add molding to your flat door panels for an upscale look and feel. Apply ½-inch molding to flat interior doors to create two rectangular shapes on the door surface. Molding kits, including adhesive, can be purchased for less than $30 per door, not including paint.
  5. Add a door knocker to your entry – If you already have a doorbell, adding a substantial door knocker gives a door heft. Door knockers can be purchased for as little as $15.

    A simple splash of color can go a long way!

    A simple splash of color can go a long way!

  6. Incorporate an accent wall – Adding an accent wall to your living space creates ambiance with a simple splash of color. A gallon of paint and the necessary supplies costs about $100.
  7. Be Eco-Friendly – Add a two-mode shower head. Save water, reduce your water bill, and add an enhancement to your bath. Prices start at $14.

    Be-Eco Friendly!

    Be-Eco Friendly!

  8. Add a decorative element to your cabinetry and doors – Drawer pulls and door knobs add pop to your kitchen and bath starting at $1/pull or knob.

    Drawer pulls and door knobs add pop!

    Drawer pulls and door knobs add pop!

Most of these improvements are quite simple, and many property owners can install the items outlined above without professional help.

***If you were to do all of the above it could be done for as little as $400 with you supplying the labor. And what a difference it would make. It would certainly help you increase your rent and/or decrease your vacancy period between rentals.

For more help with your property management and leasing needs please call us in Chicago at 312-664-6200 or in Orlando at 407-352-3705. At National Rental Services we work hard to stretch your property management dollar farther!

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Sizing Up Your Property Manager’s Toolkit

It doesn’t really matter if you’re working too many hours and simply don’t have the time to add anything else or, you work no hours and we want to keep it that way.

In both scenarios once you have decided leaving your real­ estate investments to a professional company is the best option, how do you know if said company is equip for the task? It isn’t only the motivation and intention that matters when it comes to achieving property management satisfaction, but also having the right tools is equally crucial for attaining success.
Utilizing Social Media has huge benefits  toolkit

Utilizing Social Media has huge benefits!


Sure, every Owner would like their property manager to be enthusiastic, efficient, and generally outstanding but here are a few specifics for anyone to look out for when determining if a manager is armed and ready to meet your needs.

Social Media? Check.

People are spending more and more time on social media websites ever since they were first brought to the public. Think about shopping, advertisements, relationships etc, and you’ll quickly notice practically anything can be virtually assimilated and readily presented through the internet. So with that in mind, any property manager not utilizing the web as a centerpiece in their marketing strategy, in my opinion, would be doing themselves and their owners a disservice. Property managers can even utilize web media to communicate with residents and owners alike.

Look no further for the reason why here at National Rental Services, we all place a high importance on industry leading technology and web applications. Whether it’s for leasing our single family homes in North Dakota or a condominium within an Illinois high rise, all our listings benefit from NRS having a strong web presence.

A clean + organized office leaves a great first impression! toolkit

A clean + organized office leaves a great first impression!

After all, the proof is in the pudding as they say. I am writing this blog post right now!

Updated office? Necessary for any job.

There’s plenty reason why you wouldn’t expect to see typewriters in offices anymore. However, when evaluating a property manager a more important question to ask would be, what do you expect to see in their offices? Would a simply stack of flyers where your listing, and everyone else’s, lay piled up indiscriminately be sufficient for you? How about an office filled with noisy cathode ray tube monitors and computers which still accept floppy disk as their primary form of removable data?

Exactly.

So on the other extreme, what if your property manager had an office with up-­to-­date hardware? An office where you can walk in, scan a QR code which leads to your specific listing complete with full panoramic views, video walkthroughs and a digital floor plan?

That’s what you can expect from National Rental Services and, that’s what you should expect from an updated office.

A Friendly Professional Staff is Key! toolkit nrsrentals

A Friendly Professional Staff is Key!

It’s nice knowing I don’t have to wait several minutes before my office computer powers up.

Teamwork, the most important tool.

If your property manager is sick, who’s there’s backup? Who’s your contact? A/C units break regardless of if your leasing agent is in the office or in Cancun so it’s important to see how the support structure plays out in your property manager’s company.

At NRS, our owners and residents always have multiple contacts and that’s because, our managers always have a team behind them. It’s a simple concept which can sadly be easily forgotten.

Just ask, if you can’t find the name of at least one individual who’s there to help incase you can’t get a hold of your standard contact, then maybe it’s a teamwork issue.

There you have it, three things to identify the next time you size up your property management company. Sure, listing every positive quality a property manager should have would take eons but these are some fundamentals. After all, for being an outstanding property manager, don’t you think these would fit any necessary criteria? To have National Rental Services manage your investment property, contact us today!

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How Renters Can Save Money on Utilities

Chances are, if you are a renter, you are paying more in rent now than you were a few years ago. According to real estate rental website Apartment List, rents have increased by 2.7% from May 2015 to May 2016 and rental rate increases do not seem to be slowing down. As a renter, what can you do to help alleviate some of the burden of high rent prices?

As a renter, what can you do to help alleviate some of the burden of high rent prices?

As a renter, what can you do to help alleviate some of the burden of high rent prices?


Although you cannot control rental rates, you can control some of the costs you have that are related to your housing, such as utilities. In this article, I’ll discuss some ways that you may be able to lower the costs of your utilities to save money on housing.

If you are currently seeking housing, there are a few things you can do to try and lessen the burden of utility costs before you even move in! Consider living with one or more roommates who you’ll split the utilities with. By living with just one roommate, you can cut your utility bills in half. Living with multiple roommates who split utilities will cause your out-of-pocket utility costs to go way down. You may also consider renting a place that includes some of the utilities in the monthly rent, such as heat or water. Even if the rent is marginally higher than a comparable unit that does not include utilities, you will likely save money as you’ll be off the hook for whatever utilities the landlord is responsible for.

If you are already under lease, there are still ways that you can save on utility costs without moving to a new apartment. To conserve electricity, turn off lights and unplug large appliances that do not need to be plugged in when they are not in use. Keep your heater set at a lower temperature at night or when you are not home.

If you do not have a programmable thermostat, consider investing in one which allows you to adjust the temperature in your home from anywhere.

If you do not have a programmable thermostat, consider investing in one which allows you to adjust the temperature in your home from anywhere.

If you do not have a programmable thermostat, consider investing in a thermostat such as the Nest, which allows you to adjust the temperature in your home from anywhere. According to the Energy.gov website, you can save as much as 10% on heating and cooling costs simply by adjusting the temperature in your home by 7-10 degrees for 8 hours a day. If you can adjust your needs and deal with a slightly warmer apartment in the summer and a slightly cooler apartment in the winter, you can save even more!
If you have a ceiling fan, you can use it to save yourself even more money on heating and cooling costs!
You can use a ceiling fan to save yourself more money!

You can use a ceiling fan to save yourself more money!

It will help circulate the air and keep your home cooler in the summer, and in the winter you can change the settings so that the fan is operating in a clockwise direction, which will actually push heat down and keep your apartment warmer!
A huge way to save money on utilities such as cable is to get rid of it entirely!
Many people are cutting the cord to cut their cost!

Many people are cutting the cord to cut their cost!

If you can’t bear the thought of no TV, consider substituting regular cable with streaming services such as Netflix or Hulu, which allow you to view most of the TV shows and movies you’d see on cable but for a much lower monthly cost. Or, if you really can’t bear to cancel cable, try giving your provider a call to ask if they are offering any specials. It may be possible for you to get a lower rate by simply asking! This trick can also work for insurance policies, such as renter’s insurance and car insurance. Best of all, it costs you nothing!

Despite rising rental prices, it is possible to cut some of your housing-related costs. Give some of these tips a try and see how much you can save!

Stop by and let us know which tips you have used in the past to save money on utilities!?

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5 reasons why hiring an agent who specializes in Property Management works towards your advantage

When renting out your property, there are many reasons to hire a professional to make sure all aspects are taken care of properly. But sometimes, landlords might not be sure of the benefits they are passing up if they elect to hire an agent who does not solely focus on property management or self-manage their properties
Here are 5 reasons why hiring a specialized agent in Property Management is in your best interest.

1. Most often then not, top property managers are also fully licensed real estate agents.

Top property managers know all the ins and outs of their state’s laws that relate to renting properties, and can advise you about the tenant-landlord legal relationship. A good property manager is armed with the knowledge of the latest landlord-tenant laws and will ensure that you are not leaving yourself vulnerable to a potential lawsuit. Each state and municipality have their own laws. These local laws plus federal law cover a number of areas including but not limited to:

  • Inspections
  • Lease addendums
  • Terminating leases
  • Handling security deposits
  • Tenant screening
  • Safety and overall condition of the property
  • Evictions
  • Rent collection

Avoiding just one lawsuit can more than make up for the property management cost, and most importantly, save you time and anguish.

2. Top property managers are well-versed in the specific financially savvy needed for leasing and keep meticulous records for their landlords.

Record management is key

Record management is key

There are many reporting requirements not only for tax purposes but also to be in compliance with federal and local real estate regulations. Liability issues are also addressed by keeping recorded activities and tenant interactions to protect both owner and property. Recordkeeping is one of the best benefits that distinguish agents who focus on property management.

3. Budget managers are property managers.

Saving and Investing is a delicate balance to manage.

Saving and Investing is a delicate balance to manage.

Top property managers know how to set rental rates based on the current market, the location of the property and the current rates of other area comparables. They may make marketing program recommendations, arrange special promotions and have strong relationships with area realtors to promote their sites. Aside from offering guidance on financial reports, profit and loss and applicable taxes and budgeting, good property managers many times have a symbiotic relationship with the local realtors if they specialize only in leasing, thus giving them access to a strong referral network.

4. Property managers build teams.

Coordinating successfully with vendors is key.

Coordinating successfully with vendors is key.

While many agents may work out of a single office or for a large corporation, top property managers form medium-sized teams and integrate business with vendors that can handle the diverse functions of the property management job.
Better tenant retention

5. Low turnover.

Even though it’s easy to see the effects of lost rent, there are other equally serious problems that come with a high tenant turnover rate. The process after a tenant moves out involves a thorough cleaning, changing the locks, painting the walls and possibly new carpet or small repairs, not to mention all the effort associated with marketing, showing , screening and settling in a new tenant. This is a time-consuming and expensive process that can often be avoided by keeping tenants renewing their leases and your turnover rate low. Turnover rate is something any agent who specializes in property management can tell you a lot about.
A good property management company will have a time-tested tenant retention policy that ensures happy tenants with lengthy stays in your properties. These kinds of programs require a consistent approach, which is where a good property manager shows their worth.


Having an experienced property manager on your side like the agents here at National Rental Services makes the whole ordeal of renting your residential properties easy and offers the many advantages of having an agent who specializes in residential leasing!

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Keeping Up With Property Management Laws

Owners managing their own properties can unwittingly take on liability and risk by not staying current on the laws governing the property management profession. In some instances, these owner-landlords break the law without realizing it or, equally disadvantageous, put themselves in a “he said-she said” dispute with their tenants. I’ve outlined below a few examples of violations to property management laws in Chicago, Illinois, Orlando, Florida and at the federal level that could arise if such an owner has not stayed abreast of recent rules changes*:

Not staying current on laws governing property management can be risky!

Not staying current on laws governing property management can be risky!

  • -Landlords who screen prospective tenants for past criminal activity and reject their rental application on the basis of a criminal record. Recent federal legislation makes such actions discriminatory in the absence of policy (which the owner must draft) that specifically permits such individuals to rent your property after a “reasonable amount of time” has passed based on a specific crime. This is a tricky one, given the absence of clear criteria, but owners found not to be in compliance are breaking the law.
  • Screening tenants is crucial, but make sure you're within the law.

    Screening tenants is crucial, but make sure you’re within the law.

  • -Landlords who accept a security deposit but don’t pay interest on the annual anniversary of the lease. Some may not pay interest at all (if due), or may pay based on the prior year’s interest rate, or may pay in part on the prior year’s rate and in part on the current year’s rate, or may pay (for example, on a 14 month lease) at the end of the lease term. In Chicago, all of these scenarios break the law.
  • -Landlords who set the heat in a unit to a steady 67 degrees during the cooler months. In Chicago, such a landlord may not realize that temperatures must not drop below 68 degrees (Fahrenheit) during the day and 65 degrees in the evening. Thus, by keeping the unit warmer than necessary at night, and cooler than permitted during the day, the owner of this unit is breaking the law.
  • Even temperatures are governed by laws!

    Even temperatures are governed by laws!

  • -Landlords who return less than the full security deposit to a tenant without providing a detailed accounting of each deduction. In Orlando, Florida, property managers must provide such an accounting within 45 days of the lease end date. Not doing so breaks the law.

The list goes on, ranging from timeliness of repairs to providing the tenant with proper documentation at move out.

Needless to say, landlord tenant law is extensive and can be both onerous and opaque. For many owners, property management is a second job, yet staying abreast of the law – and the ongoing changes to it – can feel like a full time pursuit. That said, from a risk and liability perspective, if an owner chooses to forego this very real responsibility, he or she should consider hiring a professional property manager to bear those risks on his or her behalf.

NRS provides great services and guidance on Real Estate laws!

A property manager should provide great service and guidance on Real Estate laws!

At National Rental Services (NRS), our team takes seriously the need to protect our clients from legal wrongdoing. Staff attend the local seminars on property management, receive ongoing training, read the trade publications on a local and national basis and communicate regularly with our attorneys. Maintaining proficiency in the applicable law is paramount because, at NRS, being good isn’t good enough.

*Exceptions exist to the laws referenced above. Please consult your attorney to verify how the law pertains to you.
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How Property Owners Save Money by “Investing In” Unit Turns

Investing in unit turns leaves you with a better property and higher ROI!

Investing in unit turns leaves you with a better property and higher ROI!


Investing in a proper unit turn is one of the best investments a property owner can make. Why? Because prospective tenants expect a fresh and clean living space; if you don’t offer it at your property, they’ll find it somewhere else. It’s no surprise, therefore, that residential dwellings properly prepared for listing rent faster and for more money.

Unfortunately, many unit owners choose to save money in the short term by not undertaking the necessary steps to turn a rental. In our experience, this decision is almost always penny wise and pound foolish. Allow me to explain:

Don't fall into the traps of a tired cliche, protect your invest and save money.

Don’t fall into the traps of a tired cliche, protect your invest and save money.


When a lease ends and a tenant vacates your property, there is often wear and tear on the property that should be addressed and cannot be recaptured from the departing tenant. Such costs to the owner typically include painting, cleaning and carpet, as well as minor mechanical repairs such as filter changes, tub caulking, and light bulb replacement. All in, these costs usually total less than one month’s rent, and will vary according to the unit’s size and market.
The investment in upkeep often comes back in the form of higher rents!

The investment in upkeep often comes back in the form of higher rents!


As an example, in Orlando, Florida, National Rental Services (“NRS”) finds that a fully prepared unit will rent approximately one week sooner and for $50 more per month. Additionally, NRS currently obtains unit turn services (paint, carpet and unit cleaning) on a two bed, two bath rental in this market for $510. Assuming the $50 rent premium yields a rental rate of $1,100 on a two year lease, this means the owner of this hypothetical unit will, on average, collect an additional $1,475 in rent (1 week of rent at $1100/month totals $275; the additional $50/month in rent for 24 months totals $1200.)

Given that the owner invested $510 up front, his return on investment (“ROI”) for the two year lease term would be roughly 190%. On a one year lease, the owner still makes out ahead with an ROI of better than 70%. Clearly, investing in a unit turn makes “cents” and dollars.

Invest in turns and get the most out of your properties.

Invest in turns and get the most out of your properties.

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How to More Accurately Plan for Future Property Maintenance Needs

In my previous post I discussed the importance of planning for future property maintenance issues and keeping a reserve fund to cover repairs to your investment properties. It is inevitable that residential properties will have maintenance issues in their lifetime, and most likely you should expect to spend at least 10% of the total rents collected each year toward property maintenance.

Unfortunately, 10% of the year’s rents may not always be enough to cover all of the maintenance issues that will arise in a particular year at a particular property. Today I will discuss an alternate way of estimating future maintenance costs which should turn out to be more accurate than simply assuming that you’ll be spending 10% of the property’s yearly rents collected.

By considering your particular property and its systems, you should be able to anticipate the future big-ticket items that will need to be done in the next year, five years, and ten years or more. Big-ticket items you should look at are the roof, electrical, HVAC, water heaters, kitchens, bathrooms, exterior, and flooring.

Using historical data will help guesstimate maintenance needs!

Using historical data will help guesstimate maintenance needs!

Based on when each of these items was updated last, as well as their estimated lifespan, you can guesstimate when you will need to budget for these items in the future.
As an example, let’s look at a property located at 123 Green Street. This property’s kitchen, bathrooms, and flooring have all been updated in the last few years, so those items probably won’t need to be replaced for quite a few years. However, this particular property’s roof is about 15 years old and the water heater is 7 years old. According to the National Association of Homebuilders, asphalt shingle roofs should last for about 20 years. Based on the age of the current roof, 15 years, you should expect to have to replace your property’s roof in about 5 years. To calculate the amount you should be saving toward this expenditure, you will need to estimate the cost for replacing the roof and divide it by the number of months you’ll have to save for the roof replacement.
Maintenance for a roof should be anticipated as accurately as possible.

Maintenance for a roof should be anticipated as accurately as possible.


Let’s assume a new roof will cost you $10,000 for your property. In this scenario, you assume you’ll need to replace the roof in 5 years or 60 months. Based on the price of $10,000, you should be saving roughly $167 per month for the roofing replacement which should net you the total cost of $10,000 after 60 months or 5 years of saving.

By saving $167/month, you should have enough funds to replace your roof in five years. However, it is likely that you will also need to replace your water heaters in a few years, as well. The average lifespan of water heaters is 8-12 years, according to this article from Lowe’s home improvement store. We’ll assume that our water heaters will last 10 years, which gives us an estimated remaining life span of 3 years for the existing water heaters.
Based on an average replacement cost of $900, you should be saving $300/year or $25/month toward the cost of a new water heater, which you assume will need to be replaced in three years at a total cost of $900.

To obtain the most accurate estimate of what you will need to save monthly to replace your property’s big-ticket items, I’d suggest doing the same type of calculation for each item you think will need to be replaced in the next five years or sooner. By planning in advance and saving for these items, you will not find yourself surprised when your roof begins leaking and the cost to repair it is in the thousands of dollars. This also cuts down on deferred maintenance, because you will have saved the funds needed to handle most of your repairs before they even happen.

Help cut down on deferred maintenance by saving funds in advance!

Help cut down on deferred maintenance by saving funds in advance!


If you have questions regarding your property’s future maintenance needs, please contact National Rental Services.