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Rental Property Maintenance Myth #3

Repaing versus replacing electrical appliances

Rental property maintenance myths abound in Pompano Beach. In this five-part series we continue to clear the cobwebs around some of the more common ones. Sure, maintenance and repairs are part and parcel of owning rental property, but it does not have to be a dark and mysterous blackhole!

Myth #3: Repairing is better than replacing

This rental property maintenance myth can go both ways. Meet the optimist who insists he can repair everything, including the avocado-colored refrigerator. Then there is the argument that it’s always going to be cheaper to replace than to repair.

“They just don’t make them like they used to.”

Deciding between repairing or replacing a broken appliance depends on a number of factors. Before you fix in a frenzy OR rush to replace, you should consider the facts. The age and condition of the appliance, the expected lifetime, previous fixes, and safety concerns (not to mention evaluating what is specifically wrong, if possible).

Appliances have an average useful life – the typical lifespan after which the machine is running on borrowed time. The closer your appliance is past this imaginary due date, the wiser it is to replace, rather than repair. The general rule is if an appliance is older than half of its expected lifespan, and the cost of the repair is over half the cost of replacing, then you should replace rather than repair.

When NOT to attempt rental property maintenance

If you are the kind of person who likes to tinker around, you may be able to make simple appliance repairs yourself and save labor fees. However, there is a serious downside to the DIY repairing approach.

  • Risk of injury – Large appliances can be heavy and bulky. Without training in  moving, opening or lifting the machine properly, the risk of serious injury is real.
  • Wrong troubleshooting – often electrical replacement parts are non-refundable. By misdiagnose the problem, ordering incorrect parts can be a waste of money.
  • Loss of manufacturer warranties – by attempting to open and repairing a machine yourself, you may void the warranty. Most appliances have a sticker alerting the user!
  • Electric shock and injury – Without training in electrical repair work, you may forget a simple task – to unplug the machine before making repairs! And can electrocute yourself.

Rental property maintenance – The Taxation angle

Another reason to consider replacing instead of repairing, is for tax purposes. The costs of rental property repairs are deductible that year. On the other hand, the cost of an “improvement” – which most replacements qualify as, will be depreciated over years (the property’s life expectancy).

What about the tenants?

It is very important to consider the impact, implications, and impression for your tenants. Consider the repercussions of repairing – losing a good tenant because the repair took too long, took multiple repair calls, and broke again a month later.

The money you might save doing it yourself is often just a delayed (and greater) loss. The same could be said about the cost of hiring a full-time property manager. Sometimes it’s just a convenience, but many times the cost of hiring a professional property manager like Real Property Management Premier makes the most long-term financial sense as well. Look no further than Real Property Management PremierContact us online or call 954-800-4433 and ask our property managers about services in Pompano Beach.


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