Rental property maintenance comes with being a real estate investor. Whether you tackle maintenance and repairs on your own or work with a property manager to handle those things for you, delivering quality maintenance services helps investors keep renters longer and sustain property values.
When considering the care of your Northern Virginia properties, are home warranties a good idea? Can (or should) a warranty take the place of professional maintenance services?
While a home warranty offers several benefits, real estate investors must understand how they work—and what they lack—when it comes to protecting your properties and keeping renters happy in a safe, well-maintained home. Here are some expert insights from our Northern Virginia property management team!
What Is a Home Warranty?
You probably don't get calls about home warranties just like how you get calls about your car's extended warranty. However, a home warranty functions similarly to a car warranty by offering repair and replacement services for some aspects of a rental property.
A typical home warranty is a plan purchased by Northern Virginia rental property owners for a property—separate from landlord insurance. These warranties offer repairs or replacements for major appliances like the strove, water heater, and refrigerator. Some warranties also include repair and maintenance services for plumbing, electrical, and HVAC issues. When choosing a warranty, make sure you understand everything it covers (and doesn't cover).
With these warranties, property owners pay a monthly fee. When something covered by the warranty breaks, property owners call the warranty company instead of a service provider to schedule a repair. Most warranty companies partner with other local companies to deliver repair or replacement services. The warranty company coordinates with these vendors to fulfill the terms of the warranty.
Is a Home Warranty Worth It?
Some Northern Virginia investors find that a home warranty is a worthwhile investment in their rental properties, along with the right insurance coverage and expert property management. However, a home warranty doesn't often take care of every maintenance need for a rental property.
Relying only on a home warranty plan means investors:
- Can be without repair or replacement coverage for some appliances and parts of the property
- Pay monthly for the plan (whether they use it every month or not)
- Must use contractors that partner with the warranty company (even if they have a vendor that they prefer)
- Need a separate warranty for each rental property in their portfolio
Warranty providers can also deny claims if they decide the scope of work or a replacement falls outside your plan's coverage. When this happens, you still pay monthly for your warranty, but you must pay out-of-pocket for repairs that aren't covered and can be costly.
Is There a Better Option?
If you don't work with the best Northern Virginia property management company, having home warranties on your rentals can help with maintenance solutions. However, many real estate investors skip the home warranties and partner with a property manager that delivers the maintenance services they need.
Working with a warranty company can be frustrating if the coverage doesn't cover the repair your property needs. Warranty companies don't consistently deliver quick repairs or the best quality services, depending on their partnerships with local vendors.
A Property Manager Covers Everything
Investors don't need a different property manager for every property! While a home warranty only provides coverage for one rental home, the best Northern Virginia property management company handles every maintenance need for every rental property!
Plus, a property manager won't decide that any repair—common or otherwise—is outside of the scope of their services. We handle every maintenance call with prompt repairs and high-quality service. When real estate investors partner with the right property manager, they experience:
- Routine property inspections and maintenance to prevent repairs
- 24/7 availability to prevent delays for emergency repairs
- The best contractors who are vetted to perform work in your properties
- Competitive pricing to minimize costs and maximize maintenance budgets
- No additional monthly fees for a service you might not need every month
A home warranty only kicks in after something goes wrong, and investors don't have the opportunity to make sure a contractor has been vetted and is safe to work in their properties (or around renters). While a home warranty isn't necessarily a bad idea, hiring the best Northern Virginia property management company is one of the best ideas to maintain the care of your rentals and keep renters safe!
A Property Manager is the Best Maintenance Resource for Northern Virginia Rentals
Every real estate investor must decide if the addition of a home warranty makes sense for each of their Northern Virginia rentals. However, whether you choose home warranties or not, don't skip the many maintenance benefits of a property manager!
RentSimple delivers worry-free management and maintenance services for rental properties and investors. Contact us to learn how we maximize income and minimize repair costs with our expert Northern Virginia property management services!