Landlords often want to know what to expect in annual maintenance costs in San Francisco for a typical home. This is a difficult question to answer because there really are no typical homes in San Francisco. The market includes old, tired homes that have not had anything done to them in 30 years as well as new, well maintained homes that are well cared for with new roofs, a freshly painted exterior and updated kitchen appliances. Obviously, each property is going to be a unique price tag when it comes to short term and long term maintenance costs.

The industry standard is to expect maintenance costs between 5 and 10 percent of your annual rental income. This is what most landlords are told to budget for when they have a home on the rental market. However, a major repair such as a new roof will blow that number out of the water.  There is no easy answer when it comes to estimating maintenance costs. It simply depends on the condition of your home. If your home is in great shape, you can probably count on having fewer maintenance expenses than if your home is older and in need of  repairs and upgrades.

Remember that there will always be maintenance costs of some sort. Even if your home is in great condition, you can expect to have to pay something over the course of a year. Things are bound to break, and tenants will want to have things in working order.  There might be things  that never bothered you about the house – such as a door that doesn’t latch quite properly – that will bother a tenant who is paying top rent.  Some repair and maintenance costs are inevitable so make sure you budget for it.

Budgeting for turnover costs is also important. When one tenant vacates your rental, you will have to spend some time and money preparing the home for a new tenant. You might need to apply a fresh coat of paint or install new carpeting. It may be time to replace an old appliance or update a kitchen or bath. Improving the property at turnover will help you achieve top rents from a new tenant.   The turnover period is when the largest maintenance investment is often made.

While there is no specific dollar figure or percentage when it comes to budgeting for maintenance costs in San Francisco, make sure you have something put away so that you are prepared. Assess the condition of your house before you put it on the market, and plan on having to make repairs throughout the term of a lease. Do whatever you can to invest in the maintenance of your property during periods of turnover, and you will be well prepared to handle any of the costs that come your way.

As always, if you have any questions, feel free to contact us.