Tampa Property Management Tip #15 - Many Houses Have Little Or No Insulation and This Will Cost Your Tenants
You should always consider the electrical efficiency of your rental homes or apartments. Rentals with poor or no insulation causes excessively high electric bills for your tenants. Most landlords just shrug their shoulders and take no responsibility for this issue. This is a huge mistake. If the electrical bill should be around $200 and the bill is coming in over $400, you cannot immediately assume it is the tenant's fault.
I live and manage properties in Florida, and I am constantly amazed by how many older homes have no insulation in the ceilings or attics. These homes could be 50 or 60 years old. I cannot understand how this problem has been ignored for decades. The electrical bill will always be twice what it should be without proper insulation. Plenty of houses have insulation in the ceilings but nothing in the walls. Why? Because it is easy to put insulation in the ceilings but no a lot of people realize the importance of the walls.
You can rent a machine for free at Home Depot if you buy the insulation from them. It generally takes 2 guys 2 days to blow insulation in the walls and attic in addition to patching the walls. You have to cut holes in the drywall or plaster between each stud. The hole should be cut at the high point of the wall close to the ceiling. You simply push the tube through the hole and blow insulation down the whole space between the two studs. It is very easy. You must then patch the holes, paint the patch, and you are done.
To most property management companies, improving insulation would not even enter their radar. It seems too trivial or too mundane to give it much thought. Okay, than let’s break it down. If an electrical bill is $200 more per month than it should be, the tenant will be paying $2400 a year in unnecessary expense, and more importantly they will know they are paying too much the entire time. Wouldn’t you think the prospect of saving $2400 of tax free money each year would be an enormous enticement to move? I would. Now what does the rental property owner spend in turning that rental after they move out? I would think $500-$700 for painting, $150 for cleaning, and at least $250 in miscellaneous repairs. We are talking over $1000 if the tenant leaves the rental in relatively good shape, fulfills their lease, and pays all rent. Do you think the tenant might just skip out on the lease or trash the rental in anger?
Tampa property management companies need to think long and hard about the long term costs of not repairing a one time issue.