How To Know When You Need To Replace CapEx Items On Your Rentals

One of the biggest challenges to owning and renting real estate is the maintenance.


  1. It literally can be a never-ending process. It often seems, that the minute you replace or fix one thing, another immediately pops up. And this is even more prevalent when you have multiple properties. Especially when you’re trying to decide weather or not something actually needs to be replaced, versus just repaired, or if it can actually wait. This whole decision process can be enough to drive you crazy. Well, don’t fear, we understand. Which is why in this article we will outline for you a few different examples of CapEx items and the real link to when they should be replaced, fixed, or have some time. So, let’s dive in.
  2. Claiming repairs and maintenance for your rental property
  3. When it comes to CapEx items, there will be a few that every rental will have. For example, no matter what type of rental you have, you’ll eventually have to address these different CapEx items: roof, driveway, water heater, HVAC, flooring, appliances, doors, cabinetry, wiring and electrical panels, countertops, and house siding. The question now remains, how and when do you need to replace or fix all these things? Well, let’s start with the roof.

    A roof is probably the one CapEx item that should always be taken seriously. Reason being, it literally is the thing keeping you dry and warm. Plus, even slight damage to a roof can lead to huge expenses later on if they aren’t addressed.
  4. Filing a Rental Property Tax Return
  5. So, in order to know when you need to replace a roof, look for the following things.

    •Are there quarter-sized holes of sunlight that come through the roof into the attic?
    •Is 20% or more of the roof cracked or warped?
    •Is there any part of the roof that is sagging?

    If you can answer yes to any of these questions, then it’s definitely time to replace the roof. However, if it’s more along the lines of just a few missing shingles, you’re finding roof debris, or the shingles are just cupping or clawing, you will need maintenance, but you may not need to replace the roof. And if it’s just some algae on or moss on the shingles, with just a couple cracks, you have some time (not too much time mind you) before you’ll need to address it.
  6. Plumbing is another very important, and very expensive, CapEx item. And trying to determine when parts of your plumbing need to be replaced can be tricky. But, one thing you need to look for is if you have lead, polybutylene, or galvanized steel pipes that connect the house to sewer are damaged. If you do, replace immediately. Otherwise, any other issues that arise will need to be addressed immediately with laitance. The only way you’ll ever have time with plumbing, is if nothing is going wrong.

    Appliances are also money gougers, and often times you try to let them go for as long as you can. But, it’s important to know when they need to be replaced. For instance, if the appliance isn’t working, that’s obviously a real link to knowing you need to replace it. Or, even if it is working, but has a strong burning smell, it’s time to bite the bullet and replace it. Otherwise, call maintenance for anything else. This could include if the appliance is making an unusual noise, performing inefficiently, or have a smell that is slight, but abnormal. And of course you have time if it’s working fine, just a little outdated.
  7. All of these are just but a few examples of different CapEx items that are important to pay attention to when it comes to your rental properties. The main thing we suggest though is to just be aware of what’s going on in each of your units. And if you aren’t quite sure what to do about a certain item, at least call in an expert you trust to give you advice. After all, it’s better to be safe than sorry!