If you’re a natural do-it-yourselfer, no doubt you’ve had your fair share of maintenance issues with your properties. Many of them you fixed on your own while a few were handed out to licensed professionals. Major plumbing and electrical work is always best left to the pros, for instance.

You know your do it yourself maintenanceown skillsets and what you want to tackle and what you do not. That said, if you’re a brand new landlord or soon will be, here are some things to avoid.

Avoiding regular inspections means you’re not able to identify any current or potential problems, structural or otherwise. If your tenants are the quite type and you never hear from them and the rent check always arrives on time, that’s a good thing, right? Sure. But the lack of noise can lull you into complacence. Beyond the initial inspection when you first bought the property, schedule an annual inspection to head off any surprises down the road.

Be thorough when estimating repair costs. There are times when a temporary “fix” is in order but don’t let the fix become the long term solution just to save money. Minor maintenance issues won’t take a very big bite from your rental income but the bigger ones will. Get a professional estimate for major repairs and in fact get two opinions. There can always be at least two ways to fix a problem.

When your tenants do call with a problem, whether or not the tenants caused it, respond as soon as able. Going a few days without returning a message because the sink disposal doesn’t work over time ignoring tenant complaints will cause friction between you and them and even though they may be small in nature over time an abundance of small problems turn into big ones.

The secret to maintaining your properties really isn’t a secret. Don’t be a stranger to your own property, be proactive and respond quickly. Concentrate on those three items and everything else will fall into place.