Maintenance: Am I Doing it Right?
Being responsive to your tenant’s maintenance concerns, even the more minute repairs, guarantees that you are keeping your investment safe as well as keeping your tenants happy where they are! Keeping your home in top quality condition will actually make your home more valuable not only in the rental market, but if one day you decide to sell it.
Something every rental owner fears is a vacant property. You never want to have a good tenant decide not to renew their lease over some broken blinds or a leaky tap. Staying on top of their requests could eliminate some reasons a tenant may leave in relation to the quality of the property. Below you will find a few helpful strategies to ensure maintenance on your rental property is done right.
Prevention is Key
If you stay on top of preventative maintenance on your property you will be less likely to see unexpected emergencies occur. Let’s look at pest control for instance. If, as a landlord, you invest in receiving regular, periodic pest control, you should never have to worry about large, expensive extermination jobs. Or perhaps you invest in a landscaper to maintain the front & back yards, gutters, irrigation, etc. Down the road you will most likely not be surprised by the condition of your shrubs, grass or irrigation system because it has been properly maintained. In the long run you are actually saving yourself stress as well as money by keeping up with routine maintenance. By doing this you will increase the possibility of keeping excellent tenants and a higher value in your property. Furthermore it may prevent code violations or run-ins with enforcement agencies.
Speedy Routine Repairs
Ideally routine maintenance requests would be submitted in writing via email/text, or if you’re using a property management company such as Real Property Management Select, through an online tenant portal. You will need this to keep record of your tenants requests and a history of maintenance on your property. Having these records could protect you from any future claims that something wasn’t done. It is suggested to get everything in writing and keep record of such. Regardless of how simple the request, it could be in your best interest to take action to show the tenants you care about their comfort (and your home), and it’s of course necessary for you to provide a safe and habitable living situation.
Emergency Response Time
You have to have a way for your tenants to reach you 24/7 should an emergency come about. This could be a water heater rupturing, a severe leak, or reoccurring power outages. This is an area where it is advantageous to have a property manager that provides tenants a 24 hour emergency hotline. It is extremely important that your tenant is able to reach you when these issues arise outside of normal business hours. If these emergencies go without response, you are putting your property’s condition in jeopardy and potentially opening yourself up to legal action.
Strong Vendor Relationships
It may be enticing to consider completing all of your own maintenance on the property. What is equally important however is having a relationship with qualified vendors that can reach your tenants faster, and are also licensed and insured. Completing the work yourself could leave you open to liability should something go wrong with the repairs. Building strong reoccurring relationships with vendors will ensure that you get fast and reliable work done on your property. This again maintains the condition of your home and keeps the tenants as safe as possible. It also eliminates any stress of coordinating repairs into your already swamped schedule.
The process of coordinating maintenance, tracking maintenance history, and responding to all tenant requests can be somewhat daunting, but will ensure a successful investment if done right. If you’ve been at all curious about using a property management company check out this video answering the question “Should You Manage Your Own Rental Property?”
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