Maintenance isn’t something that a lot of landlords enjoy dealing with. It’s expensive and it’s often frustrating, especially if you’re struggling to find a vendor or control costs.
It doesn’t have to be a hassle.
Providing a well-maintained property is a crucial responsibility for property owners. Not only are you legally required to maintain your property and its functions, you also want to be responsive when it comes to repairs so that you don’t increase the deterioration or damage that’s been done. You want to serve your tenants well, too. Most tenants are quick to find a new place to live when they feel like their repair requests are going ignored.
How can you deal with maintenance requests expertly and efficiently?
We have some good ideas, and we’re sharing some of the tools we use as Visalia property managers to simplify and streamline the entire process of managing maintenance.
Establish Expectations with Visalia Tenants
Your process for handling emergency maintenance will likely be different than your process for responding to routine repairs.
Make sure your tenant knows the difference.
In the beginning of the lease period, when you’re signing the lease and answering questions, make sure your tenants understand your expectations in terms of maintenance. Most importantly, you want them to know:
- What constitutes an emergency? For example, a fire or a flood – emergency. A garbage disposal that’s stuck – not an emergency.
- Time is of the essence. You want to know as soon as a repair is needed, even if it’s minor. Leaving small problems to grow into large problems doesn’t make sense. Encourage tenants to make their maintenance reports right away.
- How to request maintenance. Talk to tenants about what to do in an emergency and what to do with a general repair request.
Typically, you’ll want your tenants to call you if there’s an emergency. Routine requests are better made in writing.
Responding to a Maintenance Request
The first part of your process needs to be deciding how important the repair is. It will be a priority if it involved water, electricity, heating, cooling, plumbing, or a safety issue. Tenants cannot be expected to live in a home that doesn’t have running water or a locking door.
Broken appliances, a door off its hinges, or a dripping faucet will need your attention but not necessarily your immediate attention.
Emergencies should be addressed and repaired the same day if possible, but those routine repairs can usually wait a day or two until you find the right vendor and better understand the problem. Let your tenants know how you plan to proceed and whether they’ll need to be available to let a maintenance professional into the property.
Preventative Maintenance in Visalia Rental Homes
Put together an annual preventative maintenance checklist or a seasonal one. If you can have your HVAC system inspected and serviced every year, for example, you’ll save a lot of money and time by eliminating those repair requests when the air conditioning goes out or the heat doesn’t turn on.
Professional property management in Visalia can also help. You won’t have to worry about a maintenance request process at all because your property managers will already have one in place. We’d be happy to talk more about that, and how we can help deliver a better maintenance plan for your investment. Contact us at The Equity Group.