Hiring a residential property management company is the easiest way for landlords to handle property maintenance required for rental properties. There are three main times that property maintenance is required for rental properties.
How residential property management handles property management before, during and after tenancy
- Before tenancy begins
Before a tenant moves in residential property management must prepare the property so that it’s up to expected standards or as advertised. Common tasks include repainting walls, cleaning carpets, blinds, and windows, ensuring that HVAC systems and appliances are in good order and repairing broken fixtures and fittings. Faucets, light switches, smoke detectors and other fixtures should all be checked and repaired/serviced as needed. The property should be cleaned professionally if the prior tenants left it in sub-par condition and siding, driveways and walkways should be power washed if needed to improve the exterior appearance.
Residential property managers – particularly in the Pacific Northwest – often have to deal with water damage that causes stains or mold and mildew. Moldy spots should be cleaned up, repaired and re-painted as needed. Damage from smoking should also be checked for. Lighting up cigars, pipes or cigarettes even occasionally can leave stains on the walls while habitual smoking can leave a lingering odor that could put off potential new tenants.
The goal for residential property management is to attract the best possible tenants to the property by getting the property into good shape.
- Residential property management issues during tenancy
Property maintenance doesn’t end when a tenant moves in; issues can arise while the tenant lives there. Tasks such as servicing the HVAC system, landscaping and power washing are ongoing. Repairing and maintaining appliances such as the garbage disposal, dishwasher and stove are common tasks that arise during tenancy. Maintenance requests should be handled in a timely manner to keep tenants happy.
- After a property is vacated
Tenants moving out and being replaced by new tenants is a normal part of the rental process. The goal is to ensure existing tenants remain as comfortable as possible in well-maintained units so they are not frequently leaving. Another goal for a residential property management company is to minimize the time that units remain vacant by getting vacated properties ready for occupation.
Once a tenant gives notice to vacate, an important part of effective residential property management is to find out why. Sometimes, tenants leave for reasons beyond their control such as losing a job or a new job location. If it’s by choice it is helpful for the property manager to find out if there was a problem then take action to resolve the problem. This way, a residential property management company can possibly dissuade other tenants from moving. Issues like too much noise because of poor insulation, disruptive neighbors or broken appliances should be immediately addressed by residential property management.
Lastly, it is very important to perform a move-out inspection with the tenant. The goal is to identify damages caused by the tenant to help them understand why they are not getting the full security deposit back. The cost of repairs should then be itemized and sent to the former tenant along with a check for the remaining security deposit or bill for additional repair costs.
Son-Rise Property Management has been serving the property management needs of Bellingham and Whatcom County since 1996. Contact us today to see how we can help you find a rental property for your family or manage your rental properties.