The purpose of a rental property is to generate rental income brought in by tenants. In order to attract and retain tenants, it is important that periodic maintenance is done and repairs are handled as soon as the need arises. With maintenance and repairs a key factor in keeping long-term tenants and ensuring rental property income, property owners should choose property management companies with a sound policy on handling maintenance and repairs.
Ask property management companies how they handle property maintenance and repairs
- How do tenants make repair requests and how are their requests handled?
In today’s digital world, look for a property management company that offers automated repair requests through property management software. It should be fast and easy for tenants to access the platform, make a request, receive feedback that it has been received and a date/time for repair. Another option is for the property manager to create a tenant group on a social media platform and have tenants make requests there. Ask their commitment to responding to repair requests within a certain timeframe.
Tenants should be informed of what appliances and other items they can place a request for repair or maintenance for and how the process works when they sign the lease.
- How are after-hour, weekend and holiday requests handled?
It would be unfair and annoying to make a tenant wait several days to have an emergency situation fixed because it’s the weekend or after-hours. Some examples of repairs that shouldn’t wait are leaking faucet or toilet, heater or air conditioning unit during cold or hot seasons. Good property management companies will have a service provider lined up for emergencies.
- How is preventative maintenance scheduled?
Preventative maintenance ensures that minor problems are caught before they become large ones that cost a lot to repair. It also ensures that a unit is soon ready for occupation once vacated. The best property management companies do maintenance checks on a schedule. For instance, checking pipes, gutters and HVAC should be done every six months. Power washing, roof cleaning and other projects should be handled annually. Some maintenance jobs should be handled every time a tenant vacates such as carpet cleaning.
- Does the property management company have an in-house maintenance crew?
Many large property management companies have their own crew. One advantage of this is that they can hold the workers to a high standard. Also, emergencies can be dealt with immediately. The question a property owner should ask here is whether legal requirements like worker’s compensation have been taken care of to avoid potential claims and lawsuits. It is also the responsibility of property management companies to vet vendors and contractors. This ensures their products and services are up to the expected standard and are code compliant.
A property owner would do well to do some homework on selected vendors and contractors. Property managers should be able to qualify their choices with a good history and competitive pricing. There should be no hidden or unscrupulous motives like kickbacks.
- Repair and maintenance updates to property owner
Property management companies should follow due process in presenting reports to their clients. The company should have invoices, receipts, delivery notes and job reports for every job done. These documents should be compiled into an expenses report. If software is used, all reports can be accessed in real time.
Effective property maintenance and repairs maximizes returns
Run down rental properties will not attract or retain the best tenants. To maximize returns, periodic maintenance and quick repairs are a must.
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.