Maintenance will be necessary at your Golden rental property no matter how new the home is or what kind of wonderful condition it happens to be in. When tenants are living in a property, they’re using every system and function of that property. Eventually, a repair will be needed.
This can be costly for rental property owners, and when you’re looking for a Golden property management company, make sure you find one that offers a 24-hour hotline for maintenance emergencies and an easy online tenant portal that residents can use to request general repairs.
At Laurel Property Services, our fee includes a personal maintenance coordinator to ensure the process is professional, efficient, and cost-effective.
Let’s take a look at some of the best practices that must be included in any process for handling maintenance requests.
Explain Expectations to Tenants Early and Often
Prepare to have a detailed discussion about maintenance expectations before your tenants move in. You want to make sure they understand what to do in case there’s an emergency and how to handle preventive and routine repair requests. It’s important that your tenants understand the urgency of maintenance requests. You want to know when something is wrong right away. Otherwise, you’ll end up with deferred and unreported issues which are always more expensive than routine repairs.
The move-in period is also a good opportunity to define the difference between an emergency and a routine repair. Emergencies will involve fires, floods, and anything that puts a person’s life or your property in danger. Garbage disposals that are clogged will not be classified as emergencies.
Document Routine Repair Requests
All emergencies should be reported immediately, and your tenants should know that they have to call you as soon as it is safe to do so. We document any emergency calls with descriptions and photos so our owners understand the timeline and the actions we took to mitigate any damage.
For routine repairs, it’s better to have those requests made in writing. This gives you a documented record of when the request was made, what was described, and how it was handled. This will help you eliminate any disputes about work that was never done or requests that were ignored.
Know current Habitability Laws
Know what current habitability laws are in your area and what need to be fixed in a timely manner. For example how long do you have to replace or repair a water heater based on what the law says? What are the tenants’ recourse if they are not fixed in that time period.
Work with Licensed and Insured Vendors
Don’t cut corners when it comes to the work you perform. It may be tempting to hire cheap labor to have your house painted or the trees trimmed back from your roof, but if that unlicensed worker falls off a roof or gets injured, you may be liable for medical expenses and additional losses. Work with vendors and contractors you can trust, who guarantee their work.
Having relationships with these vendors in place before you need them is a good idea. If your tenant reports a sewer backup in the middle of the night, you want to know exactly who to call. It’s not a great time to be searching online for help.
Also ask your vendors to be your eyes and ears at the property and look for issues while there. They should report back to you any issues of cleanliness, rodents, bugs, unauthorized tenants or pets, fire hazards, etc..
Always Provide Maintenance Follow-Up
Finally, follow up with your tenants. Make sure the vendors were professional and respectful, and make sure the problem is fixed. Your tenants will appreciate this attention to detail, and it will help you retain them. It also gives you the information you need if the work wasn’t done completely or if there was a problem with the company you sent to fix the problem. Sometimes the problem is like taking your car to the mechanic and they fix an issue that is wrong with your car, but they don’t quite fix the issue of the clunking noise you hear and they have to look at it again.
We believe that maintenance is one of the areas in which we excel for the Golden rental property owners we work with. If you’d like to hear more about our services and how we protect the condition of your investment, contact us at Laurel Property Services, Inc.