It’s hard to think about rental property maintenance; you’re investing in a property to make money, so when you have to spend money on maintenance, repairs, and replacements – it hurts. But, handling maintenance professionally is important for two reasons:
- It preserves the condition of your asset; and,
- It keeps your tenants happy and more likely to renew their lease.
We’re sharing a few tips for how to handle these repairs efficiently and affordably.
Set Up a Maintenance Reporting System
You’ll need to make sure your tenants understand how to contact you to report maintenance issues that are required at the property. If you’re managing your home on your own, the tenants will need your contact information, and you’ll have to be willing to respond to frantic phone calls in the middle of the night about water heaters exploding and toilets overflowing. Routine repairs will also pop up; your tenants will need help unclogging garbage disposals, fixing broken appliances, and managing other repairs.
Set up a system so you’re aware of the repair needs and able to prioritize the way you handle them. Emergencies obviously need your immediate attention. Slow drains can probably wait a few days. Ask your tenants to put their requests in writing, either via email or text. That way, you have written documentation of what was requested and when it was fixed.
Conduct Detailed Inspections and Reports
The best way to stay on top of your property’s maintenance needs is with regular inspections. You’ll want to inspect before a tenant moves in and after a tenant moves out. This will show you exactly what needs to be done. Your inspections will reveal anything that’s broken or in need of replacement. It can help you prepare for tenants and keep your home in excellent working condition. Visiting the property at least once during the leasing period is also a good idea. It allows you to check for any unreported maintenance needs.
Develop a Vendor List
Vendor relationships are extremely important when you’re renting out a property. You’ll need to work with all types of contractors, from plumbers and electricians to cleaning crews and HVAC techs. It’s a good idea to establish relationships before you need them. You don’t want to start looking for a plumber at 3:00 a.m. on a holiday weekend when you have a leak flooding your property. Make sure you work with vendors who are licensed and insured; trying to save a few dollars on an unlicensed worker could result in liability if that worker gets hurt at your property.
Work with Professional Property Managers
As Oakland property managers, we’re pretty automated when it comes to handling maintenance. Tenants use online portals to request repairs, and we evaluate the issue and dispatch the appropriate vendor. We’re also able to negotiate lower rates with the companies we use because of the volume of work we provide them. When you partner with a professional management company, you don’t have to worry about emergency phone calls and worker liability. It’s all expertly handled for you.
We’d be happy to talk to you more about handling maintenance in your Oakland rental property. Please contact us at Vision Property Management.