The number one reason tenants give for leaving a rental property is that they are dissatisfied with how their maintenance requests are handled. From their perspective, they are paying a lot of money to live there, and they expect everything to work right all the time. When something breaks, they want it fixed fast and with little hassle.
Plenty of landlords out there are hurting themselves because they are not handling these repair requests like a professional property manager. Today, we have three tips that will help you respond to and manage maintenance more effectively.
Be Responsive to Your Tenants
Every tenant expects to hear back from a landlord when they report a maintenance issue. The speed with which you respond depends on the severity of the issue. If your tenant comes home from work and finds water running down the walls, they will want a return phone call within five or 10 minutes, and that’s reasonable. They’ll want to know what to do next, and you’ll want to make sure you get someone out to that house right away.
However, if your tenants are calling about a ceiling fan that’s not working right, you can take a few days or even a week to fix it. It’s still a good idea to respond to your tenants within 24 hours. Tenants want to know that you’re working on it. While they’re willing to wait a few days if it’s not a major problem, they need to know you are aware of the problem and you have a plan.
Use Professional Repair People
If you lived in your property prior to tenants occupying it, you might have made some repairs yourself. You probably didn’t mind crawling under the kitchen sink to fix a drain. Or, you did some rewiring for an outlet in the bathroom. Your repairs are fine when you live in the property.
But, once you have a tenant in that property, the rules change. Your property is a commercial endeavor, not just the home you’re living in. You need properly licensed, qualified, and insured vendors to make the repairs on your rental property. If you don’t use qualified vendors, you’re putting yourself at risk. If the vendor doesn’t do a good job, your property can get damaged or the tenant’s property can get damaged. You would be liable for that, and also for any injuries that someone sustains while working at your house. Use professional repair people who have insurance.
Follow Up with Tenants After the Repairs
Finally, follow up with your tenants to make sure they are satisfied with the job that was done. It’s a nice thing to do. You’re letting your tenant know that you care if they are satisfied. They feel supported, and they know you care enough to make sure everything is working right.
When you do these three things, you’re treating your tenant like a professional property manager would.
If you have any questions about maintenance and how to respond, please contact us at New Heights Property Management.