One of the biggest duties of a property manager is keeping properties well-maintained. If you don’t stay on top of this task, you could end up with a much bigger headache over time, including costly repairs and tenant turnover. So what’s the best way to approach property maintenance? Here are a few do’s and don’ts to keep in mind.
Do schedule frequent safety checks
The last thing you want as a property manager and/or landlord is for a tenant or one of their guests to become injured due to negligence on your part, so make sure to stay on top of safety concerns. Check steps and railings, make sure there is adequate lighting in hallways and other common areas, manage snow and ice control and respond to any requested repairs in a timely manner.
Do participate in preventative maintenance
Schedule appointments on an annual or semi-annual basis to have your large appliances serviced – such as heating and air conditioning units, boilers and water heaters. This can help extend the life of your appliances and prevent the need for large expenditures until absolutely necessary.
Don’t ignore repairs deemed to be “small”
That leaky faucet in your tenant’s apartment may not seem like a pressing issue compared to everything else you have on your plate, but if you don’t tackle the problem in a timely manner, it could come back to bite you in the long run. Over time, small repairs can lead to big damage, which can end up costing much more. Besides, staying on top of even small requests will also keep your tenants happy.
Do work with qualified professionals
Just because your brother’s co-worker’s husband dabbles in plumbing doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to hire him. If you want the job done right, you need to hire qualified professionals – even if it means paying a little more.
Don’t cut corners
There may be simple, temporary fixes for some of your small maintenance requests, but if you take the easy way out, it could cost you over time. That time you think you’ve saved by cutting corners will multiply when you find yourself having to redo repairs over and over again. Do it right the first time.
Don’t allow tenants to do maintenance
It can be tempting to just have your renters handle small repairs and just take some money off the rent, but if they don’t know what they’re doing or they make a mistake, you’re the one who will be on the hook in the end. Politely decline and let them know you appreciate the offer, but you want them to be well taken care of so you’ll send a pro in to handle things.
Do provide adequate notice
Unless the repair is an emergency (such as a burst pipe), you are required to provide adequate notice to your tenants prior to entering the unit they are renting. If you don’t abide by these rules, you could find yourself in hot water. Chances are your tenants know their rights, so make sure you know them as well.
Maintenance is a necessary evil for landlords, property managers and property owners. Understanding upfront how to plan ahead and how best to handle these tasks can take much of the hassle out of it and make managing property maintenance a breeze.
Get your free copy of The Property Manager’s Guide to Proactive Management — and make the time necessary to plan for an extraordinary future.