We know that many rental property owners see tenant maintenance requests as a burden, especially if you have a resident who is calling every week with a new complaint or problem.
However, responding to repair requests right away is in your best interest and the best interests of your Vancouver investment property. Not only does it preserve the condition of your asset, it also keeps your tenants happy. You need to be responsive, even if it seems like a minor issue.
We know it can be expensive and we know it can be time-consuming. But, the alternative is deferred maintenance and surprise emergencies that are always more costly than those small fixes.
Here are some of the ways we complete tenant maintenance requests to ensure quality and satisfaction as expert Vancouver property managers.
Explain Expectations to Tenants Before the Lease Begins
Before your tenants move in, make sure you have a detailed discussion about the lease agreement they’re signing. Included in that lease and your conversation should be instructions on how to report maintenance. You want your tenants to understand that you need to hear about repair issues right away. You don’t want tenants to neglect to report leaks or malfunctioning appliances.
It’s 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. You want your tenants to know the difference since emergencies will require an immediate phone call while routine requests will not have that sense of urgency.
Document Your Process and Your Repair Requests
All emergencies should be reported immediately. You’ll want your tenants to call you as soon as it is safe to do so. 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.
Licensed and Insured Vendors Make Maintenance Easier
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.
Sometimes, owners and landlords want to do their own work. This may seem like it’s saving you money, but think about whether you really have the time to respond in an appropriate fashion. If you can’t get over to the property until the weekend or an afternoon that you have off from work, your tenant is going to become frustrated that the repair is taking so long.
Be Clear About Responsibilities
You don’t want your tenants flushing water heaters or hanging drywall. Make sure you’re clear about what tenants are required to do and what they should not do. For example, changing batteries and light bulbs and air filters
are normally the tenant’s territory. It should say as much in the lease. Don’t let them make repairs that a vendor should make, however.
Managing maintenance requests from tenants takes time and resources. If you’d like some help with this part of Vancouver property management, we can offer some support. Contact us at Utmost Property Management.