To effectively maintain your Monroe rental property and protect the condition of your investment, you have to respond promptly to any requests for maintenance that come in from your tenants. You also need to inspect frequently enough that you’ll avoid having deferred repairs pile up.
Encourage your tenants to let you know when maintenance is required. You don’t want them thinking that a small issue isn’t worth reporting. Those small issues, when left ignored, only become larger and more expensive maintenance problems.
Another important thing to remember is that completing maintenance work quickly will increase your tenant retention. Good residents leave when their maintenance requests aren’t taken care of quickly and completely.
Provide an Emergency Maintenance Hotline
When there’s an emergency at the property, you need to know right away.
Your tenants need your emergency contact number or the contact information for the Monroe property management company that’s protecting your home. Make sure you and your tenants are on the same page regarding what constitutes an emergency. If there’s a leak or a flood, that’s an emergency. Fires are certainly emergencies. If a storm or some other catastrophe causes a tree to crash through the roof or a rock flies through a window, those are emergencies that require an immediate response. A loss of heat in the winter is also an emergency.
Make sure your tenants can reach you 24 hours a day, and be sure someone is prepared to get over there as soon as possible.
Document all Routine Maintenance Requests
While emergencies certainly require a phone call, routine maintenance requests are better made in writing. You’ll still want to respond immediately, but when the request is in writing, you’ll also have a documented record of when the issue was reported and what you did to respond to it. When you have something in writing, you can track the entire process and make notes about costs, timeframes, and follow up.
Ask your tenants to request non-emergency repairs through text message or email. If you’re working with a property management company, they should have an online platform where tenants can make maintenance requests electronically and even upload pictures of the problem.
Working with Licensed and Insured Vendors
You need to develop relationships with all sorts of vendors when you’re renting out a home. To be committed to good maintenance practices, it’s important to have professionals available to help you whenever a repair is needed. You’ll want a list of plumbers, electricians, HVAC technicians, cleaners, landscapers, roofers, and other vendors and contractors.
It’s important to maintain these relationships and get them in place early. You want to have a plumber who is already committed to you and your property before you need one.
Work with licensed and insured professionals who provide great work at an affordable price. Don’t try to save a few dollars by working with someone who placed an ad on Craigslist. You need to confirm their professional qualifications, or you’re opening yourself up to a lot of liability.
Keep Your Maintenance Response Consistent
Having a consistent process in place for maintenance requests is important. This will help you and your tenants know exactly what to expect in terms of how those maintenance issues will be handled. Your first step might be to diagnose the problem with the tenant; simple things can often be fixed without sending over a contractor. If it’s a complex problem, you’ll need to know which professional vendor to send. You’ll also need a budget and a maintenance reserve or an emergency fund to cover routine issues as well as major maintenance projects.
If you’d like some help establishing a process for reporting rental property maintenance, please contact us at Real Estate Gladiators. We have a lot of experience maintaining rental properties, and we can help you with all your Monroe property management needs.