Preventative maintenance will save you money and protect the condition of your investment. If you’re working with a professional property management company, you can expect your manager to inspect the property regularly and have a system in place to respond to repair needs. If you’re managing your property on your own, you need both a maintenance plan and a maintenance budget.
Emergency and Routine Maintenance
Your tenants will need a way to contact you 24 hours a day and seven days a week. If there’s a maintenance emergency at your rental property, you must be prepared to respond to it right away. A leaking water heater or a broken furnace cannot wait for regular business hours. Your tenants need to know what the procedure is for reporting routine maintenance needs and emergency maintenance. It’s a good idea to have them request maintenance in writing. This gives you the documentation you may need later on when you inspect the property.
Develop Vendor Relationships
Once you speak to your tenants about the repair, have a licensed and insured vendor respond to the problem. Don’t try to save money by using unskilled labor. This can create a lot of liability, and it also puts your tenant and your property at risk. It’s important that you maintain a list of preferred vendors and that you have relationships in place with these professionals before you need them. Trying to find a plumber at 3:00 a.m. on a holiday weekend will not be easy.
Communication and Responsiveness Counts
Even if you cannot have a routine repair completed immediately, let your tenants know what you’ve done and when you expect the work to be complete. Communicating with your tenants will allow them to feel like you’re responding to their needs. Tenants get frustrated when things go unfixed for a long time. It’s one of the major reasons that tenants don’t stay for the long term. If you show you’re responsive to maintenance needs and you care about the condition of their home, you’ll have a better relationship, and you’ll lose less money on turnover and vacancy costs.
Follow up with your tenants after the repair has been made. Make sure they are satisfied with the work that was done.
Setting a Maintenance Budget
Keep expenses low by responding to minor maintenance concerns right away. Don’t give small problems a chance to grow more complicated and costly. It’s important to budget for maintenance work. We recommend you put a little bit of your collected monthly rent aside in a maintenance reserve. This way, you’ll have money saved up when repairs are necessary. You won’t have to worry about how to pay for them.
If you have any questions about how to take care of maintenance in your rental property, please contact us at The Wright Choice Richmond Realty Group.