When polled, the number one complaint among tenants is maintenance and the amount of time it takes to complete repairs. Tenants hate to be put out when something breaks in a property they do not own. Here are some ways to handle rental property repairs like a pro.
Make it Easy to Communicate About Rental Property Maintenance
Have multiple ways for tenants to contact you when something needs to be repaired. We use a maintenance portal, email, text message, or phone calls. We want to make this process as easy as possible to encourage the reporting of maintenance needs. The last thing you want is a tenant not reporting a leaky toilet, or a heater that doesn’t work. Small repairs will bloom into something larger.
Maintain a Reliable Vendor List
You also want to have a reliable handyman or contractor readily available. All the major trades should be picked out and ready when they’re called for a repair that’s needed. Don’t wait to get the work order before you search for a vendor. You need access to plumbers, electricians, heat and air technicians, roofers, and appliance repair people. Have this information readily available so you’re not scrambling when a call comes in.
Document with Written Communication
Written communication is important so you can document all rental property repairs. Note when the tenant makes the request and when the project was completed. Keep in touch with your tenants throughout the entire repair process. Give them updates on when the work will start and when it’s projected to be completed.
Establish Preferred Pricing
Pricing arrangements should be set up with vendors ahead of time. You want to know if you’re being charged $50 an hour or $95 an hour. This makes a big difference. Predetermined pricing will take away any sticker shock when you receive your final invoice.
Work with Licensed and Insured Vendors
Make sure your vendors are licensed and insured. Ask to see the vendor license, and work with reputable companies that have good reviews. You want a clean uniform and name tags as well as logos on the repair people so tenants know who is coming into their space.
Finally, stay organized. Keep detailed records of repairs and expenses. You may be able to deduct repairs at tax time, so keep all of your documentation.
If you’ve got repairs and renovations ahead of you, in preparation for putting your rental property on the market, read our blog on how to get your property rent-ready.