To effectively maintain your rental property and protect the condition of your investment, you need an efficient and effective process in place for your tenants to request maintenance. You don’t want your tenants to be shy about letting you know that a repair is needed. If they ignore the small issues, those problems will only grow into larger, more complex, and ultimately more expensive repairs.
Let your tenants know that the timely reporting of repair needs is critical. And, make sure you are responsive when it comes to making those repairs. This will be good for your investment and for your tenant retention strategy.
Emergency Maintenance Requires Phone Calls
When there’s an emergency at the property, you need to know right away.
Your tenants should have your emergency contact number or the contact information for the 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 and be sure you are prepared to get over there as soon as possible.
Put Routine Maintenance Requests in Writing
While emergencies certainly require a phone call, routine maintenance requests are better made in writing. You’ll still want to respond with a sense of urgency, 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 Hamilton property management company, they should have an online platform where tenants can make maintenance requests electronically and even upload pictures of the problem.
Keep Your Maintenance Response Consistent
Having a consistent process in place for maintenance requests is important. It’s also important to have a consistent response to those requests. 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. With your process should come a budget. Make sure you have 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 Spotted Properties. We can help you protect the value of your investment and remain responsive to the needs of your tenants.