The Do’s And Don’ts Of Property Maintenance
One of the most important requirements of a homeowner or manager is to keep their property in good condition. Needless to say, regular property maintenance will reduce operating costs and downtime in the long run. The short-term savings due to delayed maintenance of the property are quickly offset by significant future renovation costs.
This may seem trivial, but you’ll be surprised how many landlords don’t check their properties from time to time, leading to many costly and time-consuming issues. For example, tenants may not always tell you about the problems they are encountering, like a leaking drain under a sink on your property or a flashing light in the hallway. Sometimes, it’s a matter of being able to identify potential problems before they get worse. Spending on early maintenance is what will save you money and time the most.
1. Schedule Regular Maintenance Checks
Before someone could even notify you about a problem, make sure to already have routine maintenance checks for your property.
You’ll find that this approach is way cheaper than waiting to fix something that’s already broken or trying to handle the risks and costs associated with tenants’ and visitors’ injuries that stemmed from an issue in your property.
2. Get Help From Professional Maintenance Service Providers
It should be a no-brainer! If you need property maintenance services, it’s always a good idea to hire experts or professionals. Maintenance companies like City Wide will usually have a website so check that and see if they’re qualified and licenced to do the job you want to hire them for.
Check their licence for validity, then check their level of experience and areas of expertise. Some feedback from homeowners who have worked with them before might also help.
In the long run, working with qualified professionals who have a great track record and reliability will be one of the key factors in your property maintenance strategy. Services that seem too cheap are ultimately expensive so if you don’t want to end up paying more, just invest in a tried-and-tested provider right from the beginning.
3. Don’t Let Tenants Take Care Of Repairs
When a tenant reports a fault, refrain from giving them the nod to fix it themselves. While your tenant will only occupy your property for a limited period, you are still the owner and that means you should be concerned about what shape it’ll be in 30 years from now.
Property maintenance starts the day you get a new tenant. Your agreement with them, right from the start, should also address the steps they can take when they have maintenance concerns that should be brought to your attention, especially when there’s something urgent that they’ll need you to attend to.
If your tenant has problems contacting you to address the property’s issues, you might end up finding out that they just hired a cheap technician or have done the repairs themselves, which you don’t want to happen.
4. Don’t Accept Verbal Agreements
As a property owner or manager, open communication with your tenants is important. But while it’s good to speak with your tenants personally from time to time, when there are changes and agreements that have to be made, verbal conversations aren’t the way to go. If there are new agreements or changes, make sure to put them all in writing, which can be signed by both parties.
If all your important communication is in writing, you’ll always have a record to go back to. Even simple stuff like the change of a garbage disposal plan or a slight increase in rent should all be expressed in writing and the tenant should always acknowledge receipt.
If a tenant wants to file a complaint, they should do it in writing as well. You can also create a file for each tenant where their complaints and subsequent follow-ups are documented. This will save you from unnecessary headaches later should problems arise from misunderstandings.
5. Do Thorough Checks On Repair Jobs
Any accidents that may occur as a result of oversight will be a liability to you and may even harm your property’s general ratings. So, after a job is finished, it’s your job to make sure it’s really completed!
As soon as the company or person you hired is finished, have them provide a detailed report of all the work they did, and make sure any payment you make is confirmed by a receipt. Most importantly, inspect the work they did on your property to make sure it’s done according to your request. If you’re not satisfied, you can tell them straight away so they can make adjustments then and there if possible.
Legitimate companies that are confident in the quality of their work will rarely ask for full payment or even a big fraction of the full amount before they complete their job. Stay away from companies that demand full upfront payment, especially if it’s your first time to deal with them.
When managing your real estate assets, it’s important to consider regular property maintenance checks. If you don’t conduct your repair and maintenance jobs for your properties early enough, you’ll likely end up with more costly repairs. Spending on routine maintenance will only look expensive in the beginning, but if you think about how it can help prevent large-scale damages, you’ll actually be saving more.