How to Prevent Common Maintenance Requests
Owning rental properties can reap huge benefits. It can be financially beneficial, a great way to make income without working strict hours, and you are helping others live in a place that feels safe and like home. With that being said, there can be hardships and uncertainties as well. Home maintenance can be a major source of uncertainty. However, having a great property management company to help you control this variable can be a huge help. Property management companies should be able to help you keep your properties running smoothly and address potential issues as they arise. Below we will be outlining some tips to help prevent common maintenance issues.
What are The Top 5 Maintenance Requests with Rental Homes?
When it comes to rental properties, there can be a variety of maintenance requests from broken garage doors, plumbing issues, and everything in between. That is why having a trustworthy property management company is key to rental property success. Otherwise, the maintenance piece of owning rental properties can be overwhelming and time consuming at best. Some of the top maintenance requests received are in order as follows
Water leaks- Having a water leak can go from being a small manageable problem to a huge mess. It is imperative that water leaks are detected quickly and dealt with right away.
Water heaters- Water heaters typically go out because of age, misuse, or lack of maintenance. When it comes to these larger pieces of equipment in houses, it is good to have inspections and maintenance done regularly to prevent further issues.
HVAC Systems- HVAC problems can be very costly and have to be taken care of immediately for safety reasons. It is important to provide maintenance on HVAC systems, and keep track of ages on the equipment to know when you might need to replace a unit within a house.
Pipes- A major issue property managers see is pipe bursts. This can be a huge costly disaster, but is also preventable. Allowing the faucet to drip during cold freezing nights is a practice that can save rental owners thousands of dollars.
Garbage Disposals- Renters can be hard on garbage disposals. Silverware can get caught in the disposal and cause damage to the blades. Giving proper maintenance guidance to renters can help prevent these issues.
How To Prevent or Lower these Maintenance Requests with Rental Properties
Lowering maintenance requests can be broken down into three categories; inspection, instruction, and preparation. If you implement these three practices, you will at least find yourself more prepared for maintenance issues, and at most you will see a significant reduction in maintenance requests.
Having a regular inspection schedule for large appliances within a home like the HVAC system, roof, water heater, etc. is very beneficial. It may seem like unnecessary spending initially, but it will save you money, time, and a headache. You can prevent problems before they arise, address any misuse by the renters before it becomes a larger issue, and help keep warranties up to date. Renters also love to see landlords taking the time and money out to ensure everything is running properly. This can create a trust relationship and help you keep renters longer. If you are known for your properties not having HVAC issues or appliance issues, that is a good reputation to have.
Your renters come from every walk of life. It is never a good plan to assume that renters know how to properly maintain every aspect of a home. Giving brief instructions of best practices for living in a home is always a good idea. This can be done during the walk through. Instructions such as don’t run the air below 68 degrees, let the faucets drip during freezing weather, and replace the air filters regularly can help insure you don’t have to replace big ticketed items in the home that could have been prevented. Proving that it was user error can be a game of he said/ she said and isn’t always worth it. So having conversations about maintenance tips can be a great way to reduce maintenance cost within your properties.
You can’t prevent every maintenance issue within a home. When you own a house there are bound to be issues that come up. That is why being prepared and having emergency plans in place is always a great idea. The first way you can prepare is for the unexpected. Have an emergency fund for each property that can be drawn from if there is an unforeseen issue is key. This is a necessary practice when you own rental properties. Secondly, having regular inspections can help you stay informed on the condition of the house. Whenever you begin to see that a house appliance is acting up or an HVAC unit is getting older, you can begin saving and putting things in place to prepare to replace these items. Knowing the best place to buy from, what current prices are, and what kind of labor you will need to get these things taken care of are all things you can have in place. This ensures you are always prepared and ready to take care of any issues that arise.
How Property Managers Can Help
The tips outlined above can be helpful, but can still be a lot to keep track of. That is why having a property manager or company to help you manage maintenance issues is always best. A property manager can help fulfill maintenance requests by either taking care of it themselves or hiring people to do it. They can communicate with the renters any issues you want addressed and timelines. Property managers can even do the initial walk through with the renters and give tips on how to properly take care of the home. Property managers manage the properties to you can focus on other things and stay in the big picture instead of getting into the weeds of every detail.
Owning rental properties can be very profitable right now. Acquiring properties isn’t just a business, it is also a legacy. It is important to keep that vision and not be bogged down by constant maintenance requests. That is why by having a great property manager and following the tips above, you can have rental properties that run smoothly.