Unless you’re a professional Charleston property management, handling maintenance can often seem like a challenge. Routine repairs require your close attention and good vendor relationships. Emergencies are expensive, and often frustrating when you have to drop everything and scramble to find the right partners who can solve the current problem and prevent any future problems.
There’s also preventative maintenance. You want to protect the condition and value of your investment by conducting inspections and having major systems serviced regularly.
Property managers have the experience and the resources to put maintenance plans into place. We respond to repair requests from your tenants immediately and systematically.
How can you do the same? You need a method for collecting the maintenance request and responding to it. A proactive property owner will also look for ways to prevent surprise maintenance needs in the future.
Here are some tips on how to handle maintenance requests like a pro.
Create a Well-Documented Process for Repair Requests
Online maintenance requests allow us to receive routine repair needs efficiently and immediately. When tenants have to call you to talk about a door that’s sticking or a garbage disposal that’s making funny noises or an outlet that doesn’t work, they might put it off.
When they can easily submit an electronic request, however, it’s more convenient. They’ll do it sooner and with more detail.
Ask your tenants to make their routine requests in writing. You don’t have a portal like most property managers do, but you can ask for the request via email or even text message.
By receiving the requests in writing, you can verify what was needed and what was done and create a written maintenance record for your home. This is beneficial if you’re making an insurance claim or defending yourself against a security deposit dispute from your tenants.
Emergencies will typically require a phone call. But, with routine repair requests, ask your tenants email or text the repair issue with as many details as possible. Pictures help, too.
Partner with Licensed and Insured Vendors
You’ll need a list of preferred vendors who know your property and can respond quickly with good work and affordable rates.
Always hire licensed and insured workers who can provide a copy of their worker’s compensation insurance. Don’t try to save money by hiring workers who aren’t licensed. If they fall off a ladder or injure themselves at your property, you will have a lot of liability to deal with, and you may find yourself in a lawsuit.
Screen your vendors and make sure you can trust them to be in your property and work with your tenants. Developing great vendor relationships is critical.
Prepare for Emergency Maintenance
Routine maintenance can take a little bit of time, but emergencies are urgent and need an immediate response.
Provide your tenants with all of your contact information, and keep it up to date. Make sure you’re available, even after hours.
You should have an emergency maintenance plan in place as well as a budget. Think about what you’ll do if the home is not habitable and you need to relocate your tenants until repairs can be completed.
Invest in preventative maintenance plans. When you have your HVAC system inspected and serviced regularly, for example, you’ll be able to extend the life of your unit, and you’ll save money. You’ll have fewer repair requests from your tenants.
These are just a few tips for handling maintenance requests. If you’d like to hear more, please contact us at Charleston Home Rentals.