Reduce Your Maintenance Service Costs
Who generates most of the wear and tear in your rental house or apartment? It’s your tenants, which is why they need to be part of your property maintenance program.
Lowering maintenance and repair costs in your apartment or house rentals is in your tenant’s hands. Reducing the source through good tenant management is the smartest way to reduce maintenance costs.
And by encouraging tenants to conduct inspections and regular cleaning, you may avoid big repair bills or extra maintenance costs. This post is about how to integrate tenants into your preventative maintenance strategy.
All the Things That Can go Wrong
While hiring a maintenance services firm might help protect your valuable rental properties, your maintenance budget will likely run dry. Worse, is that some maintenance work tickets might go uncompleted, cause friction, or the work wasn’t done well by contractors. Clearly, prevention is a better route.
One key point is to ensure you’re conducting your tenant acquisition and screening well, so you have good tenants who are responsible and will take care of the unit and property. It’s the essence of good property management.
Rental Housing Under Big Pressure
As Covid 19 vaccination of residents is delayed, especially for younger rental tenants between 20 and 35 years of age, and whose employment and income picture remains cloudy, you need to protect your maintenance funds. Maintenance might be a small cost for you but it can snowball, especially under current pandemic conditions.
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Encourage Tenants to Keep their Units Healthy
If tenants aren’t reporting issues (window moisture, leak in water lines, hot water temps) or are not even helping to keep appliances, doors, and other equipment in good operating condition, then your repair maintenance costs will rise. And when something breaks down, you won’t always be able to charge it to the tenant.
When the tenant’s attention is drawn to the matter, it necessarily makes them feel more responsible.
Tenant Communications is a Big Priority Now
One of the top property management trends is the rise of tenant communications. Being honest, transparent and providing education on maintenance, encourages them to respond in kind.
What Are the Fixable Maintenance Issues?
Ask tenants to:
- check refrigerator cooling coils to ensure they’re not clogged with dust and dirt
- ensure bathroom exhaust fans are working
- check the sump (pour water into the basin) to ensure it is actually working
- drain sludgy water from the bottom of the hot water heater and check for leaky pipes
- replace the furnace air filter
- wipe away mold on damp windows
- check for mice or bugs (mice eat wiring insulation, and bugs require pest control)
- clean the dryer vent inside and out (if possible)
- check garage door spring tension and the door level (protect from door damage and automatic electric opener from breakdown)
- check the roof for uplifted or missing shingles (after storms, shingles can be missing and invite moisture into the roof)
- clean shower caulking and keep water taps and drains clean from sludge and mold (tenants often don’t)
- check the condition of carpets (tell them how to deal with carpet stains immediately)
- check floor scratches and dents (remind them to use furniture scratch protectors)
- keep HVAC coils outside clear of debris and listen for strange sounds when it’s running
- test the smoke and carbon dioxide detectors (ensure the tenant hasn’t deactivated them)
Property Maintenance Communication
Some simple procedures will help keep your tenants informed and motivated:
- ensure they read and acknowledge their maintenance responsibilities (not just a checkmark on the lease)
- ask them questions about any equipment they don’t understand
- give them an online list of inspection items (document stored on ManageCasa)
- include reminders in a refrigerator magnet, wall calendar, and digital messages every 6 months
- ask them to make notes regarding the condition of the furnace, fridge, HVAC, washing machine, windows, etc.
- ask about exterior walls, ice or water buildup, bugs, pests, or plumbing noise
- thank them for participating and taking their valuable time
Definitely make the good care of the rental unit an issue for tenants. A little encouragement and showing your appreciation will help. Tenants know you’re doing it for them and they will want to keep their rent price down.
Definitely pass this article onto your tenants so they know that good maintenance is good for own their living comfort and pocketbooks.
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