If you’re working with a professional Houston property manager, maintenance won’t be much of a concern for you. The property management partners you’ve hired will take care of emergencies as well as routine and preventative maintenance. They’ll have a great team of vendors in place, and you’ll be able to review all invoices, work requests, and follow-up notes on your own time.
When you’re managing on your own, you’ll want to adopt some of the same procedures property managers use to protect the condition of your property and keep your tenants safe and happy.
Here are some of the best practices we recommend when you’re handling tenant maintenance requests.
Plan for Every Emergency
It’s unhealthy to spend a lot of time obsessively imagining worst-case scenarios. Hopefully, you’ll never have to worry about a roof caving in or a flood or a fire occurring at your investment property. But, you do want to be prepared in case the worst happens. We’ve seen some strange weather throughout Texas these last few years, and you’ll need to be prepared for hurricanes, ice storms, and maintenance emergencies that need immediate attention.
Make sure you explain to your tenants what an emergency is. You don’t want phone calls in the middle of the night about a toilet that won’t flush when there are other toilets on the property. Provide your tenants with your contact information and make sure they call you as soon as they are safe if there’s an emergency at the property.
Have a team of vendors ready to help at a moment’s notice. You want to contain the damage and ensure that further problems don’t occur. This will require a swift response. Good vendors are critical.
Ask for Routine Requests in Writing
While you want to be notified immediately of any emergencies, it’s often better to collect routine maintenance requests in writing. This will accomplish a number of different things for you. The request will create a written record of when you were notified about the repair need. You’ll be able to respond accordingly and track the repair from start to finish. This documentation will help support you if there’s a dispute about the repair being made. You’ll also have a handy maintenance record for various systems and functions in your rental property. It will help you decide when it’s time to replace rather than repair something, for example.
Let your tenants know that you want to be notified right away when something’s wrong. Even if it’s a minor problem that you won’t get to for a few days, you need to be responsive and encourage your tenants to communicate. Deferred and unreported maintenance is always more expensive and time-consuming.
Make Preventative Maintenance a Priority
One of the best ways to cut down on the cost and hassle of emergency repairs is by paying attention to preventative maintenance. Have the HVAC inspected and serviced annually. Keep up with pest control and landscaping. Check for leaks under sinks anytime you’re on the property. Ask your tenants to help you by changing air filters regularly. These things will save money and reduce the need for expensive maintenance.
If you have any questions about Houston property management or you’re uncertain about how to handle maintenance requests and vendors, please don’t hesitate to contact us at OmniKey Realty. We work with rental property owners in Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, and surrounding areas in Dallas County, Collin County, and Houston County.