Taking care of routine, emergency, and preventative maintenance is an important part of renting out a San Diego property. You’ll need to be responsive, and you’ll need to have a list of reliable vendors and contractors lined up to help you when things break.
It’s also important that your tenants understand the process for reporting repair issues. This information should be included in your lease and discussed during the move-in process. When everyone understands what’s required and expected, there will be fewer frustrations before and after the work is completed.
We have a few tips that may help you if you’re a new landlord or not sure how to effectively maintain your rental home.
Be Responsive to Emergency Maintenance Requests
You need to make sure your tenant understands what constitutes an emergency. While a broken screen may be inconvenient, it’s not a repair that needs to be addressed in the middle of the night. When something breaks, tenants are going to feel emotional, and they’ll have a sense of urgency, especially if it’s a real emergency, like the loss of air conditioning on a hot summer day.
An emergency is usually anything involving water or flooding. Fires and electrical issues are also considered emergencies, and if your tenant doesn’t have heat in the winter or air conditioning in the summer, you need to treat those problems as emergencies because they are habitability issues.
Emergencies require an immediate response. You don’t want to risk further damage or harm to your tenants. There should be a phone number that someone answers 24 hours a day and seven days a week.
Routine Rental Property Repairs
For non-emergencies, the most important thing you can do is communicate well with your tenants during the process. Let them know that you’ve received their request, and give them a reasonable and appropriate timeframe for when you’ll be able to respond.
Many landlords ask their tenants to call when something breaks. That’s important during an emergency, but for routine repairs, you might want to have them put the request in writing. If your tenant emails or texts the repair request, you’ll have it documented. This will help you if there’s ever a dispute about how long it took you to make a repair. You can track the entire maintenance process from request to completion.
Once the work has been completed, follow up with the tenant and make sure everything is working properly.
Maintenance Responses Lead to San Diego Tenant Retention
Responding quickly and routinely to maintenance issues will protect your property and ensure you are preserving the condition of what is probably one of your largest investments. Don’t put things off because deferred maintenance can hurt your home’s value and lead to deterioration and higher expenses later.
There’s another good reason not to defer maintenance or ignore small problems – tenant retention. When your tenants feel like their maintenance needs aren’t being taken seriously and their needs aren’t being met, they’ll be in a hurry to leave. Demonstrate that you’re responsive and that you take their repair needs seriously. This will reduce your vacancy and turnover costs.
If you have any questions about how to handle maintenance in your San Diego rental property, please contact us at Walters Home Management.