If you have investment properties, you know that providing good rental property maintenance is important for keeping tenants happy and property values. Most of the time, simply taking ongoing care of properties goes a long way toward keeping them in excellent condition.
Unfortunately, even the best maintenance plan doesn't always mean you can avoid emergencies. For example, a water heater could still quit working without warning, or a strong storm could take a couple of shingles off the roof and create a leak.
Understanding what counts as an emergency and what doesn't can help you and your tenants have a better relationship. Here's what you need to know about handling maintenance emergencies in Chester County and the surrounding areas.
What Qualifies as Emergency Maintenance?
You and your Chester County property management company might not have the same opinion on emergencies as your tenants do. That's common, but one of the ways to avoid problems and miscommunications is to be clear about what is an emergency vs. what is not right from the start.
At move-in, make sure to inform tenants about what qualifies as an emergency. It's a good idea to provide the information in writing, too. That way, tenants can't say they didn't know because the details are in their move-in paperwork.
For example, a leaking roof, a non-flushing toilet, or not having heat during the winter are emergencies for tenants. However, if the ice maker stops working or the exhaust fan over the stove is noisy, those aren't emergencies.
What Kinds of Processes Do You Have in Place?
To make sure you handle rental property maintenance quickly and efficiently, you need to have a good process in place. That's true of anyone who owns rental properties that they handle on their own. If you work with a company for Chester County property management, the company will often handle maintenance.
Still, it's a good idea to ensure you stay involved, so you're up-to-date on any work that needs to be done on your properties. Setting expectations with the tenants is the key to keeping a good relationship with them when they have maintenance concerns.
With an established process for maintenance, like a standard maintenance request form, your tenants understand how quickly they can expect any problems to be taken care of. Even if it's a problem that has to wait, you want to contact your tenant. Doing this helps them understand you've received the request and will schedule a repair time.
However, tenants who don't hear anything about their maintenance requests can quickly get frustrated. They may not be sure whether they're being heard or how long it will be before something gets fixed. A prompt reply will reduce their concerns.
Are You Documenting All the Details?
Emergency maintenance and regular maintenance needs should have a paper trail, even if that trail is actually digital. Rental property owners must make sure they document all the requests, any repairs they make, and whether additional work is needed.
Also, keep receipts, and follow up with your tenants to see if they're happy with the repair or if there's still a problem. Sometimes an emergency repair is temporary, and you don't want to forget to fully correct the issue after the emergency has been dealt with.
As an example, a non-flushing toilet may be able to be cleared, but if the toilet itself is damaged, it still may need further repair or even replacement. Making sure that gets handled quickly can mean one more "to do" off your list and a happier tenant.
One of the best ways to help tenants submit requests easily is to offer them an online portal. Then they can submit a request no matter the day or time, and you can more easily track the maintenance requests your tenants have and the repairs that have been made.
Are You Available for Emergency Maintenance Around the Clock?
Problems can happen at your rental properties at any time. However, if it's a true emergency and not just a maintenance request, property owners must be available on a 24/7 basis to respond to tenant emergency maintenance needs.
Not only does that make tenants happier, but it also reduces the chance of serious property damage from a leaking roof, frozen pipes, or an electrical problem. Depending on the kind of emergency, there could also be a risk to the tenant, adding to the seriousness of the situation.
Even if you can't be available all the time, a Chester County property management company is! Property managers have great resources to conduct repairs, manage your maintenance budget, and ensure that your investment properties stay in great condition.
The Best Chester Country Property Management Team Handles Maintenance Needs
From routine repairs to seasonal maintenance and emergencies, the right property manager handles all your maintenance needs. The Rentwell team takes ongoing care of your rental properties and responds promptly (night or day) to emergency requests from residents.