Are you wondering how to provide the best possible system for requesting maintenance in your Fort Worth rental property?
It’s not always easy. One of the benefits of working with a professional Fort Worth property management company is that you know maintenance will be handled expertly. But, if you’re an independent landlord maintaining your own home, you still need a process in place that’s responsive to tenants and easily documented.
Here are some of the expert practices that you can implement to make sure maintenance is handled quickly and efficiently at your property.
Prepare for and Minimize Emergency Maintenance Requests
Emergencies are urgent and need an immediate response. As you’re putting together your maintenance reporting plan, make sure your residents have all of your contact information. A phone call is the best way to report an emergency.
You and your tenants need to be on the same page in terms of what qualifies as an emergency repair. You don’t want your residents to feel like it’s reasonable to call you in the middle of the night because the garbage disposal isn’t working. However, a water heater that causes a flood or a tree that’s fallen through the roof are reasonable emergencies that would trigger a late-night phone call.
An emergency maintenance budget will also be required. Can you pay for a sudden flood, fire damage, or a new roof? Think about what you’ll do if the home is not habitable and you need to relocate your tenants until repairs can be completed.
Rather than responding to emergency repairs, you want to prevent them. Make sure you have a great preventative maintenance plan in place that ensures all your systems and functions are working as expected.
Document All Fort Worth Rental Property Repair Requests
Fort Worth property management companies like ours have an online portal that allows tenants to request repairs electronically. We find it’s more convenient for them and it’s also better for us. We recommend that you establish something similar so that all maintenance requests are submitted in writing. Your tenants could send you an email or a text.
When you have the requests in writing, you can verify what was needed and what was done, creating 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. Have your tenants put any routine maintenance requests in writing with as many details as possible. Pictures may help, too, so make sure your residents know you welcome their photos when they report a problem.
Choosing the Best Vendors and Contractors
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 and you could be at risk for a lawsuit or a claim against your own insurance policy.
Screen your vendors and make sure you can trust them to be on your property and work with your tenants. Developing great vendor relationships is critical. You don’t want to find yourself looking for a plumber for the first time when your tenant reports that a water heater leaked in the middle of the night.
The final part of your maintenance response should be following up with your tenants. Make sure they’re satisfied with the way the repair was handled by you and your vendors.
A sound maintenance process is important for two reasons. First, it protects the condition of your property and avoids deferred and unreported maintenance. Second, it’s responsive to your tenants, which will contribute to a positive rental experience and higher tenant retention.
Need some help? We can share more tips and Fort Worth property management expertise. Contact us at Assign Property Management.