Maintaining an investment property is not only crucial for its continued value increase, but also for reducing and preventing larger issues from happening. In addition, ensuring the safety and satisfaction of Tenants is also important. Property Managers play a pivotal role in overseeing maintenance tasks and ensuring properties are compliant with regulations. In this comprehensive guide, we will break down some essential aspects of property maintenance from routine inspections to addressing repairs and providing a valuable checklist for Landlords and Property Managers.
Regular inspections are the cornerstone of effective property maintenance. Conduct thorough inspections, or what we like to call our "Preventative Inspections Checklist" at least once every six months to identify potential issues that you save you thousands of dollars. Check for signs of wear and tear, inspect appliances, and ensure that the interior and exterior are complaint with local building code regulations.
Develop a plan to address potential issues before they become major problems. There are some items at a property that should be done bi-annually, while others can be done on an annual basis. Part of our "Preventative Inspection Checklist" includes servicing HVAC systems and furnace filters, checking for leaks by running faucets and plumbing fixtures, replacing batteries in smoke/CO2 detectors and testing them, winterizing hose bibs, and more. As part of this plan, you can also set up an email or letter to act as a reminder for Tenants if you wish them to take care of some items, especially when it comes to single-family homes.
Property Managers and Landlords should have a well defined emergency plan in place. Ensure that Tenants are aware of the procedures in the event of a problem and provide contact information for maintenance personnel. Regularly check, maintain and log all emergency exists, fire extinguishers, and other safety equipment.
REPAIRS AND MAINTENANCE REQUESTS
Respond promptly to maintenance requests from Tenants. Establish a clear system for reporting issues and ensure that repairs are carried out efficiently. Regularly communicate with Tenants about the status of their requests to demonstrate responsiveness and commitment to their satisfaction. Most Property Management companies will have an online form, which should be easy to access and simple to navigate. For Landlords, there's a value in partnering with a local maintenance company that Tenants can call day or night, as this will alleviate time and stress from your side, while ensuring the call is dealt with promptly. You can be there for more of the approval process.
COMPLIANCE WITH REGULATIONS
Stay informed about local regulations and building codes. Connect with your local municipalities and review online postings. Review and update safety measures, such as handrails and fire exits, to ensure compliance. Failure to adhere to regulations can lead to legal issues and jeopardize the safety of Property Managers, Landlords, and Tenants.
Develop relationships with reliable Contractors. This includes plumbers, electricians, HVAC, and a general repairs and maintenance company. Review their billing and procedure on how they handle service calls. It's important to have a threshold amount with them when a call comes in, so Property Managers and Landlords have some control over the approval process.
IN CONCLUSION... Property Maintenance is a multifaceted responsibility that requires a proactive and organized approach. By taking the above measures in thought and practice, you can ensure the longevity of your investment property and maintain the satisfaction of Tenants.
Written by Jason Ruffolo, Limestone Property Management