Residential Property

What is considered property maintenance?

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    As a manager of an apartment complex or homeowners' association, you have a lot on your plate. The safety and satisfaction of your tenants or homeowners depends on your attention to property upkeep, whether you manage a huge apartment building or a handful of single-family homes.

    In this article, we'll discuss the significance of property care, provide helpful hints, and demonstrate how to optimise your operations to deliver an outstanding customer service experience.

    Repair requests and routine maintenance on a rental property might cause tension. Some landlords may consider maintenance as an expense that should be avoided at all costs. Tenants can get irritated if there are plumbing issues, such as a clogged drain or a malfunctioning toilet or heater. If a landlord needs to enter a rental property to perform repairs, they must do it in a lawful manner. Injury claims against a landlord are possible. The rights and responsibilities of both tenants and landlords with regard to maintenance are spelt forth below.

    Quick maintenance of rental properties is a good way for landlords to avoid tenant complaints. All heating and plumbing issues must be addressed immediately. Landlords are required to give advance notice before conducting repairs (usually 24 hours). Generally speaking, a landlord or property management only has the right to enter a rented home without prior notice in the event of an emergency.

    Rental Property Maintenance and Repairs

    Residential Property

    Regularly Eliminate Pests

    Regular pest control service is required once every two months at the very least. Even if you haven't noticed any rodents or insects, it's always a good idea to take precautions. Do not just exterminate one unit, as the bugs will move on to others. The entire property must be treated.

    You can buy your own exterminating supplies, but it's best to hire a professional. Exterminating on a monthly basis may seem expensive, but it's a lot less expensive than finding a new tenant. Check out the competition's rates.

    Losing $1,000 in rent every time a unit is vacant is worse than spending $25 per unit on monthly eradication. A full infestation may increase costs because it may force tenants to go and necessitates the opening of walls and ceilings.

    Look For Signs of Water Seepage And Damage.

    The best times to check for leaks are immediately after a major rainstorm, when the ice and snow have melted, and on hot, humid days when the pipes will sweat. Soft patches in the roof, ceiling, or walls. Look for signs of water in the drains, the panes, and the bowls. Where water is heated or heated to a certain temperature, such as under a sink or a boiler.

    Quick leak detection is essential. Walls, ceilings, and renters' belongings can all be damaged by water seepage. Mold growth is another possibility; if it covers more than 10 square feet, cleaning it up according to EPA standards can be rather pricey.

    Check the Tile Grout and Shower Caulk

    Grout between the tiles can crack, and the caulk around the tub can loosen and peel. Without a proper seal, water can seep through and ruin the subfloor or walls underneath. If you find any cracks or holes in the caulking or grout, you should have it repaired right once to prevent water damage.

    Regularly Checking Smoke And CO Detectors is Essential.

    It is recommended to check these devices once a month to make sure they are in good functioning order. Both corded and cordless gadgets need to have their functionality verified. Establish a monthly schedule in which you check them when you collect the rent, or whenever it is most convenient for you.

    The use of these devices helps avoid fatalities. You could be held legally accountable for damages if a fire or carbon monoxide leak occurs in your building and these safety equipment are not in proper functioning order. You should also know that the average carbon monoxide detector only lasts for five years, so you should replace it anytime it stops working. A smoke alarm will typically work for around ten years.

    Put New Filters in Your Heating and Cooling Systems

    The filters in your air conditioner and furnace should be changed twice a year at minimum. To find the best filter for your system, check with the manufacturer. Reduced efficiency due to dirty filters can lead to higher energy bills and system failures like frozen pipes.

    Contamination of the ductwork can be avoided simply by having the filter regularly changed. It's wasteful to hire a professional to clear your ducts every time they get clogged up. Your tenants will leave if their utility bills are too high, regardless of how much they pay.

    Water Heater Flushes

    It is recommended that water heaters be drained twice yearly, if not more frequently. This is done to filter out any silt from the city water supply that makes its way into your home. If sediment builds up too much, it might clog your water heater's drain valve and reduce the heater's efficiency. The cost of a new water heater is high. Take every precaution and check off every box before draining your water heater. Don't try to force yourself to do something you don't feel up to; find someone who can help you out instead.

    Clear the Guttering

    Gutters in your rental houses should be inspected regularly. Leaves and other debris might jam them up. A leaking roof could be the result of gutters that are clogged. It's possible for water to seep in through the ceiling, walls, windows, and floor.

    Gutter guards might save you from having to clean your gutters. The guard is installed on top of the gutter and features small holes that allow water to pass through but keep out heavier particles.

    Responsibility for Repairs Rests With Landlords

    Landlords are obligated to keep their properties habitable according to the standards set forth by most state and local legislation. This includes keeping the property dry, warm, well-lit, and free of structural hazards. Security measures and safety standards in rental properties should be adequate.

    In terms of lighting, ventilation, and electrical wiring, local construction rules typically establish bare minimums. Lock-and-key security systems, as well as smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, are mandatory in many urban areas.

    Any questions about housing regulations can be answered by contacting the relevant local building, housing, health, and fire agencies (and penalties for violations).

    The Repercussions of Putting Off Maintenance

    Tenants have a few choices when their landlords or property manager fails to make required repairs after being notified of the need to do so. Among these possibilities are:

    • rent withholding (in some states, the tenant is required to place the rent in an escrow account until the problem is fixed),
    • hiring a repair person and deducting the cost from the next month's rent,
    • rent reduction,
    • calling the local building inspector, who can usually order landlords to make repairs, or
    • lease termination.

    Tenants have the right to file a claim against landlords for compensation for physical and mental suffering caused by unsatisfactory living circumstances, which may include a return of some or all of the rent already paid. Tenant might also file a lawsuit against landlord to recoup all of the overdue rent.

    Landlords should fix maintenance problems as soon as tenants report them . Don't put off fixing the plumbing or the furnace until it's absolutely necessary. Minor concerns must be addressed within 48 hours. Repairs should be completed in a timely manner, and tenants should be informed of any delays and their causes. Landlords must always keep their renters updated.

    The Right of Entry for Landlords to Rental Properties

    Landlords have the right to enter a tenant's unit after giving appropriate notice in order to perform repairs (or in some places, to determine if repairs are necessary) or to show the unit to prospective new renters or buyers. In most states, a 24-hour notice is required before entering a rented dwelling.

    If there is a fire or a major water leak, or if the tenant gives permission, the landlord or management may enter the rental unit in most jurisdictions.

    When tenants are gone for an extended period of time (often seven days or more), some jurisdictions give landlords or property managers the right to enter the rental unit to check for damage and make repairs. Most property owners lack the resources to conduct background checks on renters or inspections of rental units.

    Keeping Up With Repairs To The House

    Keeping up with routine maintenance can be challenging, so making a plan ahead of time is essential. Without a schedule, it's easy to forget about maintenance, which can lead to expensive and dangerous breakdowns.

    Falls from shelves or lights that aren't properly wired are two examples of the kinds of hazards that can be mitigated with a preventative maintenance plan. Negligence lawsuits, increasing insurance costs, and negative publicity are the last things any property manager wants to deal with. Problem maintenance and avoidance is of paramount importance.

    You, your staff, and your suppliers can all benefit from a decreased likelihood of property-related injuries thanks to a well-implemented maintenance system, which in turn increases the likelihood that residents will choose to stay put. AppFolio found that the length of time it took to respond to and resolve maintenance concerns was the primary reason tenants were dissatisfied. If unsatisfied with their property manager, 52.7% of tenants indicated they would go elsewhere to rent from.

    More on Why it's Important to Have a Property Maintenance Strategy:

    Rising Market Value

    Proper upkeep ensures that a building's worth will remain stable or even rise over time. Neither the property's resale value nor its rental income will rise if necessary upkeep is neglected.

    Communities Where People Feel Happy Living

    Negative reviews, more churn, and more vacancies might come from residents' dissatisfaction with poorly maintained buildings, property, and appliances.

    Savings on Expenses

    There are a variety of ways in which a good property management system can help you save money: by lowering insurance premiums, extending the life of your appliances and equipment, and freeing up your staff to focus on providing better service to your clients.

    Toil Reduced

    You have a mountain of work on your plate right now. Having a repair and maintenance system set up will reduce the amount of time spent on tasks like notifying tenants and owners, keeping tabs on work orders, rekeying data into different programmes, processing payments, and handling emergencies.

    Best Practices for Building Maintenance

    House 2

    Your business will reap many rewards by providing residents and owners with first-rate maintenance services.

    However, these advantages may only be realised via effective communication with tenants and stakeholders, management of work orders, planning and execution of a reasonable budget, and observance of deadlines. Following these four guidelines will help ensure that your property maintenance services are second to none:

    React Promptly to Inquiries

    Having a straightforward method for tenants to report maintenance issues is essential for maintaining high satisfaction rates. Residents should also be updated on the status of their maintenance request to reassure them that someone is aware of the issue and making efforts to resolve it. When clients can self-serve, submit requests, and check on the status of those requests online, your team may find it easier to reply quickly.

    Provide Emergency Repair Services

    Problems that happen in apartments or common areas are sometimes reported to the front desk by residents. However, issues like ice walks and serious plumbing leaks that occur outside of work hours require rapid response. The examples shown above are included in this category.

    If you have an emergency maintenance contact and a maintenance specialist on call around the clock, you will be able to interact with them, respond to any problems that develop, and keep track of them. Maintaining a happy and safe community for your tenants is facilitated by this.

    Stick to a Regular Schedule Upkeep Preventative

    It has been said that avoiding a problem is preferable to fixing one, both financially and in terms of the amount of time and effort required. It is important to create a preventative maintenance plan that specifies the monthly, seasonal, and annual tasks that need to be completed. Preventative maintenance can lengthen the time that high-value assets last and decrease the risk that they will need expensive or emergency repairs.

    Manage Expenses Efficiently

    In addition, you must pay all contractors on time and monitor all costs as the property manager. All of these responsibilities may need to be handled manually if you don't have an all-inclusive maintenance software tool. Time and human error will be major concerns here. No more worrying about paying your vendors on time or losing track of invoices when you utilise a system that does it all for you and includes accounting operations.

    Inspecting and Repairs Checklists for Each Season

    Make a seasonal maintenance checklist to remain on top of your property maintenance and stay organised. Depending on the type of property you own, the following items may also be on your to-do list:

    Spring

    Rental Communities for Multiple Occupants:

    • Evaluate structures for signs of snow, wind, and rain damage. Find out whether there's any major damage that needs to be corrected right away.
    • The heating and air conditioning system in your building should be checked and cleaned. Air filters should be changed regularly to extend the life of the system and ensure peak performance.
    • Having a licenced roof inspector check your buildings for damage and leaks is a must.

    Condominiums and Detached Houses:

    • Make sure there are no obstructions in the drains by checking the gutters and downspouts.
    • Make sure there is no mould or mildew growing within, and if necessary, use thermal imaging cameras to find any cold areas in the insulation between the floor and wall.

    Spaces Shared by All:

    • Upgrade your yard's kerb appeal by planting some new shrubs or flowers.

    Summer

    Rental Communities for Multiple Occupants:

    • Look for cracked grout or missing sealants in areas where water can leak in. Be sure to check individual units, as well as the common areas like drinking fountains and restrooms.
    • If you own an air conditioner, whether it's a window unit or a central system, you should schedule regular maintenance and be ready to make repairs and replacements as needed.
    • Keep your tenants safe by regularly inspecting smoke and CO2 detectors and servicing fire extinguishers.

    Condominiums & Single-Family Homes:

    • If you want rain to flow easily into the window wells, you'll need to clean the window wells and the gutters.
    • Reduce the number of ants and roaches during the summer by sealing cracks in the windows, doors, and walls.

    Spaces Shared by All:

    • It's important to keep up with regular grass cutting, as well as regular landscaping maintenance and increased watering throughout the warmer summer months. Mulching garden beds can save water usage and make your property look nicer.
    • Remove dead or dying branches from trees to reduce the risk of property damage during storms.
    • Check the exterior lighting and make any necessary adjustments now that the days are getting longer. Installing solar-powered lights is an excellent choice because they save money on electricity costs and require no upkeep.
    • Decks and patios should be pressure washed and fixed, and the common areas should be swept free of dust, filth, and debris.
    • The communal spaces need a thorough steam cleaning of the tile, wood, and carpet flooring and furniture.

    Fall

    Rental Communities for Multiple Occupants:

    • Make sure the heater is in good working order for the coming winter by replacing the filters, inspecting it carefully, and performing any necessary maintenance.
    • If any of the shared garbage cans or recycling bins were broken over the summer, please clean them and replace them.
    • Make sure your residents participate in annual fire drills and safety inspections.
    • Inspect all of the roofs to see if there are any problems with water damage, debris, or general wear and tear.

    Condominiums & Single-Family Homes:

    • Chimneys, flues, and fire grates and screens should all be inspected before the first frost of the season.
    • Remove any remaining dirt and debris from the gutters and downspouts.

    Spaces Shared by All:

    • Replace the plants in your flower beds and pots with hardier types so you may enjoy them all winter long.
    • Gather up any weeds, branches, or leaves that may be lying about, and remove them from your yard.
    • Put sprinklers and irrigating systems on "vacate" and turn off the water.

    Winter

    Rental Communities for Multiple Occupants:

    • If your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system is having troubles, now is the time to fix them or replace them.
    • Maintain a regular schedule of inspections of vacant units to check for things like snow accumulation on balconies and broken pipes in bathrooms.
    • Make sure the heating systems in your building are regularly repaired and maintained if natural gas is used.

    Condominiums & Single-Family Homes:

    • Empty the downspouts and fix the roof if it needs it.
    • Make sure your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors have working batteries.
    • Pipes carrying water near draughty openings like windows and doors should be insulated.

    Spaces Shared by All:

    • Salt for the sidewalks and driveways, as well as gasoline for the snow blowers, should be stocked up on in advance.
    • Remove any ice or snow from the sidewalks and salt the areas to keep the neighbourhood safe.
    • Winterizing a pool requires specific attention to detail based on latitude. North Americans should either drain their pools or take other precautions to protect them from freezing pipes during winter.
    • In order to prevent any damage from a winter storm, check to see that all trees have been properly cut and maintained.

    Hiring the Best Possible Maintenance Person

    If you own many properties and want to save money, rather than having a handyman or contractor come out whenever anything breaks, consider hiring a full-time maintenance expert.

    There will be no need to bring in a contractor anymore, thanks to this. Hiring someone you can put your whole faith in will simplify your work, save you money, and give you peace of mind regarding the smooth running of your properties. Here are some ways to get a capable specialist for repairs without breaking the bank:

    Responsibility Assignment

    First things first, make a detailed list of everything you need the maintenance professional to do. Many of these may seem generic, but it is important to remember that each of your properties has unique needs, and that you should hire accordingly. For instance, if your home's boiler system is quite ancient, you'll want to choose a professional who has worked on similar systems before.

    If you be as detailed as possible about the tasks at hand and the obstacles that must be surmounted, you will be able to discover the staff who is best suited to managing your property. In order to save time and money, it is preferable to hire a specialist that has worked on properties similar to yours before.

    Promote and Conduct Interviews

    After you've listed down your job duties, you can make a job posting and interview questions. Don't spend time with unqualified applicants by advertising open positions online without specifying any unique qualifications. Make sure the new hires who come recommended by a reliable source are up to the task. You shouldn't skip any of the procedure just because someone was referred to you.

    With a shortlist in hand, it's time to start asking questions. Provide as much detail as you can and make sure to provide realistic examples involving the property. In a perfect world, you wouldn't have to micromanage your maintenance technician.

    Important Traits To Consider

    You need to find someone who has the knowledge and experience to handle your properties properly and who can act independently using their best judgement. You'll have less to do if the candidate can handle more responsibility and independence. As a result, you'll have less urgent need for high-priced contractors.

    Managers of rental properties are tasked with fixing things that break. Preventative maintenance lowers liabilities, saves money, ensures content tenants, and raises market value. Mobile maintenance options, including online maintenance requests and work orders, are just two examples of how property management software can help you fix problems and keep your buildings in good shape.

    FAQs About Property Maintenance

    There is a broad spectrum of duties and requirements associated with property upkeep. Common area cleaning and painting, lawn care, HVAC system inspections and repairs, and pest control are just a few of the services that may be provided.

    Heavy damages to your property can be avoided by keeping up with routine maintenance and cleaning. In the long run, the cost of ignoring even minor maintenance might add up.

    When you hire a maintenance crew to look after your property, you can rest assured that it will be well taken care of. A professional property maintenance service may help with things like cleaning, moving trash, fixing broken or outdated equipment, improving the property's kerb appeal, and more.

    Repairs and maintenance are generally one-time expenses incurred to keep your property habitable and in proper working condition. Examples of common repair and maintenance expenses include but are not limited to: painting. fixing: an existing AC unit.

    Instead, it is the responsibility of the property manager to deal with issues like repairs, leasing, renovations, and evictions. A property manager's duties include posting notices of available units and promoting the properties for rent.

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