Addressing property maintenance issues as soon as they arise will accomplish a number of things for you as a rental property owner.
First, you’ll cut down on emergency repairs. Unless you enjoy being interrupted by tenants who call to report floods, fires, sewer backups, and other catastrophes, you want to keep those emergencies to a minimum. Proactively making repairs allows you to do that.
Second, it keeps maintenance costs down. It’s simply impossible to believe that a repair will only grow less expensive with time. Fixing it now will save you money. You’ll prevent it from growing into a larger and more expensive problem.
Third, responding right away to maintenance issues protects the condition and the value of your home. No one is going to pay top dollar for a home that’s clearly in disrepair. Slow down deterioration and mitigate wear and tear by taking care of repair issues right away.
Finally, addressing property maintenance issues when they arise is good for your tenant retention plan. Good tenants will leave your property if they feel that you’re not taking their maintenance requests seriously. When you’re responsive to even minor repairs, you’re showing your residents that you care about their happiness and quality of life in your property.
Let’s take a look at some of the most common property maintenance issues that may seem minor but actually need immediate attention. We’ll tell you why it’s so important.
Water Damage and Your San Diego Rental Home
Water and moisture will cause more damage to your property than anything else. If your tenant reports a slow drip under a sink, a toilet that seems to be flushing funny, or a wall that looks moist or discolored, have a plumber take a look right away.
By addressing the minor plumbing problems, you’ll prevent larger problems. A leak that goes unnoticed and untreated could turn into a situation where there’s mold, rot, and mildew. Those are much more expensive problems to clean up.
It’s important to be vigilant when it comes to water at your rental property, especially when you’re trying to minimize what you spend on large repair bills. Here’s what you can do:
Routinely check for leaks. Look under sinks every time you’re in the property. Take tenant repair requests seriously when water is involved. Check ceilings and walls for discoloration or damp surfaces.
Check your pipes and your plumbing routinely with a professional. Having preventative service calls will extend the life of your pipes, sinks, toilets, tubs, and appliances.
Respond immediately when a tenant reports a problem with the plumbing, whether it’s a running toilet or a leaky sink. Remember to clean out the gutters when necessary and check your irrigation system.
San Diego doesn’t get a lot of rain, which means there shouldn’t be too much to worry about when we’re talking about water intrusion from the outside. But, you have to make sure there isn’t anything happening under the floors, in the ceiling, or behind the walls.
Garbage Disposal Resets
You know how simple it is to reset a garbage disposal. When a tenant reports that their disposal isn’t working, it’s easy to put off the repair. But, your residents will notice that. You’ll make them feel like you don’t care about what they need in the home.
Try walking your tenants through the reset process so you don’t have to run out there or send a maintenance professional. It’s a pretty easy process and if it’s something they didn’t know before, they’ll appreciate getting a brief lesson in resetting the disposal button.
If the reset option doesn’t work, get someone out there to take a look. The garbage disposal may not seem like an urgent repair need, but tenants who cook and use their sinks a lot will need this appliance in good working order. Be responsive and see how it impacts your ability to retain tenants and maintain a positive and professional relationship with those tenants.
Heat and Air Conditioning Maintenance
The climate in San Diego is typically mild, and you won’t have extremely hot summers or freezing winters. But, you still need to keep the temperature and the ventilation in your rental properties comfortable. Tenants will need access to heat and air conditioning. They’ll want to keep their energy bills as low as possible too, so efficiency is a big concern.
This impacts your HVAC unit, which is probably one of the most expensive systems in your rental property.
Those repair calls may be minor. Maybe an air conditioner that’s acting funny just needs a new air filter, for example. Maybe the heat isn’t working correctly because the thermostat needs new batteries.
Simple repairs are far more cost effective than major HVAC replacements.
Set up a service plan with a local HVAC expert. By having your unit inspected and serviced once a year, you can address any issues before they become maintenance requests. You can also protect this expensive function of your property and keep your tenants comfortable in the home.
Don’t put off those heating and cooling problems. Attend to them right away and prevent them whenever possible.
Educate Tenants on Maintenance Reporting
You want to hear about maintenance needs right away. It’s good for your property, it’s good for your budget, and it’s good for your tenant retention plan.
Make sure your residents understand the urgency of making maintenance requests when they notice something is wrong. You don’t want them to hesitate or to wait. You don’t want them to think that an issue is too small to matter.
Deferred and unreported maintenance will be expensive and time-consuming. You want to take care of problems as they arise, and you want to make sure you have a good team of vendors and contractors ready to help.
Working with a San Diego property management company can help you stay on track when it comes to maintenance. If you’d like to hear more about how we can help, please contact us at North County Property Group.