A property manager is entrusted with a massive responsibility to preserve the cosmetic integrity and enhance the structural functionality of a property. They must maintain a vigilant approach towards the routinely repair and maintenance tasks, alongside a prompt response to address emergency repairs and maintenance requests by tenants.
Managing tenants and their requirements is not an easy feat, and having due processes can help make the responsibility less burdensome. Due processes require more than just having a technician or repair professional on your speed dial.
Restoring, preserving and enhancing the property is a major priority for any property manager, followed by the mammoth responsibility of ensuring that all tenants are happy, content and satisfied with the services. In a multi-family rental property, these responsibilities heighten and require a streamlined, and efficient response system.
Differentiating Routine Repairs & Emergencies
Happy and satisfied tenants are more likely to be content and motivated to stay longer in their rented property. But for a property owner, winning over this satisfaction is no child’s play. Often, many managers find it difficult to differentiate between regular repair needs and emergency maintenance requests.
Differentiating between the two is of the utmost significance because it is vital to respond to each type of maintenance request in a manner that ensures tenant satisfaction and expense reduction. Contrary to what tenants believe, property owners or landlords do not have unlimited reserves of funds to doll out for repairs and they need to exercise caution and seek out budget-friendly solutions.
So, what is the difference between regular maintenance and emergency repairs? Keep reading to find out.
Routine Maintenance vs. Emergency Repairs
Tenants typically believe that all maintenance requests they make and repairs they highlight are emergencies that require a prompt response. But a property manager must be aware of the difference and he/she should ensure that the tenants can also differentiate the two while making their requests.
For instance, a loosened doorknob or damaged lightening fixture are not emergencies that require an immediate response. But a broken window, potential water damages in the attic or serious plumbing issues require an instant response to prevent aggravated damages to the property. Addressing serious issues is crucial to save time and money, and prevent damages from escalating.
It is wise to adopt a practical approach towards addressing all kinds of repairs and ensure that they are resolved within business hours and without delay. Delays can cause the damages to aggravate, because tenants are likely to continue using the faulty mechanisms until they are completely damaged and useless.
As a property manager, it is crucial to adopt a mindful approach towards minimizing risks and preserving the structural integrity of the property. However, non-urgent repairs shouldn’t keep you up at night worrying, or require you to summon a contractor after business hours.
Some common non-urgent repairs include:
- A running toilet
- Damaged window blinds
- Faulty stove burner
- Broken door knob
- Loosened kitchen cabinet
- Slow-draining kitchen sink or bathtub
- Broken kitchen faucet
- Damaged lightening fixtures
The above-mentioned fixtures do not compromise the structure of a property nor do they threaten the safety or health of the occupants. Therefore, they cannot be regarded as emergencies. It is wise to address them promptly but you don’t have to bend over backward to ensure that they are fixed immediately.
It is crucial to set some boundaries here so you don’t end up receiving calls for tenants near midnight, requesting you to send someone over to fixt their door knob. It can be handled tomorrow and you must communicate the difference so the tenants are reluctant to contact you outside business hours unless it’s a major emergency, such as water leakage.
Emergency repairs are those issues that can threaten the health and safety of the tenants, or cause considerable damage to the rental property. For instance, water leakages can deteriorate the wooden structure, and humidity can give birth to safety hazards, such as mold or mildew.
Such requires need to be dealt with immediately, whether they occur during business hours or post-midnight.
These repairs include:
- Water leakages
- Main door damages
- Window damages
- Gas leakage
- Major electronic hazards/damages
If your tenant makes a request involving any of the above-mentioned issues, it is vital to address them right away and without delay. These issues can compromise the safety of your tenants and risk the structure of the property. In the long-run, addressing volatile issues timely will help you stop damage in its tracks and avoid undertaking more expensive repairs.
In such a situation, a property manager can benefit a great deal by establishing a long-term relationship with a skilled technician, or contractor. In the event of an emergency repair, the technician or contractor can step in immediately and resolve the issue.
Most property managers hire on-site technicians and repair professionals for multi-family buildings to ensure all repairs are dealt with a timely response.
There are many more repairs that constitute as emergencies and those that categorize as non-urgent repairs. As a property manager, it is crucial to be able to differentiate the two and set due processes to address both kinds of maintenance needs. It is vital to prioritize regular repairs on a bi-weekly or monthly basis to prevent repairs needs from increasing.
When the plumbing, electric wiring, technical mechanisms and structure is inspected for repairs with regular maintenance inspections, emergencies are effectively reduced. It is vital to undertake regular inspections to preserve the property and prevent damages that compromise the structure, or the health and safety of your tenants.
Property managers are strongly advised to pay close attention to the plumbing emergencies and water leakages, and avoid delaying them as they can damage the entire property in a matter of hours. It is also crucial to take a mindful approach towards prioritizing seasonal repairs. For instance, the winter season requires different maintenance needs than the hot and humid months of the year. Preparing a checklist of repairs can truly help you stay on top of things.