Any property management professional will tell you that tenant repair requests span from a light bulb change to a malfunctioning appliance to the HVAC system dying. Every tenant thinks that their maintenance request is an emergency, a good property management company will know what truly is an emergency and what simply needs to be fixed in a timely fashion.
Why Does it Matter?
A true tenant emergency is anything that makes the rental property uninhabitable or dangerous to the health of the tenant. These emergencies need to be dealt with immediately by whoever can get their first, at any cost.
What is a True Emergency?
A gas leak can turn into a much more severe situation very quickly. If a tenant calls complaining about the smell of gas, though the fix can be as simple as relighting a pilot light; however, it needs immediate attention.
While a street wide power outage or a tripped breaker isn’t an emergency, electrical issues can become dangerous. If a house is struck by lightning or the electric meter is malfunctioning, a mere spark could ignite a house-fire. If your tenant calls because an outlet melted wiring, there could potentially be dangerous and needs immediate attention.
Water can cause an enormous amount of damage to your property. If a leak is left unattended, there could be very expensive damage to the structure as well as your tenant’s possessions. Placing a bucket under the water isn’t a solution, if there is a major leak, an emergency call to the plumber is a must.
The response to this complaint really depends on the weather. In the heat of the summer or cold in the winter, the temperatures can become dangerous if your properties HVAC malfunctions. If the AC breaks and the high is in the 70s, bringing over a window unit and some fans and waiting for the next appointment may be the best course of actions. If the AC breaks and the high is 100’s, an emergency call should be placed. Ultimately, if the temperature could pose a threat to your tenant’s health, it’s an emergency.
All Other Urgent Matters
A leaking roof, a broken appliance, a sewer backup are all urgent matters but aren’t necessarily emergencies. While these issues will cause your tenants discomfort, they aren’t dangerous. These matters need to be attended to within 24 hours by a preferred contractor. Scheduling a plumber during business hours is very different than a late-night emergency call. Knowing the difference between a true emergency and an urgent matter can make a huge difference in the cost of the repair.
How to Handle Tenant Repair Requests
Knowing what requires immediate, emergency measures and what can wait keeps tenants happy and protects the property owner’s financial interests. For precaution, some management companies like, Precision Realty Management Company, LLC require tenants to pay a “repair deductible.” This $100 repair deductible is paid by the tenant for every repair after the initial two weeks of their lease. This assistance helps relieve the financial burden of maintenance and repairs. If a major costly repair needs to be completed, you should expect your property manager to contact you. Only licensed contractors should be trusted with major repairs such as HVAC, electrical and plumbing.
Professional Property Management Makes a Difference
Successfully navigating tenant repair requests is one of the most complex parts of owning a rental property. Mishandling requests can eat into your monthly profits at best, and lead to legal ramifications at worst. For this reason, many landlords choose to trust a professional property management company with their rental properties. Leave your property in good hands when you choose the largest and most experienced property management company in the Houston area, Precision Realty Management LLC. For more information, please call 281-866-7400.