Rental property maintenance in Tampa
This is part 3 in our 4-part blog series on rental property maintenance in Tampa. Our first blog was about annual inspections and our second blog was about responding to maintenance issues while a tenant is in your property. Today, we will talk about the maintenance don’ts and our final blog will be about how to have your tenants report maintenance issues.
2 Major Maintenance Don’ts For Your Rental Property
There are two major things you don’t want to do as a landlord when it comes to managing the maintenance issues on your rental property.
Do not use a home warranty.
Home warranties can be very attractive for a landlord. They offer the promise of understanding your costs and having major maintenance items taken care of by a warranty company. I can tell you that in practice, very few landlords actually recover the cost of their warranty money. Long term, it’s better to pay a vendor instead of the warranty company. That’s not the real problem, though. The real problem with warranty companies is their lack of responsiveness.
As a landlord, the most important thing you can do is keep a good tenant in place.
Good tenants leave when there is poor maintenance responsiveness. Home warranty companies will not help you keep your good tenants. Here’s an example that happened just last year. A landlord we work with had a warranty and when a tenant called on a Saturday afternoon in July to report the air conditioning was not working, we had to wait until Monday to call the warranty company. They sent someone out on Tuesday, and of course they gave a four-hour window of when they’d be there, so the tenant had to miss work and didn’t know exactly when they were coming. Finally, the vendor determined the problem was with the thermostat and then left.
We did not hear from the vendor the next day or the next day after that. Every time we called, we were told the thermostat was on order. A week later, a technician came and installed the new thermostat. The tenant was without air conditioning for about 10 days in July. That poor tenant was furious, did not renew the lease and the landlord lost a great renter. The tenant was lost due to the home warranty. Don’t use a home warranty for rental properties.
Avoid tenants doing maintenance.
It is not a good idea to have your tenants involved in significant maintenance tasks. They can and should do the basic things, such as installing new flapper valves, changing out the air conditioning filters and putting in new smoke detector batteries. However, you don’t want your tenant on the roof cleaning out the gutters. If the tenant falls off the roof, you can certainly be liable.
If you have any questions about what not to do when it comes to rental property maintenance, please contact us at Hoffman Realty.