Today, we have our final blog in the 4-part blog series on rental property maintenance in Tampa.

How your tenants should report maintenance to you.

We recommend having tenants report all maintenance issues in writing.

There is one exception to that rule, and it’s for emergencies. If there is a maintenance emergency, you want your tenants to call your emergency phone number right away. You don’t want to have that request sent via email that you might not see until the next day, because it might mean your property fills up with water from a major water leak. Other than emergencies, maintenance requests should be made in written form instead of verbally, and there are three good reasons why.

Easier to track and respond.

When you have a written maintenance request, you can ensure you are being responsive to whatever maintenance issues need attention. When you get it in writing, you have it in front of you and you can follow up on the work being done. This will help you keep your good tenants because your responsiveness will be appreciated.

Less emotion.

Maintenance request made in writing takes some of the emotions out of the situation. Tenants can get upset when things break. My property managers and I have been in the position of being verbally abused by tenants who were extremely unhappy with things going wrong. While a tenant can certainly express his disappointment in a written maintenance request, it takes the opportunity for abuse out of the situation.

Documentation.

A written maintenance request will provide you with a documented and time stamped acknowledgement of maintenance that is needed. This is helpful if a controversy arises over maintenance or lack of maintenance. I can remember a landlord who was sued by a tenant a few years ago because the tenant slipped on water that had leaked from the refrigerator. The tenant claimed there had been several maintenance requests made and the landlord said he never received any requests to fix the refrigerator. If he had required written maintenance requests like we advise, there would have been an easy way to establish he had no prior knowledge of the maintenance that was needed on the property.

If you have any questions about maintenance reporting or the requirements of managing maintenance on your rental property, contact us or give us a call if we can answer any questions at (813) 875-7474.