If you own an Atlanta rental property, taking care of maintenance issues probably tops your list of pain points. Even if you perform preventative maintenance, things will break from time to time, which requires you to make the repairs.
However, there are some things to keep in mind when it comes to making repairs at your tenants' homes. Read on to learn the do's and don'ts of property maintenance in Atlanta.
Start with a list
As a landlord, you are probably very familiar with the types of issues that arise at your rental properties. Water leaks, pest problems, water heater malfunctions and plumbing issues are common, right? Since you know these issues come up regularly, create a list of repair services and vendors you can call on when the need arises. That way, you know exactly who to contact and what their rates will be. You'll also be able to establish relationships with these companies, making future repairs flow much smoother.
Vet your vendors
To use an anachronistic phrase, don't just pick names out of the phone book. Make sure the vendors you select are reputable, licensed and insured.
Not only should you get references, but make sure any vendor you hire carries both liability insurance and workman's comp insurance. Here's why. If an employee or a tenant gets hurt while the vendor is doing work at your Atlanta rental property, you could be financially liable for their injuries.
It's best practice to keep copies of your vendors' insurance certificates on file. Monitor the certificates' expiration dates and ask for updated copies on a regular basis.
Yes, it's probably quicker for you to just run by the rental property and fix the leak. But just because you can fix it doesn’t mean you should. There are a host of issues that can arise from landlords doing maintenance and repair work at tenants' homes.
First, you should be concerned about liability issues that could come up. You never want to assume your tenants are out to scam you, but you should never rule out the possibility. Tenants can claim anything they want, including:
- Your work was shoddy
- They were injured as a result of your work
- You left the door unlocked and their property was stolen
- You aren't qualified to do the job right
These claims, even if unfounded, could tie you up in expensive litigation and damage your reputation as a landlord.
Second, your handyman skills may not be as good as you think. Your Atlanta rental property is an investment that you should strive to maintain at the highest level possible. It's always a good idea to shell out a few bucks to pay a professional to tackle maintenance issues the right way the first time.
Get it fixed fast
If an issue comes up, don't wait to address it. Not only could neglecting repairs damage the integrity of your property, but it's a huge tenant complaint that's cited as a reason why tenants move. And vacancies impact your bottom line. Zillow estimates each tenant turnover costs landlords around $4,000.
So when a maintenance request comes in, respond quickly to determine your next steps. If you need to evaluate the problem before calling a vendor, make sure you communicate your plan of action with the tenant. And if a repair service will be following up, make sure you notify the tenant in writing of the upcoming visit. It's also a good idea for you to be on the premises when the repair service responds.
Hire a pro to manage your Atlanta rental property
Managing the maintenance needs at your rental properties can be time consuming and expensive. That's why many landlords look to property management companies to do the job for them. There are several ways a property management company can save you time while lowering your maintenance costs.
- A property manager has agreements with reputable vendors who respond quickly. And because of the volume of work, a property manager can usually secure better pricing than a solo landlord.
- A property manager keeps all the vendors' paperwork and insurance certificate on file for you.
- A property manager ensures tenant satisfaction with repairs. For example, tenants rate the maintenance service we provide an average of 4.3 out of 5.
- A property manager provides additional services to make your job easier. From marketing vacant units and screening tenants to collecting rent and performing inspections to handling evictions and protecting your legal rights, a property manager makes life easier for landlords.
To learn more about how Revolution Rental Management (formerly known as GTL Real Estate) can help you save money while providing better maintenance services to your tenants, contact us today for a free consultation. We look forward to working with you!