Handling Maintenance Requests

Handling Maintenance Requests

Handling Maintenance Requests

When it comes to handling maintenance requests during COVID-19, there are many things you should consider. Although it is your responsibility as a landlord to ensure you fulfill them, during times like these it’s important to limit in-person interactions. This does not mean abandoning your responsibilities altogether, but rather being smart about your interactions. Maintenance requests should be considered with regard for the safety of maintenance employees and residents alike. With this in mind, we offer some tips on how to fulfill maintenance requests, while limiting your in-person interactions.

Disclaimer: The information provided here does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information is for general informational purposes only.

Handling Maintenance Requests During COVID-19

During times like these, you might be wondering what your responsibilities are when it comes to handling maintenance requests during COVID-19. Addressing maintenance issues at your properties, to protect the property, prevent damage, and keep tenants safe is always your responsibility. However, you may want to consider how you prioritize those requests. And in light of social distancing requirements, it is important to address how vendors handle entering a tenant’s home. So, make sure to communicate how you are preventing the spread of COVID-19 at your properties.

Because maintaining a safe and healthy environment for your tenants is of the utmost importance. Look to your state and local laws about required property maintenance and how to maintain the implied warranty of habitability at your properties. In fact, this can really help you determine what property maintenance is required and what can be deferred. Although living through this pandemic means many everyday activities have changed. What it does not change is the necessity to live in a safe home. With this in mind, we offer a few tips on handling maintenance requests during COVID-19.

Habitable Property: A habitable property is one that has adequate heating, water, electricity, cleanliness, and is structurally sound…

Defer Non-Essential Maintenance

It is important for you to keep your rental property in habitable conditions and perform necessary repairs. To limit your exposure, defer non-essential maintenance and handle emergency only requests. Things like pre-renewal inspections and standard interior preventive maintenance, are items you should consider deferring for now. In addition to this, always follow your lease agreement and perform the necessary repairs. No matter what you do, communication is key. As such, you should communicate your maintenance plan and capabilities with your tenants. Below we offer some questions for you to consider:

Questions To Consider:

  • What maintenance requests are a priority?
  • Should your tenants only report emergency repairs?
  • What qualifies as emergencies right now?
  • What is the average time for non-emergency requests to get handled?

Essential Repairs & Emergency Maintenance Requests

It’s important to work with your tenants to determine what maintenance needs to be addressed right away and how it can be safely handled. Additionally, make sure to keep the safety of your property in mind. A water leak for example, will not only create an unsafe environment, it can also cause water damage which can be extremely expensive. For this reason, you may want to handle emergency work orders only for now. This means deferring any repairs that are not essential. So the question is, how can you determine if a maintenance request is essential? We offer some insight below.

Maintenance Emergencies Defined (Essential Repairs)

  • Broken air conditioner or heater
  • Roof leak, leaking dishwasher
  • Sewage drain backup
  • Mold growth
  • Smoke or fire damage
  • Broken appliances (washer, dryer, refrigerator, garbage disposal, stove)
  • Broken locks
  • Clogged toilet (if only one bathroom)
  • No hot water
  • Gas smells
  • Power outages
Handling Maintenance Requests

Property Maintenance and COVID-19

During these challenging times, it’s crucial to have a plan in place. With proper planning, good communication, and a full understanding of CDC’s recommendations, you can care for your property and your tenants at the same time. However, if the pressure of maintaining your rentals is simply too much for you right now, you may want to consider hiring a property management company to help you.

Whether you are looking to change property managers or simply want to hire one for the very first time, we can help. We manage all types of residential properties including homescondos, and multi-family properties such as duplex and triplexes, and even small apartment buildings. If you are interested in saving time, money, and the stress that comes along with managing your own rentals we have a management solution that is right for you. Call us today at (858) 576-2176