Lots of money and lots of valuable time can be saved on repairs through routine maintenance. Preventive maintenance can help insure that a small problem does not turn into a larger, more costly problem. Every landlord should get into the habit of minimizing financial losses through preventive and routine maintenance.
Below are a few pointers that can help you reduce financial losses related to repairs and maintenance:
• Let prospective tenants know-even before they move in that maintenance is a high priority item.
• Use a written checklist to inspect the unit and fix any problems before a new tenant moves in.
• Encourage tenants to immediately report (to you) any plumbing, heating, electrical, or other safety and security problems whether the problem exists in their unit or in the common areas- such as broken steps or doors.
• Keep good records. Keep a written log of all tenant complaints and repair requests and details as to when and how the problem was fixed.
• Handle urgent repairs as soon as possible. Inform the tenants as to when the problem will be addressed and give them written notice. Make sure you keep a copy for your records.
• All responsibilities for repairs and maintenance should be clearly stated in the lease.
• Give tenants a checklist on which to report potential safety hazards and maintenance problems. Use the same checklist to personally inspect the unit once a year for any problems that may have been overlooked.
• Be a good landlord. If you have a good tenant, show appreciation by being responsive to legitimate complaints. High turnover is costly.