Thousand Oaks Property Management Blog

4 Common Maintenance Mistakes – Thousand Oaks Property Management

David Kidd - Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Welcome to Secure One Properties; servicing Thousand Oaks, Sherman Oaks, Woodland Hills and Simi Valley. Today, we are sharing the four most common maintenance mistakes that we see landlords make.

Property Management Maintenance: It’s Not Always the Tenant’s Fault

Sometimes, landlords will assume the property is perfect and nothing can possibly go wrong. If something does go wrong, they believe the tenant is to blame every time.

That’s not necessarily true. For example, let’s say that the tenant calls you because the dishwasher isn’t working and your response is that the dishwasher was working just fine when the tenant moved in eighth months ago and you will not consider fixing it. You won’t have a very happy tenant. If you insist the tenant broke it and you’re not going to consider paying to fix anything whenever they report a repair, you aren’t going to yield the best results; you wont be able to keep good tenants. Don’t start your discourse with the tenant from an accusatory state. That will only cause friction, the repair won’t be handled properly, and you’ll probably end up with a vacancy because that tenant won’t be very satisfied with the service that was received.

Hire vendors who are skilled and licensed and can be trusted to go to the property and assess the repair. They can report back to you whether it’s something that the tenant really caused, or just normal wear and tear, or simply a malfunction. Maybe the pump in the dishwasher went bad. Things do happen. The tenant does not always cause every problem at the property. There is normal wear and tear and things do happen.

Property Management Maintenance: Vendor Selection

Hiring unlicensed, unskilled, and unprofessional vendors to work at your property is a huge mistake. If you hire an unlicensed or uninsured vendor to do work, and they get hurt, your insurance probably won’t cover those injuries. That’s going to cost you a lot of money. If you hire the neighborhood handyman to do electrical work or complicated remodels at the home, there’s a good chance that the work might not be done to the best standards. Then, when your tenant moves in, pipes may burst or the wires won’t be hooked up properly. You will end up spending more money in the long run. The golden rule is to hire plumbers for plumbing, electricians for electrical work, and roofers for roofing. 

Property Management Maintenance: Don’t Let Tenants Make Repairs

Allowing tenants to make repairs is another mistake. We’re not talking about changing the light bulbs or replacing the air filters; those things are expected. But, you don’t want tenants on the roof or rewiring the house. You don’t want them remodeling the bathroom. Your tenants are probably not licensed contractors. They should never be on the roof and they should never be messing around with electrical wires. That’s a lot of liability, so don’t ask tenants to do these things. Sometimes, landlords may have a verbal agreement where tenants agree to do upgrades in exchange for a lower rent. But, what if the tenants never make those upgrades, even after paying a lower rent? Don’t allow this.

Property Management Maintenance: Response Times

Maintenance The most common mistake landlords make is not responding promptly to maintenance. When a tenant calls or emails with a repair request, respond and let them know it was received and will be handled. Health and safety issues require an immediate response. These might be mainline backups, or a loss of air conditioning in the heat of summer, or water damage. You need to respond promptly to those emergency requests. If you cannot pick up the phone at 2:00 in the morning or over the weekend and if it’s too stressful because you don’t have vendors who know the difference between normal wear and tear and tenant damage – it’s probably time to get professional help.

If you have any questions about maintenance or Thousand Oaks property management, please don’t hesitate to contact us at Secure One Properties.