Who should handle the maintenance of rental property? Is it the rental property management company or the property owner? Here’s what you should know about who takes the responsibility and to what extent.
Who Is Responsible for Maintenance of a Rental Property?
Generally, the rental property management company is responsible for the maintenance of a rental property. It’s their responsibility to receive maintenance requests and evaluate them. Moreover, they’re in charge of scheduling the repair in a timely manner.
Rental property management companies usually station staff on-site to maintain the property. Doing this helps them address these issues as they arise.
What Are the Property Management Company’s Responsibilities?
A property management company can handle a lot of things related to maintenance. What are their responsibilities?
Maintaining Standard Fixtures
A management company will help landlords maintain everyday household fixtures. This includes general things like replacing bulbs or installing locks. It can also extend to larger services like general landscaping, pest control, fixing fire damage, and removing snow. Most companies also fix piping, plumbing, and electrical issues.
Coordinating With Tenants
Property management companies are also in charge of receiving requests from renters. Moreover, they’re responsible for evaluating each request and getting to the root of the problem.
Tenants can usually submit a request through the management company’s online form. They can also do so manually through a physical form at the company’s office. Once the job is scheduled, the property management company is also responsible for coordinating with the tenant. They may instruct the tenant to be present during the service or vacate the premises for a certain period.
Handling the Repair or Hiring Contractors
Some property management companies have an in-house maintenance team that can help with basic services. They can handle small repairs like fixing broken toilets or switching out lightbulbs. However, other property management companies don’t handle the repairs themselves. Instead, they will coordinate with independent contractors to finish each job.
Many companies will have a list of contractors to contact. Meanwhile, others will search for contractors only when the need arises. If you have preferences when it comes to contractors, you can contact your property management company.
Afterward, you’re free to tell them any prohibitions if you previously disliked a specific contractor’s work. Likewise, you can tell them to work with certain contractors you’ve had a good experience with.
What Is the Landlord’s Responsibility for Maintenance?
While property management companies are usually responsible for maintenance, there are limitations to what they can handle. Moreover, landlords have specific areas of responsibility they have to keep in mind.
Repairs and maintenance cost money. While property management companies handle the requests and scheduling, repair payments fall under the landlord’s jurisdiction.
Every property management company will handle payments differently. Some will charge a fixed monthly fee to cover maintenance costs. Meanwhile, others initially shoulder the cost and bill property owners at the end of the month.
Others even require landlords to provide a reserve fund for repairs and maintenance expenses. Once dried up, the landlords are responsible for replenishing the fund. Regardless of how they bill you, property management companies may charge you extra for larger repairs. They may also charge extra for their services.
Property management companies can usually handle most of the work related to maintenance and repairs. Owners and landlords rarely have to lift a finger. However, sometimes there are exceptions when a property needs major repairs. In these instances, management companies will call you to tell you about the necessary repairs.
Doing this lets them keep you updated on your rental property. It also lets you know what to expect when the bill comes after the repair. In addition, this gives you the opportunity to step in. You may then coordinate with the property management company more closely to handle the job.
Short-Term vs. Long-Term Rentals
Property management companies are still responsible for maintaining short-term or vacation rentals. However, maintaining these properties differs slightly from maintaining long-term rental properties.
Management companies have more responsibilities when maintaining short-term rentals. Unlike long-term rentals, they aren’t limited to handling occasional requests. Instead, they’ll need to coordinate with cleaning and maintenance staff more often. This is to ensure that short-term rentals are prepared for each visitor.
In addition, these management companies will charge higher for their services. This is because the turnover costs are much higher for short-term properties. They require more housekeeping and will likely suffer from more wear and tear. Plus, guests come and go more often, increasing their workload.
Finally, payment schemes for maintenance will differ for short-term rentals. That’s because most property management companies charge a commission instead of a monthly fee.
Are There Cases When They Split Responsibilities?
For the most part, property management companies can handle the entire maintenance process. This allows property owners who want a hands-off approach to sit back and relax. On the other hand, you can split the responsibilities if you want a bit more control. However, you’ll have to come to an agreement with your management company beforehand.
Why Is Rental Property Maintenance Important?
Whether you’re working with a rental property manager or not, landlords should prioritize the maintenance of a rental property. That’s because landlords and property owners are legally required to provide habitable living conditions to their tenants. Otherwise, tenants can take action and sue landlords for neglecting maintenance and repairs. Some tenants may even refuse to pay rent until the landlord resolves the issue.
Apart from avoiding legal consequences, landlords should maintain their properties to keep current tenants. After all, people can easily move out of your rental property if it’s falling apart. Keeping your property well-maintained is also likely to attract more tenants in the future.
Stress-Free Property Maintenance
Property owners that work with property management companies don’t need to stress over repairs. The management company can usually handle everything related to the maintenance of a rental property. Through them, you can sit back and enjoy earning passive income without exerting too much effort.
Looking for a reliable property management company is tough. If you’re unsure where to start, try our comprehensive online directory to find one near you!
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