Best Practices for Completing Tenant Maintenance Requests

Best Practices for Completing Tenant Maintenance Requests - Article Banner

Handling tenant maintenance requests quickly and completely will accomplish a couple of important things for you. 

First, it’s an important part of your tenant retention plan. To avoid vacancies and turnover costs at your Palm Desert rental property, make sure you have a process in place to respond to those maintenance issues. 

Second, it’s better for your investment property. Good maintenance practices not only keep your residents happy and secure, they also protect the condition of your investment. You don’t want to leave your property at risk for deferred and unreported maintenance. It’s costly and it leads to deterioration and a loss of value. 

If you’re not sure how to put together a process for tenant maintenance requests, we have some best practices for you. 

We’ll also remind you that working with a Palm Desert property management company is the best way to provide maintenance to your investment. We have an in-house team of maintenance professionals who get the job done faster and cheaper than most vendors you’d have to contract with. 

Outside of your property management relationship, here’s how you can be more responsive to your tenant’s maintenance needs.

Establish an Emergency and Routine Reporting Process

All repair needs should be responded to as quickly as possible. Some of the requests will be more urgent than others, however, and we recommend that you have two separate maintenance request processes: one for emergencies and another for routine needs. 

For emergencies, your tenants should obviously call you right away. If there’s a flood or a fire or a sewer backing up onto your floors, you’ll need to dispatch help right away and you’ll also need to keep your tenants safe. 

For general repairs, it’s a better idea to have your residents put the request in writing. This will keep the process well-documented and accountable. You can have tenants send an email or text you with the problem. Then, you can respond in writing and follow up with them after the work is complete. Everything will be in writing, and you can refer to those records when future maintenance needs arise or if there’s a dispute about work that was completed.

Communicate the Maintenance Process to Palm Desert Tenants

Once you have a process in place, it’s important that you explain it to your tenants. Your tenants are your partners when it comes to maintaining your property, so it’s important that your tenants know how to get in touch with you when there’s a maintenance issue or a repair that needs to be made. 

If you’re working with a Palm Desert property management company, you won’t have to worry about being the point of contact. That’s a huge relief for the owners and investors we work with. But, if you’re managing the property on your own, you’ll have to make sure you’re available to your tenants 24 hours a day in case there’s an emergency. This means being available in the middle of the night and on holidays and weekends. You never want to be inaccessible, especially if your property is in danger of taking on further damage simply because you cannot be contacted. 

Be Responsive to All Rental Property Repairs

It’s critical that you respond to emergencies right away. Tenants need running water and air conditioning in the summer. They need access to electricity.  

Responding to routine maintenance requests with the same sense of urgency is good customer service. If a tenant reports that a toilet isn’t flushing but the home has two or three toilets, it might not seem like a request you need to handle right away. But, you should still get to it as soon as possible for these reasons:

  • First, it shows the tenants that you’re responsive and you care about their needs. 
  • Second, it protects the condition of your home. Small problems don’t become easier or cheaper with time. Don’t leave deferred maintenance for later. It’s better for your investment to fix and replace things right away.

Studies have shown us that one of the main reasons tenants leave their rental properties is because they don’t feel like their maintenance needs are responded to in a timely manner. Don’t lose your good residents because you’re too slow to respond to repairs. 

Focus on Preventative Maintenance  

It’s rare that tenants will request preventative maintenance. They won’t necessarily know that the HVAC is due for a service call or the water heater should be inspected. 

It still needs to be part of your maintenance response plan. 

Preventative maintenance is the best way to keep your Palm Desert rental property in excellent condition. It can increase the value of your investment. With a good preventative maintenance plan, you’ll ensure the systems and functions of your investment live longer and work more effectively. Have your HVAC system inspected and serviced annually. Clean out the gutters at least once a year, and have your home inspected for plumbing leaks and electrical issues. Don’t forget the landscaping and pest control.

Partner with Excellent Vendors and Contractors 

Maintenance Vendor

We work with a team of In-house maintenance vendors at Xepco Properties, and that works best for us and for our owners. We know the job is getting done right, we don’t have to wait for availability, and we can make sure that the pricing is competitive and affordable. 

You should create your own list of preferred vendors and contractors. Look for professionals who are licensed and insured, as well as reliable and reputable. You don’t want to wait for days to have a repair completed, and you want to make sure that if there’s an emergency, the workers you hire can be there when you need them.

Make your maintenance process as resident-friendly as possible. This will contribute to a more positive rental experience and lower maintenance costs. It will also save you from turnover

Communicate as much as possible and always follow up to ensure the work is completed. If you don’t want to worry about maintenance, consider turning the Palm Desert property management process over to our team. We’d be glad to help.

If you have any questions about maintenance or property management in Palm Desert, please contact us at Xepco Properties.