One of the things that full-time real estate investors that has tenants despises is getting calls from tenants that some small insignificant thing in the unit needs fixing.
There are ways to be able to alleviate this, and have the tenant want to be responsible for small insignificant repairs and never bother you with them, thus keeping your maintenance to zero.
So as a landlord, we want to get out of the repair business. So we implement a couple of strategies here:
1. We sell our appliances to the tenants as soon as they move in. Yep, that’s right. And when they move out, as long as they are in clean and good working order, I will buy them back from the tenant at $250, or $300, or even $500 more than what you paid me. This is obviously dependent on the length of their stay, and you can make it a graduated scale.
Why would we do this? Well…who is going to fix the appliance when it breaks down during the time of their stay? Obviously they are since it is not even your appliance anymore. They will keep them in good working order because they want to get the most money at the end of their stay as possible.
2. Make sure you give them a repair request sheet, in fact a stack of them when they move in. This forces them to write down the date and the description of the repair. In doing this, you are creating a paper trail with dates and signatures and obviously the description of the requests.
As a landlord, we want to get to these requests in good time. Why? Because the main reason that the people move out is because the landlord doesn’t do the repairs that are requested. You can even make a deal with the tenant that if you don’t do the repairs within one week of the repair request you will actually refund that tenant the daily amount of their rent up until the time that the repair is completed. Is that fair? That gives you lots of respect in the eyes of the tenant….just make sure you get to the repairs.
3. You can make a deal with your tenants that if they take their repairs upon themselves and do them properly, you will give them $100 at the end of the year. Now, you have to be cognizant of who you are offering this to, and perhaps you need some history with the tenant before offering this. It is very important that you inspect the unit on a regular basis, making sure indeed that no repairs are needed or the ones that have been done by the tenant are to your satisfaction.
Implement these three strategies, and you will have very few repair issues and perhaps you may even keep your maintenance to zero.
If you would like more information
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Three Tips to Cut the cost of repairs and maintenance