Facility & Physical Maintenance and Repairs to Rental Property
The Devil is in the Details
A rental property will not enjoy long-term tenant retention and acceptable return on investment unless it is maintained properly. This involves:
- Preventive and ongoing maintenance;
- Repairs to correct problems or malfunctions; and
- Construction and remodel
The Role and Responsibilities of a Rental Property Manager
Maintains property rentals by advertising and filling vacancies; negotiating and enforcing leases; maintaining and securing premises.
A property manager is a third party who is hired to handle the daily operations of a real estate investment. They can manage all types of properties, from single family homes to large apartment complexes. Responsibilities can be quite broad, including maintaining property rentals by filling vacancies, negotiating and enforcing leases, setting and collecting rent, screening prospective tenants, handling complaints, keeping an accurate budget and maintaining and securing premises.
The property manager is in-between the tenant and you, the owner. They are the "first line of defense" and they are there to protect you, to handle all issues so efficiently that irate tenants or service providers are not calling you in the middle of the night.
Regarding facility and physical maintenance and repairs, some of the specific responsibilities may include:
- Investigating and resolving tenant complaints; inspecting vacant units and completing repairs; planning renovations; contracting with specific maintenance services such as carpentry, plumbing, electricity, landscaping and snow removal services
- Supervising repairs.
- Establishing and enforcing precautionary policies and procedures; responding to emergencies.
Excellent property managers are proactive and detail-oriented.
Preventative and Ongoing Maintenance
Preventive and ongoing maintenance of rental properties requires a thorough knowledge of the property, its needs for upkeep, staffing required to accomplish the tasks (or contracting with service professionals) and budgeting to accomplish them. The real estate property manager must balance the costs of routine and preventive maintenance with the benefits and desired results. Line items on a property manager's routine maintenance list might include:
- Cleaning of common areas;
- Landscape maintenance;
- Regular service to heating and air conditioning systems;
- Periodic inspection of plumbing and electrical items;
- Proper upkeep of wood, roofing & other building components.
Repairs and Corrective Actions
Repairs and corrective actions are required when things break or cease to function as intended. Sometimes the repair is of an emergency nature, such as a heating malfunction in winter, while at other times these repairs can be scheduled and done efficiently in groups. It is the responsibility of the property manager to know the difference and to serve the needs of the tenants while balancing costs. It's also important to take care of small problems before they become large ones.
Construction and Remodeling
Construction and remodeling are a part of the facility and building maintenance. Remodel or construction of the structure might be required:
- For special business requirements of a commercial tenant;
- To correct obsolescence of the structure; or
- To accommodate special physical needs of a tenant.
A real estate property manager can be very skilled at all the other functions of management, but if they drop the ball when it comes to facility maintenance, the property will experience a degradation of condition, loss of tenants, and declining rents.