Apartment Maintenance: How Property Managers Can Save Time & Money
Recently, a civil jury in Alhambra, California, awarded a Los Angeles family $1.6 million in a bed bug case.
News reports show that such cases are on the rise, and juries are awarding million-dollar settlements to plaintiffs who claim that apartment owners failed to maintain habitable properties.
Property managers can prevent these fines with the proper knowledge and tools. For example, they must understand their landlord repair responsibilities. But that’s not the only way to manage apartment maintenance.
Let’s look at how property managers can save time and money while keeping the rental property in tip-top shape.
What Is Rental Apartment Maintenance?
Apart from essential cleaning, groundskeeping, and pest control, apartment maintenance covers plumbing, HVAC, renovations, and emergency repairs. Managed by maintenance technicians, supervisors, and apartment managers, the activities can range from individual unit repairs to sweeping changes such as redoing the floors in a building or resurfacing a parking area.
Maintenance teams must be dynamic and well-prepared. Have an ample budget in place for maintenance because repairs and maintenance will take about 9-6% of operating expenses.
Usually, maintenance is requested through resident work orders. However, as the law requires, apartment managers must ensure a habitable environment. Therefore, taking proactive measures to provide a reasonably safe environment is vital.
What Does Apartment Maintenance Include?
Here is a checklist of what good property managers do regularly to maintain comfortable, safe, and habitable premises for residents.
Looking closely, you may find a direct correlation between how well property managers do this and apartment occupancy rates.
- Emergency repairs: Property managers must respond quickly in a maintenance emergency. Examples of apartment maintenance emergencies include carbon monoxide and fire detector repairs, faulty wiring and fires, gas leaks, and sewage backups.
- Doors, locks, and windows: The property manager should fix broken or poorly-functioning doorknobs, deadbolts, locks, and windows as soon as the resident reports the issues.
- Heating & Air Conditioning: Property managers are legally required to provide residents with heat. Property managers should quickly fix any faulty furnaces and HVAC systems for the comfort and safety of their residents.
- Appliances and kitchenware: This may involve fixing and repairing cabinets, mirrors, curtain rods, and kitchen appliances to ensure they are in good working order.
- Sinks, leaking toilets, and faucets: Property managers should regularly inspect and organize the repair of showers & drains, leaky faucets, clogged drains, broken shower heads, blocked toilets, and leaky pipes under the sink.
7 Apartment Maintenance Tips To Save Time And Money
As a property manager, you know the importance of consistent maintenance. Your residents rely on you to keep their living spaces in top-notch condition – and while maintenance may come with a price, it's far more economical than zero occupancy.
With these seven fantastic tips, maintaining your property will be a breeze so you can keep everyone happy.
1. Use RentCheck To Automate Rental Property Inspections
RentCheck empowers and reminds residents to perform rental property inspections themselves, saving you time and money. This is done via automated, standardized reports stored in one place, allowing easy sharing with internal teams or property owners.
RentCheck can make the property inspection process much more efficient, reducing headaches and time spent traveling between rental properties. Additionally, homeowners receive a detailed inspection report with photos, and residents have control over their inspection schedules.
2. Perform Regular Inspections
By staying proactive and conducting routine inspections, you'll keep your properties in tip-top shape, maintain resident satisfaction, and, ultimately, protect your investment.
Not only do these essential check-ups ensure your residents are living in a safe, comfortable environment, but they also help you catch potential problems before they escalate into costly disasters.
Create a checklist of items to inspect, such as smoke detectors, appliances, plumbing fixtures, and electrical outlets. Working with a comprehensive checklist will ensure everything is covered in the inspection.
3. Schedule Inspections Strategically
Scheduling inspections can sometimes be challenging, especially when finding a time that works for you and your residents. One possible solution is to schedule inspections during weekends when residents are more likely to be available.
Since most people have weekends off from work, they are likelier to be home during this time. This makes it easier to coordinate a mutually agreeable inspection time.
4. Communicate Early And Often
Give your residents plenty of notice about the upcoming inspection. Be sure to follow any legal requirements regarding notice periods and keep the lines of communication open to address any concerns or questions they may have.
And with a dedicated platform for reporting issues, residents can easily communicate their concerns, and property managers can promptly address them, improving the overall property manager-resident relationship. The tools you choose should allow residents to send messages, photos, and videos of maintenance issues directly to their property manager.
5. Educate Your residents
Ensure your residents understand the purpose of inspections and their responsibilities in maintaining the property, which can lead to fewer issues needing to be addressed.
Provide residents with tips on essential apartment maintenance and care, reducing the likelihood of damage or neglect.
Encourage residents to report any issues or concerns as soon as they arise, allowing you to address them before they worsen and require more extensive repairs.
6. Check Smoke And Fire Alarms Monthly
Property managers have a responsibility to ensure that their residents are safe. This includes ensuring that smoke and carbon monoxide detectors work well. You should check each sensor every month when collecting rent.
If a detector needs replacement or repair, take care of it immediately. You don't want your residents' lives put at risk because of something as simple as an out-of-date battery pack.
7. Replace Air Filters Monthly
In apartment building maintenance, it is crucial to address forced-air systems, including furnaces and air conditioners. Monthly replacement of air filters is essential for maintaining these systems. Forced-air heating and cooling systems draw in outdoor air and circulate it throughout the living space, requiring a filter to prevent the entry of dirt and dust particles.
When air filters are not changed regularly, forced-air systems like furnaces and air conditioners must work harder to push air through. This results in increased energy consumption and potential system malfunction. To save costs and reduce workload during apartment building maintenance, change the air filters monthly, especially during winter and summer.
Save Time And Money With RentCheck
RentCheck is an innovative platform that helps property managers automate their inspection process. It allows residents to perform inspections and create reports, saving time for property managers. With RentCheck, you can finally say goodbye to the outdated, paper-based inspection process and say hello to a modern, digital solution that saves you time and money.