We occasionally run into situations where we take over the management of a property and we find that the owner is frustrated with self-managing and the residents are frustrated with the ownership and in turn they are no longer happy with their living situation and their relationship has become quite toxic. When property managers end up in the middle it can be challenging at first but we eventually are able to quiet the situation and find out what the core issues are. Many times the landlord is just tired of the constant calls and feels harassed, while the residents feel the landlord doesn’t care about them or the property. The residents need to know that the ownership cares and values them at some level. Showing them that you care by keeping the property clean and well maintained is a great start.
The simple things like keeping the bushes trimmed so no one can hide behind them or keeping the lighting operating properly is a good start, but you really need to have a focus on all aspects of the common areas. We recommend doing a walkthrough inspection of the units every 6 months or so, check for dripping water, peeling paint, mold and all health and safety issues and making notes on each and every item as well as how it happened and when it will be repaired. The maintenance team needs to document when they did the repair and when it was completed and, if possible, snap a photo of the completed work that is time/date stamped.
Keeping ahead of maintenance issues can be daunting if you don’t have the right maintenance members, be sure to pick and choose your time wisely and you will save thousands of dollars in the long run.
The residents need to know how to put in a written work order that is available online, in the office or by email and be sure they know how long it will take you to process the order, do the inspection and address the issue so that everyone is happy. The better the communication you can provide the more likely it is that residents will help you take care of the place they live and your investment.