Issues and problems are common in the business of renting out properties, especially houses and rooms for tenants. Most landlords are the owners of the properties being rented by the tenant, making them the primary person to know and be held responsible for fixing damaged areas in their properties and dealing with tenancy problems.
Managing a property is one of the tasks of a landlord which causes a handful of stress since it managing the area does not end during the signing of a lease agreement or handing over the keys to a tenant. The property must be fully maintained by both the renters or the tenant, and the landlord. In the event that a tenant sees any problems in the property, he may either complete a request form or file a Complaint Form to the landlord and property owner. Nonetheless, here are the eight known steps of how a landlord must handle and take charge of the maintenance issue that a tenant reported to him:
Step 1: Draft and plan.
Receiving suggestions, requests, and complaints are part of a landlord’s duty. However, as a landlord and owner of the property, you must be able to distinguish what methods you are going to use and to mandate to have an orderly process of dealing with tenant issues. The process should be ready before you are opening your property for renters and prospective tenants to avoid a delay with their complaints in the future. You may create an action plan and post the finalized process in a location where the tenants may see for them to get involved and know the ways of how you handle their requests.
Step 2: Hear out.
Hearing and reaching out to your tenants is an important action for you to take. You can effectively do this by placing forms and documents within their reach whenever they needed one to formally file their requests and complaints to you. A useful document to cater the needs of your tenants would be a tenant complaint form. This document will allow the tenant to state the nature and other information with regards to his complaints. Another form is a maintenance complaint form which can be helpful in indicating complaints of specific reasons such as property maintenance systems and requesting for maintenance services.
Step 3: Establish urgency.
The levels of urgency about the maintenance issue reported by the client must be determined on the same day the report was made. These may be in high, moderate or low urgency levels depending on the specific issue and the range of people affected by the property damage. High urgency levels are issues that require a service provider to do a repair within twenty-four hours prior to the tenant’s report. Moderate urgency levels, on the other hand, are requests which need to be done within two to three days. Low urgency levels will demand the landlord to provide a service within five to seven days.
Step 4: Determine the service needed.
By being able to determine what type of service is needed, you, as the landlord, will know the price range that you will be paying for the service providers such as maintenance staff and professionals. It is also helpful if you have established and signed a maintenance contract with a maintenance service provider to have an easy way of calling them and requesting for the service whenever you may need them. Customizing the contract agreement should be done when both parties are around to have an effective deal and to enable and easy understanding about the terms being set by you, the landlord, and the maintenance service providers.
Step 5: List the materials.
Listing down the materials which may be needed for fixing the damaged property will allow you to be aware of where you shall purchase and get your supplies from. In the event that the frequency of the repairs is increasing, might as well consider signing a supply contract with a trusted supplier to lessen your burden when the issue arises again.
Also, make sure that you have separate lists of supplies in the event that there are two varying issues that you may solve. The decision of whoever will purchase the supplies from the vendor and the price of how much the landlord and tenant will share as for the total payments will depend on the agreement between both parties. Some landlords put their tenants in account especially if the damage was caused by the tenant’s inability to take care of the property.
Step 6: Inform the tenant.
The next thing to do when everything is set out and you have submitted a maintenance request to the service providers is to start repairing the damaged property. However, this should be done with the full permission and knowledge of the tenant to avoid conflicts. To acquire the tenant’s permission, send a notice form to the tenant before starting the repair and ask about the possible schedule when the maintenance providers will be allowed to get in the property premises.
Step 7: Start repairing and solving the issue.
Tenants are your clients, therefore, you should assure that you will be receiving a positive client feedback by providing the requested service immediately after doing the aforementioned six steps. The repairmen of the maintenance service providers must be knowledgeable enough about the issue and should successfully repair the property.
Step 8: Sign some forms.
The last thing which you will do as a landlord is to ask for a service receipt from the service providers to allow you in tracking down your annual expenses for the property. You should also approach the tenant and ask whether he has been satisfied with the repairs or if he demands more to meet his needs. In the event that a tenant has been fully satisfied and happy with the repairs of the property, let him sign a Statement indicating that the work and service have been provided on time.
By following these eight steps, you will have an easier way of facing and handling the complaining tenants of your property. Nonetheless, the most important step that you as a landlord should take is to understand your tenants to achieve an orderly living in your premises.
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