What Maintenance Issues Are Emergencies and What Can Wait for Regular Business Hours?
Being a landlord means having to address maintenance issues whenever they arise. As a property owner, being available 24/7 is the best way to protect your investment and ensure you can keep up with necessary maintenance and repairs.
Not only will responding to your tenant’s concerns keep your renters happy and improve your tenant retention rate, but it is also crucial to ensuring your rental meets federal, state, and local habitability standards.
However, not all maintenance issues need to be handled immediately. Some can wait until regular business hours. Below is a handy guide that will help you determine whether an issue is an emergency or not!
What Maintenance Issues Are Emergencies?
Maintenance issues don’t all require the same level of urgency. Some require immediate responses, while others can wait for regular business hours. Emergency maintenance issues will impact a tenant’s safety or unit’s habitability. Severe property damage may also be an emergency.
The following are examples of emergency maintenance issues.
- Frozen pipes
- Broken water lines
- Gas Leaks
- Broken windows or doors
- Broken heating or air conditioning systems during intense weather
- Electrical or plumbing issues
- Roof leaks
- Extended power outages
What Maintenance Issues Can Wait for Regular Business Hours?
When an issue doesn’t impact a tenant’s safety or the unit’s habitability, it usually isn’t an emergency. The following are problems that can be fixed during regular business hours.
- Leaky faucets
- Parking disputes
- Noise issues
- Burnt out lights
- Loose hardware on cabinets
- Lack of heat or air conditioning in mild weather conditions
How Should a Landlord Handle Maintenance Issues?
How you handle maintenance issues can make or break your success as a landlord. One of the top reasons for tenant turnover is poor maintenance. No tenant wants to rent a property from a landlord who takes ages to respond to their issues.
Below are some tips to help you stay on top of maintenance issues.
Whether an issue is an emergency or not, it’s vital that your tenants can reach you. Ensure that your tenants can contact you whenever they have concerns that require your help. This will ensure a win-win situation for both parties and improve your relationship with your tenant.
If your tenants can easily reach you, you’ll be able to prevent the issue from worsening, and your tenants will know that you care about their well being.
Have a Team of Trusted Vendors and Contractors
Some maintenance issues require professional help. Therefore, it’s important to have a list of reliable vendors and contractors that you can always reach out to. When interviewing potential vendors, seek the following qualities to ensure good workmanship.
- A great reputation
- Proper liability coverage
- Reasonable costs and timelines
No one anticipates emergencies – sometimes, they just happen! And while you may be upset when a tenant interrupts your sleep, acting professionally is important. Respond appropriately and maintain a professional tone. If the issue isn’t an emergency, explain the steps you should take to handle it. Then, let them know what issues are emergencies and wait for regular business hours.
Understand Local Habitability Laws
As a landlord, you should acquaint yourself with local habitability laws. In the state of Kansas, habitability laws are primarily governed by KS Stat. §58-2553 . Commonly known as the implied warranty of habitability, this legal requirement requires that a landlord renting out a property in Kansas do the following.
- Provide hot and cold running water
- Provide working electrical and plumbing systems
- Provide working heating, ventilating, and air conditioning systems
- Provide proper trash receptacles
Other landlord obligations are regulated at the county or municipal levels. So, be sure to check your local laws before waiting to address maintenance issues.
Let Your Tenants Know Their Maintenance Responsibilities
Tenants have specific responsibilities when it comes to property maintenance. The Kansas Residential Landlord & Tenant Act requires tenants to do the following.
- Keep the dwelling safe and habitable
- Report maintenance issues promptly
- Dispose of trash and garbage
- Prevent negligent property damage
To avoid any confusion or misunderstandings, make sure to include these responsibilities in the lease agreement.
Hire a Property Management Company
Keeping up with maintenance issues can be a nightmare when self-managing your rental property. If you’re a new or long-distance landlord or already have a full-time job, hiring a competent property management company can be one of the best decisions you’ll ever make!
A quality property management company will have the skills, experience, and resources required to respond to any maintenance issues your tenants may notice. They can also help you do the following.
- Fill vacancies quickly when a tenant moves out
- Screen tenants
- Collect rent
- Perform routine inspections
- File tax returns
If you require expert help managing your rental, reach out to SCUDO Real Estate & Property Management! As a top property management in Kansas, our team has the skills and experience required to ensure your success. Get in touch to learn more about our comprehensive services!