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John Souerbry's Blog

By John Souerbry | Broker in Palo Alto, CA

Prioritizing Rental Property Repairs and Maintenance

Prioritizing Rental Property Repairs and MaintenanceWhenever a repair request or complaint crosses a landlord’s desk, they need to assign a level of urgency to the task.  Like any business, rental property doesn’t automatically dispense monthly cash like an ATM.  Tenants and the property itself require constant care and attention.

Here are the four levels of priority we assign to rental property issues and opportunities as they become known.

1.    Health and Safety.  Any conditions that pose a risk to the health and safety of tenants, residents* and visitors must be addressed immediately.  In addition to a list of plumbers, electricians and other service providers who offer 24 hour emergency services, most landlords keep an emergency fund or line of credit available to cover these costs.

2.    Lease Compliance. If the landlord doesn’t provide every property feature and service stated in the lease, their non-compliance could result in tenant complaints and high vacancy rates - even civil litigation.  Examples might be the number of parking places allocated to a tenant or repair of laundry facilities within a reasonable period of time.

3.    Regulatory Compliance.  Municipalities often provide a checklist for landlords to conduct their own regulatory compliance inspections of their property.  Most inspection items relate to health and safety, but not all.  Check with the governing authority where the property is located for a list of laws and regulations applicable to rental property.  When appropriate, have experts conduct inspections of the structure and systems.

4.    Value Improvement. Re-investing to improve rental property not only supports future rent increases, but it also lowers turnover.  Both drive a better number to the owner’s bottom line.  Keep a list of projects that will increase the value of the property whenever there are resources available to complete them.

Questions?  Please drop me a line:  john@jsrealproperty.com

* A resident resides on the property and is registered with the landlord, but is not a party to the lease.  An example is a tenant’s minor child.


John A. Souerbry & Associates (DRE 01370983) john@jsrealproperty.com

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