Hi, I’m Faye with Residential Property Management in Portland. Every landlord needs to have a plan in place for how to handle maintenance and repairs on a rental property during a tenancy. There are certain repairs that can and should be completed during normal business hours. There are also urgent repairs and emergencies that need to be taken care of right away. When you know the difference, you can establish a procedure for responding appropriately. At Residential Property Management, we consider normal business hours to be between Monday and Friday, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Contractors and vendors keep these business hours as well, and they will charge their normal hourly rate for work done during these time periods. After business hours, the rates tend to go a bit higher.
Something else you need to consider is how you expect tenants to report any repair requests to you. We recommend that you require tenants to report all maintenance issues in writing, except in emergencies. When the tenant describes the problem in writing, it will help your property manager and the vendor or contractor who is doing the work. You’ll also have a record of the tenant’s request in case you need it in the future.
Your tenant should report any emergencies to you by phone and there should be a number for the tenants to use 24 hours per day, seven days a week. Urgent repair requests should not be made through email because it might be the next day before anyone sees the email. Water leaks or a lack of heat in the middle of winter are examples of emergencies and if they aren’t taken care of right away, there can be further damage to the property. You also don’t want to leave your tenant without heat or water for any longer than necessary. At Residential Property Management, we have someone on call to take care of these emergencies after business hours and over the weekends or on holidays. It seems like water heaters always seem to stop working on Friday nights at around 7:00 p.m. You don’t want your tenant to go through the weekend without hot water, so make sure there is a process as well as an emergency contact.
If you have any questions about what qualifies as an emergency and what doesn’t, or if you’d like to discuss the maintenance of your rental property, please contact us at Residential Property Management, Inc.