Why response times to maintenance & repair issues must improve

Why response times to maintenance & repair issues must improve

If you owned your own service-related business you would know that failing to respond to client requests would be a sure fire way to put you out of business quick smart. Property management is no different. It is a business just like any other. Your landlords are your clients and the tenants are the consumers. Both expect (and deserve) quick solutions to their problems, which for busy property managers can be quite challenging, especially if you manage a large rent roll.

Your first priority is keeping tenants safe in their home

If you are notified of an emergency in a tenant’s home, you have a duty of care to act on it immediately. Emergency repairs include:

  • Burst water services
  • Flooding or serious flood damage
  • Serious storm, fire or impact damage
  • Serious roof leaks
  • Gas leaks
  • Electrical faults
  • Blocked or broken toilet systems
  • Failure or breakdown of essential services or other faults/damage that make the premises unsafe or uninhabitable.

The risks to you, the business, the landlord and the tenant if you fail to attend to emergency repairs can be catastrophic, especially if the tenant or a visitor to the property is injured or dies as a result of the problem.

Just before Christmas last year, two people died and seventeen people were injured after a balcony collapsed at a rented residential property in Melbourne’s east. At the time, the CEO of Tenants Victoria said, “There is a general duty on landlords to make sure that the property is safe. But it’s usually done in a negative way. If the landlord is not aware of [a building issue] then the tenant has to make them aware of it.”  This is timely advice at this time of year in particular when people come together to celebrate outdoors, often on decks and balconies that may or may not be structurally sound.

As a property manager, you are not a builder, so you couldn’t possibly be expected to know if a deck or balcony is structurally sound or not when conducting a routine inspection. That’s where PropertySafe comes in. By actively encouraging all landlords to invest in a safety inspection every two years, conducted by professional fully licenced and insured safety inspectors, everyone has peace of mind – the tenant, the landlord, you, and the agency. And simply by recommending Property Safe to landlords, your agency will receive the maintenance software loved by property managers and tradies all over Australia for its ability to make their jobs so much more efficient and effective – Maintenance Manager.

Why should non-emergency maintenance issues also be addressed quickly?

Even if a problem in the home doesn’t qualify as an emergency, it should still be acted on as quickly as possible. Remember, minor maintenance issues can quickly escalate if left unattended, which could end up presenting a safety hazard and cost your landlord far more money than if the problem had been addressed at the time it was reported. Furthermore, tenants who feel listened to and looked after are far more likely to stay in the property longer reducing vacancy periods. They are also more likely to look after the property better and resist less if their rent is increased than they would if their maintenance requests were continually ignored. Contact us for a free demonstration of Maintenance Manager and Property Safe and how together they will make your role as property manager so much easier, less stressful and far more rewarding. It will remind you how fulfilling working in property management can be when it’s done properly.

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