Real Property Management Service’s rental strategy is that a well maintained rental with curb appeal rents faster, yields the highest rent, attracts the best renters, and presents fewer problems. Once the tenant moves in, the tenant is renting a home, not just a property. One way you can keep tenants happy, and paying on time, is to ensure that your rental is in good working order, to keep the rental habitable in accordance with the law, and to respond quickly to repair requests when your Real Property Management Service office calls you for approval. By signing a rental agreement, a warranty of habitability is implied and required by law. This means that we are promising that your rental is suitable to live in.
Periodic reviews and visits to the rental as well as routine maintenance are an essential part of this strategy.
Budgeting for Maintenance
There are many ways to budget for maintenance. Some owners use a multiple of monthly rent (1.5 – 2x is common. Therefore, if the rent is $1,000 per month, you should consider keeping 1.5 – 2.0 x of $1,000 or $1,500 – $2,000 in reserve to pay for potential emergency repairs that may be required by law). Alternatively, some owners use a percentage of the property value such as 2% – 3%. If you adopt this strategy, and if your property value is $100,000, you should consider keeping $2,000 – $3,000 in reserve. Whatever strategy you adopt, what is important is that you have a maintenance and repair budget. This budget is a part of being in the business of owning rental property.
Risk = Potential for Financial Loss
One of the reasons owners like you have chosen Real Property Management Service is to help protect them from financial risk. Maintenance is one of the most common areas of risk exposure. One maintenance risk area is compliance with applicable laws, rules, and regulations. In order to respond intelligently to tenant maintenance requests, Real Property Management Service stays current on all residential rental real estate and housing laws at the federal, provincial, and municipal level. We do the reading, so you don’t have to.
It is Real Property Management Service’s policy that all legal violations (cited or not yet cited) be corrected – no exceptions. An owner may face legal (including criminal) liability if certain repairs are not made. You may choose to initiate repairs using your own licensed and insured contractor (s) to make repairs provided that the repairs can be completed in a timely and competent manner. Alternately, Real Property Management Service can provide vendors at your expense if you prefer.
|Refusing to fund repairs may be grounds for termination of the management agreement as Real Property Management Service must comply with provincial and federal Landlord Tenant Laws.|
The other maintenance risk area is in the performance of repairs. Real Property Management Service only uses contractors who are licensed when required, certified as necessary, and who carry proper insurance. Additionally, Real Property Management Service gives preferences to vendors who have a history of being timely, providing quality repairs, and being safe on the job.
An initial cosmetic inspection is performed after the Management Agreement is signed. The purpose of the inspection is to ensure that there are no visible issues that represent a hazard to the tenant, or that may develop into a hazard in the future. Any discrepancies found are shared with you, and a plan of action is established to correct them. Priority is given to habitability and legal concerns.
In addition to an inspection that occurs when a tenant initially occupies the rental, and vacates the rental, periodic inspections are conducted throughout the year. These regular inspections are conducted to ensure that the rental remains in good order.
Repairs / Maintenance
What is considered an emergency? Generally, provincial or local laws define an “emergency” as anything that must be fixed immediately, so that the tenant can live safely in the rental. Some examples include:
- No heat during winter months or air conditioning during hot summer months
- Loss of power / water
- Clogged toilet when the unit only has one toilet
- Security issues (damage from a break-in or from a natural disaster)
- Legal notices from housing or city inspection departments