“That’s too much money, I need another quote!”
“This repair should only cost $50 instead of $1000.”
“Do the tenant’s really need a/c in September? Let’s wait on this.”
Who’s heard some derivative of these comments when it comes to maintenance on an investment property? It seems to be a repeated discussion with our clients, right? As the property manager, we are the middle man when it comes to relaying the inevitable to the owner that properties and appliances do in fact, break down.
The most difficult aspect of this task is not just being the bearer of bad news, but also keeping the tenant satisfied with the process. Naturally, expectations from both sides of the fence can be unrealistic at times. However, in rare cases, some items can in fact wait for repair. Here are some examples of those scenarios.
Scenario 1: A pull chain controlling the light breaks off from the ceiling fan by normal wear and tear 2 weeks prior to the tenants moving out of the property. Keep in mind, the tenant is still able to control the lighting by the switch located on the wall. Is it in need of repair? Yes. Is the feature still functioning as intended by another source? Yes. Does our client need an additional trip charge 2 weeks prior to completing the move out report? Not really. The absence of the chain may not be convenient, but given the timeline and minor impact on the functionality, this one can be cued up for the move-out walk through.
Scenario 2: It’s September, however the grass in the front yard has been dying off slowly all summer, even when watering appropriately. Now, a majority of the yard is yellow and weak. Given the time of the year, it would be best for the health of the grass and lawn to be replaced during the spring months when the grass can truly take to the ground. Let’s wait on this!
Keep in mind, neither of these items are concerning the safety of the tenants or the integrity to the structure of the property. While the goal is to have them remedied in the near future, their nature of urgency is minimal and a deferred maintenance timeline can prolong another expense for your client. That’s news we don’t mind giving.