Top 5 Property Maintenance Issues and How We Will Fix Them

 In Property Management

Most rental property owners are familiar with calls from tenants at all hours to repair issues that have appeared in their homes. As a landlord, your priority is keeping your tenant happy and safe in their home, and because you aren’t there every day, it is even more important to be aware of common problems that may arise with your rental properties.

There are a few issues that crop up consistently among our property owners, most of which are pretty simple to fix.

Related: Why Repair?

The Problem: Pests

Sometimes properties become homes to pests. It doesn’t necessarily mean your tenants are dirty — even the cleanest homes and apartments sometimes end up with with mice or roaches. This is more common especially in older buildings or around changing seasons, when pests begin to seek relief from the elements. Still, it’s never a pleasant living situation for your tenants.

The Fix: Routine Check-ups

We recommend you schedule regular exterminations on at least a bi-monthly basis. Be sure to treat all units in the complex to prevent pests from simply traveling to the next apartment. This will help prevent larger infestations of unwanted bugs and rodents, and in the long run will be cheaper for you than losing a tenant who doesn’t want surprise roommates.

The Problem: Blown Fuses

Tenants without power while the rest of the neighborhood still has electricity are often on the receiving end of a blown fuse. Though usually this is caused by overloading the circuits — too many high-wattage appliances are plugged into the same outlet at once — this can be a sign of faulty wiring.

The Fix: Teach your Tenants

There should be a breaker box located somewhere inside each unit. Check the switches inside to ensure all are pointing to the correct off or on position, according to what area each supplies (they should be clearly labeled). Also try unplugging items, starting with the most recently added, until the power is restored. If neither of these resolves the issue, you may need to call a professional electrician to make sure the unit’s wiring is sound.

The Problem: Extinguished pilot lights

This is a common issue in older units with gas hot water heaters. Chances are if your tenant reports a consistent lack of hot water, you’ll need to check the pilot light, or the continuously burning gas flame at the bottom of their tank.

The Fix:

The pilot light is accompanied by a heat-sensing device called a thermocouple, which shuts off the gas supply if it does not detect the presence of a flame. Start by checking for dirt buildup around the thermocouple, as this can sometimes interfere with the mechanism’s function. If the pilot light is going out frequently, the thermocouple can be moved closer to the flame or replaced. Also check for strong drafts near the water heater, as these can sometimes blow out pilot lights as well.

The Problem: Poor Heating and Air Function

A frequent maintenance issue for property owners is a heating or air-conditioning unit that doesn’t function well. Your tenants don’t want to be without air, especially during Arizona summers. But there’s a way they can help you check for issues.

The Fix: Filter Away

Often the simplest fix to a poorly functioning HVAC unit is to change the air filter. This should be done twice a year at minimum, but more frequently in regions with poor air quality (Arizonans should change theirs monthly during monsoon season). If changing the filter doesn’t fix the problem, it may be time to call in an HVAC expert. We also recommend scheduling regular spring and fall maintenance for your HVAC units to ensure they’re ready to go for the harshest months of the year.

Related: 5 Tips to Help Protect Your Rental Property During Monsoon Season

The Problem: Clogged Drains

Drains clog all the time from the stuff that goes down them day to day, but not every clog warrants calling a plumber. There are several easy fixes that you and your tenant can try before calling in the pros.

The Fix: Move it

There are any number of commercial products available for clearing drains and pipes of built-up gunk, many of which are quite effective. Shower clogs can often be fixed by removing hair with a bent wire coat hanger. If kitchen sinks with garbage disposals are clogged, often the disposals simply need to be run. Try out some of these fixes before spending the money on a plumber.

Some tenants, especially younger ones who may be renting an apartment or home for the first time, may not be familiar with some of these fixes. Try creating a maintenance guide for tenants to show them a few simple fixes to the most common problems.they’ll encounter. This can be as simple as a pamphlet you hand them with their lease agreement, or even a page on your building’s website.

For help managing of these maintenance issues and more, give us a call at 480-736-8257.

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