When To Make Property Repairs

By Ashley Paskill on March 12, 2022

As a property manager, handling repairs is a crucial part of your job. You have to juggle incoming requests and the everyday wear and tear of your rental properties. Some repairs can wait, while others are more urgent. Knowing when to make repairs is crucial in helping you to prioritize requests and know when things need to get done. Keeping different factors in mind can help navigate repairs requests.

Property damage

There are circumstances where a landlord is able to delay or even refuse to repair something, and property damage may fall under this category. If a tenant is not using things properly or is neglecting to take proper care of the appliances and items, you are not financially responsible for fixing them. However, if something is damaged due to normal wear and tear after proper use, you do have to repair or replace the item in a timely manner. It can be difficult to tell the difference between neglect and wear and tear, but knowing the difference is crucial for knowing whether or not you need to proceed to fix the situation right away or not.

Tenants’ expectations

Part of your job as a property manager is to keep your tenants happy and safe. As part of your repair request form or method, have the tenant say when they expect the repair to take place. If it is something urgent like a toilet or plumbing issue, it will likely be a bit more urgent than if their air conditioning broke at the end of the summer season. Tenants may say things like “The end of this week” or even sooner, but ultimately, tenants will hopefully understand that you have other properties to repair as well. Be in communication and have a conversation about your workload and when you can reasonably get to their request, and be mindful of when they would like the request taken care of as well.

Emergency vs. non-emergency

One huge factor that determines whether a request should happen immediately or can wait is if it is an emergency. Emergency repairs are things like no heat in the winter, broken air conditioning in the summer, no running water, and a broken toilet. These things are necessities for your tenants, and if they are not taken care of, they can lead to further problems for you and your tenants down the line. When emergency repairs arise, the range to fix them is between immediately and seven days from the request. Again, this will be determined by the issue itself and the tenant’s accessibility to other resources.

However, for non-emergency repairs, there is less pressure on you to get the request done immediately. You should still do what you can to make the repairs in a timely manner, but any emergency repairs that come up need to take precedent. This is especially true if the repair is needed due to a tenant being neglectful and not taking care of the property. That said, it is good to have non-emergency repairs done within a month’s time.

Image: Blue Bird via https://www.pexels.com/photo/brown-wooden-ladder-beside-painting-materials-7218525/

State laws

Many states in the United States have laws that provide guidelines as to when repairs need to be made. For non-emergencies, repairs should be made within 30 days, and emergency repairs should be taken care of between three and seven days. Check with your state to see what the laws are for the timing of your repairs. Knowing the laws can help keep you out of legal trouble for something that could easily have been fixed.

Tenant action

If a tenant becomes unhappy with the speed at which you are taking care of the repair, they may decide to take action. Actions may include withholding rent, paying for the repair themselves and deducting it from rent, reporting the landlord, and moving out. They may even consult a lawyer and try to sue you. Again, this is where knowing your state’s laws is crucial, and being in communication with your tenant is important. Actions taken by tenants may have an effect on your reputation, even if you are in the right, so if your tenant is threatening action, consider expediting the repair to avoid further inconvenience and issues.

Importance of promptness

In the end, it is important to take care of repairs in a timely manner when they are requested. Even non-emergency repairs should be done as soon as possible. Being prompt in handling repairs keeps your tenants happy, which motivates them to want to keep renting from you. If you are quick to handle repairs, tenants may be willing to tell others about how well you handle things, which will bring in more business for you. Taking care of even the simplest repair can help extend the longevity of your property. A $700 repair now is better than paying for a $7000 repair that you neglected to take care of.

There are many factors to consider when deciding to take care of a repair, and knowing where the repair falls will help you decide. However, in any instance, taking care of a repair in a prompt manner will help you in the long run.

Follow Uloop

Apply to Write for Uloop News

Join the Uloop News Team

Discuss This Article

Get Student Housing News Monthly

Back to Top

Log In

Contact Us

Upload An Image

Please select an image to upload
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format
Provide URL where image can be downloaded
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format

By clicking this button,
you agree to the terms of use

By clicking "Create Alert" I agree to the Uloop Terms of Use.

Image not available.

Add a Photo

Please select a photo to upload
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format