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How to maintain property maintenance

Let’s discuss property repairs. Push aside the image of tenants trashing a property rock star-style because that level of behavior, thankfully, hardly every happens. Instead, we’re focusing on the mundane maintenance tasks that need attention every day in property management.

If a tenant contacts you with a problem, we can probably pre-empt what it might be, having successfully run our property maintenance department for many years.

Common property maintenance issues

High up the list of most common tenant repairs are general plumbing issues, including leaky showers and troublesome toilets. From small drips to gushing floods, you’ll always need a plumber on speed dial. If you can find one who is available. And who delivers a reliable service. And who’s reasonably priced. Good luck!

Appliance repairs feature too. It’s still a grey area regarding whether the tenant or landlord is responsible for these but many agents recommend the landlord look after appliances to keep relationships positive, unless the tenant has bought and installed the goods themselves.

And, of course, boiler faults crop up on a regular basis but more frequently in the winter, which will put added pressure on property management resources.

Property maintenance in numbers

Now let’s look at how long it takes you to log, schedule and resolve these faults. ARPM believes 70% of a property manager’s time is spent dealing with maintenance tasks, with it taking between 5 and 15 emails/telephone calls with the tenant, landlord and contractor to sort out the simplest of maintenance issues.

Furthermore, research from Fixflo actually quantifies the time it takes for agents to manage a repair from report to resolution – 71 minutes. That’s over an hour on just one job at one property – while some repairs took over three hours to resolve.

However, it’s never just one repair. Whether dwellings are less robust or tenants just unlucky, the amount of repairs needed per property per year is rising. In 2016, the number of repairs per property per annum was 3.67. In 2017, the figure jumped to 4.08.

It’s easy to see how maintenance issues can spiral out of control, especially if there is a large portfolio of managed lets and inefficient systems. If you rely on telephone reporting and labour intensive manual processes, you can make your life simpler and free staff for income-generating tasks by making one telephone call to us. Our property maintenance service provides end-to-end property maintenance care under a white label service bearing your name.

We step in the moment a tenant decides to report a problem – from logging and qualifying the repair, appointing a verified tradesperson from our approved contractor panel (or yours or your landlord’s) and scheduling access, to agreeing costs, completing the works and providing transparent billing. We respond to emergency maintenance within 4 hours, normal services within 24 hours and minor/non-urgent issues in 2-4 days.

Let ARPM maintain excellent maintenance in your managed properties, leaving you free to pursue other, more important jobs.

By Simon Duce, Managing Director, ARPM.

ARPM

ARPM

Simon Duce is the Founder and Managing Director of ARPM Outsourced Lettings Support - a business designed to help small and start-up letting agents/property managers offer a full suite of property management and tenancy administration services through outsourcing.

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