There are a few easy steps to follow for successful maintenance on your San Diego investment property.
Get clarification on the issue. Usually a tenant will tell us the heater isn’t working or the fridge isn’t working. Sending a vendor out with only that information will sometimes result in a simple fix like a breaker not being on or batteries needing to be replaced in a thermostat. So get clarification and details.
Ask for a photo or a video. In this day and age, we forget that we can FaceTime our tenants or ask them to send you a photo. Instead of running over to the property, ask your tenants to send you a picture of what’s wrong. They will be willing to do it if it gets their problem resolved.
If it’s a possible tenant charge, warn them up front. For example, if they report an electrical issue, ask them to walk through and check all the breakers. They might not be willing to do that unless they know they will have to pay if it does turn out to be a breaker issue.
Get all requests in writing. Ask them to email them in, or follow up their phone call with an email. If you cannot get the request in writing, keep careful notes about what was said in each conversation.
Provide your tenants with the contact information for the vendor, and give the vendor the contact information for your tenants. Email them both and let them know that the tenants will hear from the vendor within 24 hours to schedule, and if the tenants don’t hear from that vendor, they should go ahead and reach out. That way, you can let them organize the scheduling of the maintenance work and you can avoid issues where tenants complain they never heard from the vendor.
Use only licensed and insured contractors. Ask for before and after photos. They shouldn’t have a problem showing you what they did if they’re willing to stand by their work.
Follow up with your tenants and ask them how the job went and how the experience was. This will do a lot to maintain the relationship you have with your tenants.