An after-hours call from a tenant is rarely a good thing. If your phone rings after dark, there’s probably a rental property maintenance problem.
So, when that call comes, what should you expect? Are you prepared? Here are the most common maintenance problems you’ll encounter as a landlord and what to do when they happen.
1. Plumbing leaks
Plumbing is the number one maintenance problem in the Dallas area. With water problems, your response is always the same. First, turn off the water. Then, call a professional that can get there quickly. You’ll avoid major water damage on floors and cabinets if you can stop the water flow until they fix the issue.
2. Drain clogs
A clogged drain can be a simple fix. So, first try Draino or another liquid de-clogger. If that doesn’t work, you can either call a plumber or use a toilet auger to clear the drain — but be careful. Older pipes won’t be as easy to deal with. You can bust through the toilet or the wall if you do it wrong and create a much bigger problem.
3. Toilet Repairs
A running toilet can spike your water bill if you don’t catch it early. So, if you hear running water coming from your toilet, call someone to replace the insides (or YouTube it!).
If it’s leaking or you notice discoloration around the base, call someone ASAP. A leaky toilet will quickly ruin your flooring and sub-flooring.
4. HVAC Repairs
An AC unit that won’t cool during a Texas summer is nothing short of an emergency. If your HVAC system starts acting up, call a professional immediately. Usually, they can come check on your unit within the day and troubleshoot the problem.
Also, consider enrolling in a maintenance plan with an HVAC company so they service your unit regularly. Then, you’ll hopefully avoid a costly surprise when things go wrong.
5. Sprinkler Repairs
A busted sprinkler is another problem that multiplies your water bill. So, turn off the water to the sprinklers until you can fix it. Then, either replace the sprinkler head yourself or call someone to do it for you.
6. Garage Door Repairs
A malfunctioning garage door can be frustrating to say the least. You want to predictably pull your car into the garage when you get home, especially in bad weather. So, if your garage door starts acting up, call an electrician or handyman to troubleshoot the issue.
7. Fence Repairs
A broken fence may not be urgent, but it’s a relatively easy problem to solve. If you have a wooden fence, consider replacing a board yourself. Otherwise, call a local fence company or a handyman to get your fence back to normal.
8. Kitchen Appliance Repairs
If you have an appliance go out, start with your warranty. If it’s not covered, look for an appliance repair company that deals with your specific appliance.
9. Hot Water Heater
No one wants a cold shower, including your tenants. If your hot water heater stops working, call a plumber to work on the problem. They’re used to people wanting immediate repairs so someone should be able to come within the day.
When you purchase blinds for your rental property, keep record of what you bought and where you bought it. Then, if the blinds get stuck or break off, just replace them with a similar set.
11. Sliding Closet Doors
Doors on tracks get stuck all the time. When this happens, check out the problem and see if it’s something a little WD-40 can fix. If the problem’s not obvious, call a handyman to get it working again.
The Fix-All Solution
There’s one sure way to solve all of these problems — choose a property management group to take care of them for you. Then, they’ll receive the call and they can solve the problem. A trusted property manager knows when to call a professional and how to get your property back in operable condition ASAP.
This way, both your tenants and your investment are protected. And you avoid the stress completely.