Pays to walk through (by Hoosier [IN]) May 21, 2019 7:28 PM|
Pays to walk through (by Johnny B. [MA]) May 21, 2019 7:32 PM
Pays to walk through (by Jeff [CO]) May 21, 2019 7:55 PM
Pays to walk through (by Ned [AL]) May 21, 2019 7:59 PM
Pays to walk through (by fred [CA]) May 21, 2019 8:09 PM
Pays to walk through (by Busy [WI]) May 21, 2019 8:10 PM
Pays to walk through (by Hoosier [IN]) May 21, 2019 8:15 PM
Pays to walk through (by S i d [MO]) May 21, 2019 9:22 PM
Pays to walk through (by Vee [OH]) May 22, 2019 10:34 AM
Pays to walk through (by CX [WA]) May 22, 2019 4:38 PM
Pays to walk through (by JKJ [MA]) May 22, 2019 5:37 PM
Pays to walk through (by Ponari [TX]) May 22, 2019 9:09 PM
Pays to walk through (by Robin [WI]) May 22, 2019 10:20 PM
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Pays to walk through (by Hoosier [IN]) Posted on: May 21, 2019 7:28 PM
About every 6-8 weeks, I "service" our units. I do this personally. What do I do at the "service"? Well, it depends. I always change furnace filters. But I also do other things based on the season. This time, due to the season change, I inspected AC unit operation, changed the furnace filter, and cleaned gutters on a couple units.
Other times I might "clean" the water heater by draining the crystalline lime flakes out of the bottom....by emptying maybe a quart of water.
Other times I might inspect the roofs (I'm a retired home inspector) or just walk around looking for siding issues.
I do all units on the same day. I start by sending out an email about 3-4 days in advance. A couple of our tenants have "mean" dogs that have to be locked in a room or put outside before I can come in...so this allows them to arrange this. I give a time window, such as "Our Property Manager will be at your house sometime between 9 AM and 2 PM to perform general maintenance. If you have restrictions within this time period, please contact him at xxx-xxx-xxxx to arrange a specific time slot."
I then load up what tools and parts I need, and I go. Yesterday I was doing a general plumbing walk-through, so I operated all faucets and toilets. At one unit, I found a toilet that was dripping continually after flushing. I asked the tenant about this and they said "yes, we actually noticed that noise about a month ago but didn't think much of it until we got our water bill and it was quite high." I diagnosed the issue as a worn flapper valve. I told them I'd have to get the parts...so I did that last night and returned today to fix it...took about 45 minutes. This prevented an "unscheduled service call" at a later date.
There are two main reasons I do these "service" routines.
1) I'm able to catch many issues early and fix or address them before the tenant gets upset or wants something done on Christmas Day at 4 AM.
2) It allows me to get a general sense of the property condition, so I can make comments like "I noticed you have a gas grill in the back...but it's too close to the vinyl siding and may melt/warp it...I recommend you move it at least 6' from the siding and I'll send you an email tonight with this info so that you are reminded." I can also smell/see if there is anything like unapproved animals, marijuana smell, and so on.
Do you do anything similar and has it worked well for you? I have found this to be tremendously helpful to me. It only takes me about 3 hours to get around to all our properties if all goes smoothly. If I had 30 properties it might be a different story.
Pays to walk through (by Johnny B. [MA]) Posted on: May 21, 2019 7:32 PM
I do something similar but not every 6 - 8 weeks. That frequency seems somewhat intrusive. --24.147.xx.xxx
Pays to walk through (by Jeff [CO]) Posted on: May 21, 2019 7:55 PM
Wow. You have very tolerant tenants. --76.120.xx.xx
Pays to walk through (by Ned [AL]) Posted on: May 21, 2019 7:59 PM
It's my goal to do this... but twice per year. --70.92.xx.xx
Pays to walk through (by fred [CA]) Posted on: May 21, 2019 8:09 PM
You have 100%the right approach, after all, these are YOUR properties.
I rely a little bit more on the tenants to report problems, particularly water problems, which I fix without delays.
I think too frequent inspections may be interpreted as intrusive.
Pays to walk through (by Busy [WI]) Posted on: May 21, 2019 8:10 PM
Last year I 'fell off the wagon' on this, and ended up with a sink cabinet getting a bit of water damage from a mis-aligned drain pipe. This year, I am doing better, and caught a leak under the kitchen sink quickly. Just had to tighten it up. No under sink damage, other than a damp box that stored the cleaning supplies.
I aim to get in that often in winter to change furnace filters, though don't always. I leave the box of furnace filters, and show tenants how, but they mention they prefer I do that. Summer, I have gone to mowing the lawns weekly, even though sfh. So, out side things get checked weekly in summer, but I try to be unobtrusive because that could be waaaay too much otherwise. Tenants do like the lawn mowing service.
The periodic inspection has been something I thought I would do so easily when I first started landlording. But, I am not a nosy person by nature, and found I do not like looking under other people's sinks, even though I own it! So, I have to make myself do this. Worth it though. --70.92.xxx.xxx
Pays to walk through (by Hoosier [IN]) Posted on: May 21, 2019 8:15 PM
I should note that as part of the application process I tell the tenants that we come into the property every 6-8 weeks for maintenance.....no one complains. I am respectful, on time, and give plenty of notice. --99.92.xxx.xxx
Pays to walk through (by S i d [MO]) Posted on: May 21, 2019 9:22 PM
After a tenant moves in, we visit about 2-3 weeks later.
If all is well, we go to tri-annual inspections. Start of Spring, Mid-Summer, Fall.
If all is not well, we give notices to correct and come back in 2 weeks. If it doesn't go well, we reschedule for 2 weeks later, at which point all issues must be fixed or we "fix" it for them and bill them according to the lease terms. --173.20.xxx.xxx
Pays to walk through (by Vee [OH]) Posted on: May 22, 2019 10:34 AM
This is one way to minimize moveout surprises that sink the deposit below see level, bill for damages as they are discovered, wallet training is the best way to reach a tenant who keeps busting stuff - bust the pocketbook... --76.188.xxx.xx
Pays to walk through (by CX [WA]) Posted on: May 22, 2019 4:38 PM
We can all agree with the philosophy that the sooner we can "train" our tenants to adopt habits that conform to our best interests (and hopefully, our leases) the better.
Hoosier, your method has at least two good benefits:
1. Frequent inspections allow you to spot and repair problems before they grow worse, even if the tenant didn't notice or think it was important.
2. Ability to catch potential tenant-caused problems and train them early on the proper actions (like where you noticed the grill was too close to the vinyl sidinig).
In my experience, tenants are much more responsive and apt to conform to your wishes if you catch them early and stand firm. If too much time goes by, they are more likely to resist as it starts to look like passive-agressive behavior on your part. --71.212.xxx.xxx
Pays to walk through (by JKJ [MA]) Posted on: May 22, 2019 5:37 PM
I do quarterly inspections, roughly the start of each season --174.192.x.xx
Pays to walk through (by Ponari [TX]) Posted on: May 22, 2019 9:09 PM
We also go in every quarter. I send an email or text 2 weeks out with an approximate time for the Saturday morning. They donít need to be home. The new tenants always comment on how nice it is to have great landlords. --47.188.xx.xx
Pays to walk through (by Robin [WI]) Posted on: May 22, 2019 10:20 PM
Yes, yes, yes! Often residents don't notice issues like drip edge blown off, or don't want to "bother" you about little issues like the toilet leaking poopy water into the basement. I can't tell you how often we've caught small issues that could have become big, expensive ones.
I'd like to go by quarterly, but life often gets in the way so it's more like 3x/yr. That's often enough to stay on top of maintenance issues but not bug the tenant. --204.210.xxx.xxx
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