Tampa Property Management Tip #7 - Do an Inspection During Every Work Order
Owners of the rental properties we manage are always concerned about our company inspecting their houses to make sure everything is okay and ensuring the tenants are not trashing it. By tackling this concern head on, we convince more new owners to choose us as their Tampa property management company. Not to mention, this helps us retain existing clients.
We established a process of checking a rental during a work order. Our maintenance technicians are trained to inspect the entire house to ensure the tenants are keeping the house reasonably clean and in good working order. They also check for any pets not on the lease and verify AC filters are being changed. We find unauthorized pets each and every month and charge pet fees or have the pet removed. Tenants are notorious for sneaking in pets. There is also a $20 charge for changing a dirty AC Filter.This inspection requirement must be put into a system with checks and balances, or the maintenance technicians will eventually quit checking. Our solution is putting check boxes on their work order log as a reminder. Once in awhile, we will insist that the maintenance technicians call in after completing every work order and confirm the inspection. We might do this for an entire week to reinforce the habit and importance. I am also thinking of doing some sort of incentive, but I haven’t quite figured out the right one. We might do a small cash bonus every time an unauthorized pet is found or a dirty AC filter is discovered and changed.This inspection system may seem a bit trivial when compared to the serious problems that show up everyday as a property manager. However, these simple checks will head off some major problems and repair issues. For example, we found numerous tenants with a Rottweiler, Pit Bull, or Bull Mastiff that were obviously in violation of the lease. We immediately go into action and insist the dog is removed within 7 days, or we file for eviction. These types of dogs can be very aggressive and are a huge liability to the landlord. If our maintenance personnel were not trained to look out for these dogs, a small child or family friend could get mauled by the dog, leaving the property owner liable.
The AC filter must also be changed on a regular basis or it burns out the motor in the air handler or reduces the life expectancy of the unit by over 50%. This could easily cost the owner over $1000 to replace the unit.
As the old saying goes, "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure," for any Tampa property management company.