Today we’re going to talk about how a San Diego property management company should handle maintenance. This is the first part in a two-part maintenance series, and in this piece, we will focus on two things; the primary goals of performing maintenance on a property, and how property managers can limit the property owner’s liability when it comes to maintenance.
Goals of Performing Maintenance
There are three primary goals that a property manager should keep in mind when performing maintenance on a rental property:
1.Protecting the integrity of the property
3.Preventing further property damage
Preventative maintenance is important so that small problems do not become large problems. For example, fixing small leaks in a timely manner will keep your condo from flooding and then sending the water into units next to or below you.
Limiting the Property Owner’s Liability
Most property managers hire in-house maintenance personnel or outside vendors. When you use vendors, there is a different protocol that should be followed. A good property management company will require certificates of insurance or general liability insurance any time a vendor is used to perform maintenance services on the property. A property manager should also ask for a certificate of workers compensation insurance too. Not only does this limit the liability of the property owner, it also keeps you complaint with the law, as workers compensation insurance is legally required by any vendors working on your property.
Property managers should ask the vendors they hire to provide a federal taxpayer ID number. This is necessary so the property management company can issue a 1099 to the vendors at the end of the year. Also, a contract should be in place that denotes the procedures of how and when maintenance will be performed. This contract should be detailed and include different issues that could arise while maintenance is being performed on site. For example, you should address the facilities and equipment that will be used, regulate whether music is played on the property while work is being performed, specify the hours that work can and should be done and talk about how to conduct maintenance while the property is occupied.
Finally, property managers must make sure that the vendors they use for maintenance are licensed. Do not take the contractor’s word for it; ask for a copy of the state contractor’s license. All of these details will ensure that maintenance is completed professionally and properly, and with little liability to the property owner.