How to Manage Tenants When Your Property Needs Repairs

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Last week was a doozy for me when it came to my rental properties. We had a horrible rainstorm one day and I got a call from a tenant about leaks in the roof and the windows.

After that, I got a call that a tenant had moved out early and left the place a mess. And then I got a call that a tenant had accidentally driven his car into the house. (Believe it or not, this is the second time I’ve had a tenant drive a car into one of my houses.)

Now, when you own a ton of properties you’re obviously going to have repairs and problems come up. Several years ago, I would have been really upset when all this happened in the same week, but now it’s like water off a ducks back. It’s all part of the business.

With the house that leaks, I have my handyman taking care of it.

With the house that got driven into, his insurance is taking care of it. And with the messy house I’ve got plenty of money security deposit wise and I’ve already got a couple interested in it.

So even though this wasn’t the point of this article, when you’re in this business after awhile you won’t let things like this bother you and you’ll realize it’s the cost of doing business.

Now, my point of the article is how I handle repairs on my properties. You see, when a tenant calls and says the washer is broken, or the toilet is clogged, a lot of landlords rush over there to do it themselves, or they rush over there to meet the plumber when he is at the property.

I do neither of these things.

If there is a repair needed at one of my properties, my handyman calls my tenant and my tenant and handyman schedule a time to meet. My time is far too valuable to be running around waiting for repairmen, or letting my handyman into a house to fix a sink.

If you’re thinking that your tenants would never do this, you are wrong. You’re the boss and you establish the rules. When a tenant first moves into a property of mine, I go over all the rules, which include that if there are any repairs or problems, they will schedule with my handyman and it is there responsibility to set up a time to meet with them.

If they don’t like it, then they’re not going to be my tenant, but I’ve never had anyone object to it.

So if you’re a landlord, or planning to be one, have a backbone and remember that you’re in charge. Make your life as easy as possible when it comes to managing your properties so you’re not driving around from house to house and losing your sanity.

Photo: mjmonty

About Author

Jason R. Hanson is the founder of National Real Estate Investor Month and the author of “How to Build a Real Estate Empire”. Jason specializes in purchasing properties “subject-to” and has purchased millions of dollars worth of property using none of his own cash or credit.


  1. Absolutely right!

    I did not start investing in real estate to create a job for myself. I’m not interested in adding more to my plate by running around fixing toilet leaks.

    Instead, I found a VERY reliable handyman who takes take of everything for me. That frees my time up for far more important things – like finding and buying properties!

  2. I have to agree. Your tenants will object to this unless you really sell it with confidence. As long as you trust your handyman, this is the absolute best way to handle maintenance issues. If you have more than a couple properties, you can spend nearly all your time running around to your properties.

  3. I have a few investor clients that are contractors and would say they may be the uncommon exception to your advice; as they don’t mind orchestrating the repair jobs.

    Otherwise, a good repair professional will save you a lot of time and stress in such mundane matters.

  4. My tenant just before she moved out of the house, drove her car into the house and caused a lot damages. She called at the middle of the night lamenting over the incident pleading that it was an accident. I instructed her to call the police and report the incident. She indicated that the car was her mom’s and that she contacted her mom and she indicated that there was no insurance on the car. I waited for her patiently to repair the damages and but she is not responding to my text messages and phone calls any longer. She used her grandma address on the police report. I have repaired the damages out of my pocket for fear that intruders might cause additional damages or steal the appliances. In the police report, it was indicated that license plate is from Virginia, however the picture I personally took of the car has a Tennessee plate with the same number as indicated on report. It is already one month since the accident and two weeks since she moved out of the house. She left the house in a horrible condition with some of her very old and dirty furniture. All appliances, refrigerator, dishwasher and range is a very filthy condition. She remembered to turn off all utilities, water and electric. This is the first time something like has happened to me and I would like some advice on what to do in such circumstance. What do I do to recover the cost of damages, including unpaid rents? Thank you.

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