Top ten most common repairs

24 Replies

I'd love to know, from all landlords/property managers, what are your most common repairs from tenants, either because of day-to-day living, or due to neglect. And, if these are much different from the repairs you make in between tenants, please feel free to list those as well.

Thanks in advance

Great question. Not one I have thought off in exactly these terms. But generally:

Toilet tank float/flap

Blinds

Cabinets not closing/staying closed

Paint

Garbage Disposal (something stuck inside)

Clogged toilet

Broken Window

Screen door ripped off hinges

leaking trap under sink... Tenants shove anything and everything in the base cabinet because of lack of storage and too much junk.

I'm often amazed at how many people think disposers are indestructible. Spoons, plastic, chicken bones...

My biggest issue has been HVAC issues and a few plumbing issues at my office building.

I have a old vintage GE stove in one of my rentals. Went out a few months ago.. Repair man originally fixed it for $125. Then another wire burnt out, and a switch. All told I dropped $400 on that old stove. Kinda sickening, but I really like that ol stove lol...

It makes sense to remove what you can. Unfortunately for us, code compliance steps in and forces us to have disposers.

Originally posted by @Patrick Snyder :
It makes sense to remove what you can. Unfortunately for us, code compliance steps in and forces us to have disposers.

Patrick: are you saying there is a code in Lansing that requires that you install garbage disposals in rentals? Or for new construction only? Can I see that code? What dept. and who enforces it. I'm not doubting you but it sounds ridiculous. I'd really like to see what the code says and how it's enforced.

Door issues and door locks...and pest control issues

Toilet floats/flappers

Damaged doors

skylights are a nightmare

disposals

window screens are always missing or damaged. get good at fixing those...

Yes, disposers are code in Lansing, I believe only for rental properties though. It is ridiculous but we have no choice. If you want to read up on it, go to lansingmi.gov, head to the building dept., and you can find it there. it may take a bit of navigation...

1) Screens

2) Blinds

3) Furnaces

4) Plumbing in general

Jon Holdman, Flying Phoenix LLC

It varies for me, but here are generalities.

1. Plumbing issues related to leaky items, toilets, faucets, P traps, etc.

2. Backed up sewer or clog.

3. Lately we have had heavy early or late snows and so tree trimming removal of branches.

4. Replace or repair carpet/ or repaint areas.

5. Repair or replace appliances.

If you are saying what repairs are caused by tenants, that is entirely different.

Problems caused by tenants are generally clogged pipes/sewer, and screwing up floors and walls. They spill red koolaid on the carpet, or knock a hole in the drywall, or even putting holes in wall or scratching new floor by dragging the fridge over it.

Toilets, disposals, appliances

Between Tenants:

  • Blinds
  • Paint
  • Screens
  • Drywall Damage
  • Broken/Missing doors (especially on the closets)

During Tenancy:

  • Drain Line/Toilet clogs
  • Faucets (leaking, broken)
  • HVAC
  • Appliances

I don't supply garbage disposals. I also don't supply blinds anymore unless negotiated (and then we use the cheap $5 ones that apparently break when you touch them)

Our top 10 repairs, in no particular order:

1) Plumbing

2) Plumbing

3) Plumbing

4) Plumbing

5) Plumbing

6) Plumbing

7) Plumbing

8) Plumbing

9) Plumbing

10) Plumbing

My father (who's also a landlord) has always said that if it were up to him, tenants would just get a well and a bucket. I'm starting to think he's onto something.

Originally posted by @Kimberly T. :
My father (who's also a landlord) has always said that if it were up to him, tenants would just get a well and a bucket. I'm starting to think he's onto something.

A couple of weeks ago we had a tenant with a clogged toilet drain line, the second time in 3 months. My maintenance guy went buy and for the second time the line was full of baby wipes after he told them not to flush them the previous time. He spent about 15 minutes with it and the wipes were never ending so he informed the tenant that per their lease any tenant caused blockage is their responsibility so they would need to call a plumber (we always do the first one for free because it could have been from a preexisting issue).

He was by there 10 days later for something else and rather than calling a plumber they had elected to use a 5 gallon bucket in the bathroom. I felt bad because they have little kids and it was far from sanitary (and they're current on their rent) so I told him to go ahead and snake it out once more on my dime, hopefully they learned a lesson this time (probably not).

I hate drain lines. Half the time it's not even the tenants' fault but rather roots or collapsed/cracked lines (especially in cast iron).

@Patrick L. I would repair and then charge the tenant for any damages they cause, instead of leaving it up to the tenant to call a plumber. I would also keep a closer watch on those tenants and inspect no less than quarterly. Seems they are not likely to inform you of maintenance needs or damages as they occur, so you'll need to be more vigilant.

Marcia Maynard, Fischer Properties | Podcast Guest on Show #83

@Patrick Snyder Here are the top ten items I need to address when doing scheduled maintenance or after doing a unit inspection. Tenants don't always call when there is a need, so I try to be proactive. I try to identify needs before move-out, so I can address them early on. This allows me to fix a problem before it becomes worse and is good customer service. I can also bill the tenant immediately if they are at fault, instead of relying on tapping the security deposit at move out.

1. Reminding tenants about their responsibility to keep the unit clean and uncluttered (maintain clear egress and reduce fire hazards), OR praising them for keeping their unit clean and uncluttered.

2. Plumbing maintenance and/or repair.

3. HVAC maintenance and/or repair and electrical inspection.

4. Gutter/outside drainage maintenance and/or repair.

5. Pest control

6. Landscaping, walkways, parking areas maintenance and/or repair.

7. Doors, locks, weatherstripping.

8. Windows, screens, blinds, curtain rods.

9. Walls and woodwork and flooring. Watch for tenants making unauthorized alterations or causing damage to these items.

10. Fireplace/chimney cleaning and maintenance.

Marcia Maynard, Fischer Properties | Podcast Guest on Show #83

plumbing, I remember growing up and my parents rented the upstairs unit and it was plumbing then and it is plumbing now. Next it is heat.

Originally posted by @Patrick L. :
Between Tenants:
  • Blinds
  • Paint
  • Screens
  • Drywall Damage
  • Broken/Missing doors (especially on the closets)

During Tenancy:

  • Drain Line/Toilet clogs
  • Faucets (leaking, broken)
  • HVAC
  • Appliances

I don't supply garbage disposals. I also don't supply blinds anymore unless negotiated (and then we use the cheap $5 ones that apparently break when you touch them)

My list is pretty similar to Patrick's. I have to add some items though. For between tenants, carpet is either cleaned or replaced. During tenancy, seems light switches and ceiling fans get to a non-working condition. And in both cases, toilet flappers often need to be replaced. But that happens even where I live (yes, one flapper in my house where I live is giving hints of being in need of replacement very soon).

Plumbing has hands down been my biggest headache.

I feel like every trap under every sink i've ever owned has leaked and those dang on tub overflow drains always seem to leak too

My furnace has been down a few times also.

So, to summarize, it's plumbing?!

Thanks for all the replies. It's pretty clear that plumbing is the career choice for anyone who is not sure what they should do with their lives.

Thanks again