Tenant vs landlord maintenance

3 Replies

I'm having trouble communicating to the tenant when to call me for an issue. Lately it seems I get a call for small issues they can easily handle and I run over to fix it. How do I get them to resolve easy things and not call me every time they hear a creek or odd noise? I do want to know when there’s an issue and be kept in the loop.


It's been our experience that tenants who have lived in apartment buildings before are used to calling for everything, even changing a light bulb. I explain that they are responsible for light bulbs and small stuff, like the occasional ant spray issue (I usually leave a can of ant spray at the property), and I tell them that we do inspect the property, will give notice as in the lease, and that they can leave a list (one tenant leaves post-it notes all around the unit) if they see any minor fixes they'd like taken care of while we're there, which eliminates most of the stupid-trip calls throughout the year.

It can be tough to get through to a tenant not to call when something tiny is going on at the house, such as a light bulb. I'm under the belief that it all starts upon your first showing with the tenant, or the day you sign the lease. I know I need to be a bit more intimidating to call as well. Intimidating isn't the right word, but close enough. You might consider reading "Landlording on Autopilot" by Mike Butler. It is a great book, and there's a lot of info in the book about "training" your tenants.

I wouldn't say the calls are to change a light bulb but somewhat more pressing like “I can see light thru an interior door at the top” or a hear a faint scratch in the wall by the attic, doorbell sticks, garage door is erratic. Does anyone charge tenants for these type of calls/trips?

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