Property manager expectations

16 Replies

Hello, I am on my 5th month owing my first rental property in Texas City, Texas. We had a situation where an electrician has to run a dedicated circuit for a space heater due to the space heater blowing the fuse repeatedly due to it being on a shared circuit. Per my last discussion with the property manager the electrician was supposed to come take care of it today. The problem was reported 3 days ago. I sent a text to the property manager to follow up to see how the repair is going but no response. Am I being too much by asking about how repairs are going and also asking for pictures? Is it not standard process to get an update and status on repairs and to let the owner know when repair has been completed? I am new so I just don’t want to do things that may annoy the property manager. Maybe I’m asking too much. What is everyone else’s experience? Thank you.

I self manage my properties... so take this with a grain of salt. I believe you are not being too demanding by any means. Most likely the property management company has a few hundred (or thousands) of other properties they are managing so the person who has just 1 property with them is just not high up on their priority list. 

I think asking for updates and pictures are just fine. You are paying them 10% a month (guessing) to be responsive and take care of your property. If it is a local property then I would just drive out there yourself and see if it is done or not. 

Nope, not asking too much at all. If they aren't responding because they're busy managing so many properties, then they've over extended themselves. That's their problem, not yours. You've given them a reasonable amount of time to address the issue and provide an update. 

Why are they running a new circuit for a space heater? We ban those from our rentals. They're fire starters. 

@Ben M. well today is not over its only 2pm in Texas.  If by the end of the day you do not hear reach back out. Yes you should ( we do ) provide photos /videos of all repairs.  Also keep in mind, many times tenants are not cooperative in gaining access. 

PS why a space heater ? Why is the heating system not sufficient ?

Originally posted by @Peter T. :

Why are they running a new circuit for a space heater? We ban those from our rentals. They're fire starters. 


Hi Peter, the property is from 1969 and does not have a central heating system. I believe you mean the space heater itself is the fire starter is that right and not the new circuit? Thank you


Originally posted by @Bob Prisco :

@Ben M. well today is not over its only 2pm in Texas.  If by the end of the day you do not hear reach back out. Yes you should ( we do ) provide photos /videos of all repairs.  Also keep in mind, many times tenants are not cooperative in gaining access. 

PS why a space heater ? Why is the heating system not sufficient ?

Hi Bob, good point. I did not hear back until the next day. I just thought I should get an update the same day. 

Good point about tenants being cooperative. It's a duplex and he did have to coordinate with both tenants.

Space heater because there is no central heating system. It's a house from 1969.

Thank you.

 

I also wonder what the agreed-upon method of communication is between you and the PM. You may get a better response with a phone call or an email. Most likely the PM didn't go out to the units themselves and is relying on the electrician to communicate that the job is done. Scheduling repairs with contractors and with tenants is challenging. I would expect a response within 24 hours if it is not an emergency issue. 

@Ben M. thats odd, every property we are involved with is from 1910- 1950, all have furnace hot air.  PM cos get busy sometimes cant get back to owners the same day, I know we do not all the time. However the owner should not even be involved, PM informs you of the issues collects a deposit does the repair then contacts you again when done. Tenant should never contact you, heck they should not even know who you are . 

Good Luck 

Originally posted by @Bob Prisco :

@Ben M. thats odd, every property we are involved with is from 1910- 1950, all have furnace hot air.  PM cos get busy sometimes cant get back to owners the same day, I know we do not all the time. However the owner should not even be involved, PM informs you of the issues collects a deposit does the repair then contacts you again when done. Tenant should never contact you, heck they should not even know who you are . 

Good Luck 

Bob, I will have to ask about the heater. 

There are a lot of unknowns here.

First, space heaters are not a good option for regularly heating a home so you should be investigating different options that are permanent and safe.

Second, we don't know if you are in a small town or a big city. In my area, it can sometimes take a week or so to get an electrician. If it's hunting season, it may take 2+ weeks. Maybe your PM is having a difficult time finding an electrician or maybe they're having a hard time coordinating access with the tenant.

Third, your manager is there to protect your asset, your income, and your time. They are not there for you to babysit and micro-manage. When I get permission from an owner to do work, I do it and don't expect the owner to call me daily for updates. It's not that important, nobody will die if it takes a few more days, there are no major decisions to be made that require your input. When the work is done, there is no need for you to see pictures of the new breaker or how the space heater is set up in the room. That's wasteful nonsense. You gave permission, the PM does the job, you see evidence the job was done when the charge is reflected on your monthly statement along with a copy of the invoice showing the work that was done.

You need to schedule a quick call with your PM to learn when they should communicate and how they will communicate regarding maintenance. Figure out the boundaries and then respect them.

Originally posted by @Ben M. :

What would be some options for heating that’s safer and hopefully not too costly?

Have an electrician install a permanent, electric baseboard heater in the room. 

 

Originally posted by @Nicole Heasley :

Nope, not asking too much at all. If they aren't responding because they're busy managing so many properties, then they've over extended themselves. That's their problem, not yours. You've given them a reasonable amount of time to address the issue and provide an update. 

 Im going to respectfully disagree with you. I manage hundreds of units, when it comes to electrical upgrades there are few electricians I trust. I would prefer to wait on a great contractor as apposed to the guy sitting at home waiting for his phone to ring. 

To the OP, I am a property manager and have owners text me. I am old fashioned and prefer to pick up the phone and have a conversation. I would try that. If the agent doesn't respond go to their broker and express your concern. In property management, communication is the most crucial part

@Kevin Nickerson I don't think we're in disagreement at all. There's nothing stopping the PM from picking up the phone and calling the LL to let them know that the PM is waiting on the electrician. It's not necessarily about knowing the work is complete; it's about knowing what's going on in the process. 

Originally posted by @Nicole Heasley :

@Kevin Nickerson I don't think we're in disagreement at all. There's nothing stopping the PM from picking up the phone and calling the LL to let them know that the PM is waiting on the electrician. It's not necessarily about knowing the work is complete; it's about knowing what's going on in the process. 

I completely agree, as a property manager I know the biggest complaint I hear regarding other managers is the lack of communication  

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