Should Residents Be Allowed to Do Their Own Maintenance?
As an investment property owner, you’ve probably had at least a minor maintenance issue or two at your property.
And once your resident notified you of this minor issue, chances are that you were met with the statement:
“I don’t want to wait for a vendor to come out. Can’t I just repair this myself?”
Well, that depends.
Essentially, the blanket answer is no, but there are exceptions to every rule.
Professional Maintenance of Your Property
When it comes to the maintenance of your property, you want to ensure that you’re utilizing skilled professionals that know what they’re doing.
If you allow your resident to perform repairs at the property, a couple of less-than-desirable outcomes could occur:
- They don’t do the repair correctly, causing you additional maintenance and additional expense
- The resident can damage your property if repairs are done improperly
- The resident gets hurt while performing maintenance, which causes a liability to you as an owner
But when using a professional, you have the peace of mind that they can perform skilled work because they’ve been trained in it.
The cost is a little higher up front, but will ultimately save you money in the long run.
Licensed & Insured Vendors
An important item to note is that you want to ensure that the vendors you work with have appropriate insurance and licensing in their field.
If the vendor you hire does something wrong, damages property, gets hurt, etc. their insurance will cover it.
With hiring properly licensed & insured vendors, your liability is greatly reduced in a number of ways.
Examples of Maintenance that Residents Should NOT Do:
- Any major mechanical repairs involving:
- Roof repairs
- Flooring/carpet installation
- Siding or window repairs
- Gutter clean out
- Lawn maintenance and snow removal when there are multiple units at a property
This isn’t an exhaustive list of everything that residents shouldn’t do maintenance-wise.
However, it does serve as a brief summary of some of the most important items that you don’t want to risk a resident handling themselves.
Examples of Maintenance that Residents Can/Should Do:
- Small routine maintenance that would be expected when living in a home
- Change out a furnace filter
- Water filter
- Changing light bulbs
- Lawn maintenance for a single-family home
- Cutting grass, trimming trees, shrubs, etc.
- Snow removal for a single-family home
At times, an item may need to be purchased to aid in small routine maintenance, like a dehumidifier or space heater.
You can allow the resident to purchase the item, provide you a receipt, and you can reimburse them if there is a need for that specific item (that doesn’t require professional installation).
Any good lease (like ours) covers these topics and puts the responsibility on the resident for these routine service items.
It’s in your best interest to hire professionals to handle most major maintenance items/repairs at your property.
Professionals are best when considering liability concerns, properly done maintenance, and long-term care of your property.
After all, your property is a big asset that you want to protect.
But, with that being said, there are always a few minor things that the resident should be responsible for outlined above.
The list does not include anything major, but just what would be regularly expected of someone occupying a home.
If you’d like to discuss any of this, please contact us about your specific situation. We’d be happy to walk through your situation and property needs with you!
What to Do When an Evicted Resident Leaves Belongings Behind
Evictions: Unfortunate, But Sometimes Unavoidable
As you may know, evictions are an occasional obstacle that we deal with in property management.
Maybe you’ve dealt with an eviction before as an owner, and maybe you haven’t.
If you haven’t had any experience with evictions, check out our blog post on the timeline of an eviction.
In that post, we detail out the course of the whole eviction process.
But, whether you’ve had to evict a resident before or not, you may have asked yourself the question:
“What do I do if the resident I evicted leaves their belongings behind in my property?”
While each eviction case is unique, we’ll try to break this part of the process down into the simplest terms.
What to Do if the Evicted Resident DOES Contact You
Chances are, the evicted resident will want at least some of their belongings back.
If that’s the case, the resident has 10 days to contact you and let you know that they’d like to retrieve their belongings.
If they do contact you, you must arrange for them to have access to gather their personal property within 30 days.
Note: This 30 day period begins the day of the eviction.
Once you’ve confirmed that they’ve retrieved everything they want, you’re legally allowed to do what you see fit with the the items that they leave behind.
What to Do if the Evicted Resident Does NOT Contact You
If the evicted resident fails to contact you within the initial 10 days, they forfeit their right to retrieve their belongings.
After the 10 day period of no contact, you are allowed to do what you see fit with the items they left behind.
However, to be on the safe side, we recommend you hold onto their items for the full 30 day period.
In Simplest Terms:
Eviction occurs → Resident has 10 days to contact you
If you are contacted → Resident has 30 days to get their belongings
If you are not contacted → After 10 days, you can handle their belongings how you see fit
All in All…
While evictions are not a “fun” part of owning a rental property, they do come with the territory.
The good news is that we can help!
We’ve gained expertise in all aspects of property management, including evictions, over the past 40+ years that we’ve been in business.
Contact us today for a free consultation to discuss your unique situation!
Disclaimer: We are not attorneys, and this is not to be considered legal advice. We encourage you to contact your attorney for guidance on your particular situation. This article is meant to provide a general rule or procedure on how this process works.
This is the process as we understand it in Pennsylvania and may not pertain to other states or specific cities within Pennsylvania. We always encourage a consultation with a local attorney who knows and understands Landlord Tenant Law for specific locations.
Stoneboro, PA – Arbors Management continues to expand their reach by adding Lakeview Manor in Stoneboro, PA to their portfolio. Effective June 1st, Arbors will become the new management agent of the 50-unit senior building near their new office in Grove City and other Arbors-managed properties, such as Evergreen Arbors in Franklin and Towne Towers in Oil City.
Lakeview Manor is an affordable independent senior living facility that offers a wonderful community of residents and has been a staple of the community for 36 years since its construction in 1987. Located near Lake Wilhelm, Goddard State Park, the Stoneboro Fairgrounds, Grove City Outlet Mall, and Conneaut Lake, residents have plenty to do just minutes from the property.
Since 1982, Arbors Management, Inc. has built a portfolio of over 4,000 residential units with a large majority in the affordable housing segment across Western PA and West Virginia, and it continues to grow each year. The team at Arbors Management is thrilled to begin building a lasting relationship with the residents of Lakeview Manor.
If you’d like to learn more about how Arbors can help you manage your property, please contact us.
Read the original article online on the Pittsburgh Business Times here.
Arbors Real Estate (ARE) team from left to right: Nicholas Griffith, Vice President – Christopher Wagner, President – Eric Miles, Secretary/Treasurer
Pittsburgh, PA – With over 40 years of experience in managing, owning, and operating investment properties in Western Pennsylvania and West Virginia, Arbors Management is announcing their expansion into the real estate sales market with the launch of Arbors Real Estate (ARE). Arbors Real Estate will focus on both sellers and buyers of investment properties with the goal of providing sound guidance every step of the way for their clients.
“I am extremely excited to get Arbors Real Estate off the ground,” says Nick Griffith, Vice President of ARE and Director of Scattered Site Housing at Arbors Management. “Previously, we’ve strictly been focused on property management and over the last 5 years we’ve noticed a real need in the industry for a ‘one stop shop’ where an investor can purchase a rental property, potentially renovate it, rent it out, manage it, and cash flow. That’s where our expertise comes in. Investors’ needs are different from owner occupants and we get that.“
The team at ARE will be keeping up-to-date with current market trends and opportunities while providing responsive and professional support, expertise, and all the tools needed to allow investors to make well-informed decisions and to get the best possible return on their investment. Arbors Management has seen ample growth this past year in management and is thrilled to serve current and future clients through the formation of Arbors Real Estate.
If you are looking to sell or buy an investment property, contact us at Arbors Real Estate today!
Grove City, PA – Arbors Management, Inc. is excited to announce their partnership with Bevan Properties and growth into a new territory: Grove City, PA. With this partnership, Arbors Management, Inc. will have become the management agent of over 200 Bevan Properties units in Grove City beginning February 16th, 2023.
Bevan Properties is a well-known, reputable housing provider in the Grove City area; Arbors Management looks forward to continuing Bevan’s work in providing the utmost quality of management services, customer service, and care for their current and future residents.
If you’re in the Grove City area in need of a trusted property management company, contact us today.
Read the original article online on The Pittsburgh Business Times here.