The FAAR Property Management Network recently met for a roundtable discussion about maintenance issues and how to best set your business and your clients up for success. The session was facilitated by Dawn Josemans and Ashley Howard with Coldwell Banker Elite Property Management. They provided the actual code section from the Virginia Landlord Tenant Act that clearly spells out what is required of the landlord and the tenant. The homes must have the basics like heat, water, electricity, and functional plumbing, all stuff that is pretty much common sense. What the law does not say and what people usually get hung up on is how quickly repairs need to take place when a critical item in the home breaks.
Heat has been an issue this year with such cold temperatures and many property managers stated that they provide auxiliary heating units for properties while repairs are being done. Some property managers mentioned that local HVAC companies provide auxiliary heating units as part of their service. One company owns space heaters and provides them when repairs are being done on heating units. It was suggested that adding a waiver explaining correct usage of a space heater would be helpful with any potential liability issues. Providing space heaters alleviate the liability of the tenant finding their own heat source such as the oven, kerosene heaters, etc.
One way to set your clients and the tenant up for success is to list lease requirements in MRIS so prospective tenants know what is allowed and not allowed before they even view the home. The recommendation was also made to take photos of the entire property before a tenant moves in so that you have a record of property condition to compare to when conducting a move-out inspection.
The next meeting of the FAAR Property Management Network is set for Wednesday, March 28 at 9:00am in the FAAR Academy Classroom. The session will focus on Going to Court: how to prepare, present, and win.