Property Manager OnlineProperty management maintenance is so important for owners as well as renters and most of the time neither is completely happy. Renters never feel that the maintenance that is done on their building that they live in is fast enough and it is never good enough. Owners feel that the maintenance costs too much, that renters are damaging their property and just do not care enough to take good care of the building they live in.  It is a fine line and at the end of the day, there must be enough money to pay for everything and still make a profit for the owner without totally gauging the tenant.

Caught in between is the property manager who must work to find a balance between both parties without spending more money than what they need to. Sometimes he or she will assess the tenant for obvious damages, sometimes they will delay minor repairs to group several together and save money by only having one service call. And sometimes they will delay major maintenance by using temporary measures simply because there is not enough money to cover everything when it is needed. But the property manager ultimately works for the owner and is the owners representative on the property. It is the property managers responsibility to implement the policies and guidelines of the owners at all times using their best judgement in many different situations.

Making matters worse is the government which regulates how quickly you can raise rental rates to pay for increasing taxes, interest rates and property management maintenance which goes up almost every year. Building a budget that factors in these increases and the rent increases sometimes will help property managers and the owners keep a building looking great for many years. In fact budgeting for repairs and building up a fund to handle emergencies and major repairs is just sound business practice.

Property Management Maintenance – Budgeting

Rental properties are some of the most difficult buildings to manage from a maintenance perspective for many of the reasons mentioned above. In addiction, for rental buildings there usually must be two separate and distinct budgets.

One budget must be set up to manage and pay for all tenant related expenses associated with the units that are being rented.  This would include any repainting, carpet cleaning and repairs after a tenant moves out. If the repairs are normal wear and tear, then the owner must absorb these costs out of the general revenue for the property. Appliances only last so long and carpets need to be replaced every so many years. Damages must be repaired for and paid, prior to collecting anything from the tenant. This all must be accounted for and included in a budget so that there is money available to cover these expenses. If damages are being assessed against a tenant, the owner must make the repairs and pay for them prior to collecting from the tenant.

The second budget that must be set up is for the building itself. This would include all common expenses and may include cleaning, window washing, common lighting, snow removal, garbage removal, repairs to the roof or windows and so on. Some of these expenses are operational in nature in that they occur on a regular basis weekly or monthly, while others should be accounted for over a longer term. A roof replacement is a good example and ideally money should be set aside every year to handle all major repairs such as this. In some locations, budgeting for these expenses is in fact part of the bylaws of the building particularly if the building is a condo and all expenses are shared by multiple owners.

There is a lot of responsibility for property managers. They are accountable for everything that goes on at the building they are managing. Hiring an excellent property manager who has experience and a good relationship with all parties will make a huge difference with everyone.

For a lot more posts about property management topics, click here.