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Does Property Management Include Maintenance?

The concept of property management encompasses various aspects depending on individual perspectives.

For some, it entails the day-to-day responsibilities of maintaining a rental property to ensure maximum occupancy and consistent profitability. These tasks involve rent collection, advertising vacant units, applicant screening, lease preparation, eviction handling, bill payments, and more.

Does Property Management Include Maintenance?

In addition to these operational activities, property management may also include routine preventive maintenance and necessary repairs. Routine maintenance covers tasks such as lawn care, yard work, leaf removal, trash disposal, cleaning common areas, periodic inspections, and testing of safety equipment like smoke and CO2 detectors.

On the other hand, repairs are often prompted by tenant complaints related to plumbing leaks, malfunctioning appliances, and other issues. Larger multifamily properties may require attention to HVAC systems, insect infestations, swimming pool repairs, exterior lighting, or parking lot resurfacing.

The Intersection of Management and Maintenance

Many property management companies offer comprehensive services that encompass both daily management and routine maintenance of rental properties and long-term housing. In such cases, property managers often collaborate with external specialists for specialized repair services, especially during emergency situations like an air conditioning failure on a hot, humid summer night or flooding caused by a ruptured water pipe.

Property management companies usually have a network of maintenance experts they can rely on, often at a more favorable cost than what a landlord would pay individually. At Scottsdale Property Management (SPM), we prioritize fair pricing by not marking up vendor repairs. We ensure property owners receive high-quality repairs from reputable companies that stand behind their work, all at a competitive price.

Does Property Management Include Maintenance?

Choosing Your Approach to Property Management

As a rental property or long-term housing owner, you have two primary options for property management and maintenance:

  1. Self-Management: You can handle all tasks independently, including tenant selection, grass mowing, and finding local service providers for routine upkeep, preventive maintenance, and emergency repairs. While feasible for landlords with a small number of rental units and sufficient time, it may not suit everyone.

  2. Full-Service Property Management: Alternatively, you can engage a comprehensive property management company that takes care of every aspect, including accessing their network of maintenance experts during emergencies.

Understanding Service Costs

Some full-service companies include maintenance as part of their monthly bill, while others provide maintenance as a separate service for an additional fee. It's essential to be aware that some property management companies may mark up the fees charged by maintenance and repair experts beyond their own costs. This practice involves the property management company receiving the experts' bills, adding a percentage, and then billing the property owner without their knowledge.

Does Property Management Include Maintenance?

At SPM, we never engage in such practices, but it's important to be aware that they exist in the industry.

To ensure a financially sound decision, it's crucial to ask prospective property management companies specific questions, such as:

  1. How do you charge for your services—monthly fee or percentage of monthly rental income?

  2. What services are included in the monthly fee for properties like mine (e.g., single-family homes, condos, multifamily properties)?

  3. Do you provide routine maintenance services?

  4. How do you handle emergency repair calls?

  5. Is turnover of vacant property part of your standard services?

  6. Do you handle direct maintenance-related complaints from tenants?

  7. Who covers the costs when major repairs require expert assistance—you or the property management company?

  8. Do you add any markup to repair bills from external professionals not on your regular payroll?

  9. Do you utilize maintenance scheduling and management software, and does it provide landlords visibility into the process?

By gathering this information, you can make an informed decision that aligns with your financial expectations.

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