Property management can be challenging, especially for those not well-versed in the intricacies of real estate. It is not uncommon for property owners to have a property manager oversee the day-to-day operations of their properties. However, many owners expect their managers to authorize every repair on their unit.
This request can be valid as the owner spends a significant amount on the maintenance and repair of the home. Their need to be the final decision-maker has more to do with authority. Since they own the house and are investing substantial funds, they want everything, including repairs, to happen their way.
No matter which management company you hire, one question will often arise.
Should a property owner with a property manager do their own repairs?
In this blog, we explore the various factors that owners need to consider when deciding whether to take on repairs themselves.
What Does a Property Manager Do?
Before we start answering the central question addressed in this blog, we must understand both parties' primary duties and responsibilities. Let us look at what a rental manager or a management company does.
Overseeing daily rental operations
A manager is responsible for overseeing the daily operations of a unit on behalf of the owner. It includes tasks such as advertising for tenants, screening tenants, collecting rent, handling repairs, and maintaining the home. Property managers have experience and a good understanding of local laws and regulations.
Conducting regular maintenance and repairs
Property managers have the crucial responsibility of conducting regular maintenance and repairs for a rental and making decisions in the owner's best interest.
These managers and their teams serve as the intermediaries between the owner and the tenant. Homeowners often hire these professionals when they are too busy or lack the knowledge to manage their own or investment homes.
By hiring managers, owners ensure that their asset stays secure and is looked after well. Even so, there is still a lot of uncertainty in the manager's duties. It is because every manager or management company has its mode of operation, values, and customized services.
While some managers only offer management assistance, others will ensure that you never have to worry about your unit again.
Some professionals may only do what you tell them, while others go the extra mile and streamline every process by themselves to effectively manage your rental.
Although the core services for management stay the same, the duties and functions of rental managers vary greatly depending on their values.
This then brings us to the question…
What Should a Property Owner Do?
When you hire a property manager, you are not particularly expected to do much. Ideally, the owner's rental management duties should be almost over once they hire a manager to look after their investment. If you are an owner, you are only required to keep an eye on the functions of the hired company, ensure that they are meeting the right goals, and review the reports they send.
Additionally, you are responsible for:
Providing rental managers with the necessary resources to manage properties effectively
Providing them with funds for repairs, paying taxes, and insurance coverage for the house
Making major decisions related to your investment unit, regarding renovations, extensive maintenance, and/or selling the place
The roles of both these parties are fixed in terms of carrying out management-related duties. The company conducts repairs and resolves maintenance issues; the owner funds it.
That is why, it can become a clash of wills if the owner wants to handle the property manager’s duties in their own way.
If you are seriously debating doing your repairs when you have a manager, you need to ensure that you know what you are doing and do not end up causing more damage to the house.
Ask yourself the following questions:
Do you have enough reliable resources to resolve this repair?
Is it your first-time conducting repairs?
Does your network have the required licenses and certifications to conduct repairs?
These three questions can guide you through your impulse to repair your own rental. If you do not have reliable resources, knowledge, and certified professionals to resolve the repair issue, it can be risky to be involved with the repair. You may end up causing significantly more long-term damage to the unit.
Expediting the Repair Process
One of the reasons owners might consider doing their own repairs is to expedite the process. Property managers often have a lot of responsibilities, and small repairs may not be their top priority.
If a repair is urgent and needs quick completion, owners might get tempted to do it themselves. However, it is essential to remember that managers are experienced professionals who know how to handle repairs quickly and efficiently.
Therefore, entrusting your unit's repairs to a qualified property management company in California is advisable.
Impact of Property Owners Doing Their Own Repairs
Even after discussing the primary roles of managers and owners, some owners may still want to take over the repair processes. Here are several reasons why they should avoid doing their own repairs:
Slows down the process
An owner conducting the repairs themselves can slow down the repair process. Managers have established relationships with contractors and repair professionals. They know who to call and how to get things done quickly. If you try to handle repairs by yourself, there is a massive chance that you may not know the experts for different types of repairs.
You need an electrician, plumber, HVAC specialist, exterminators, and more to resolve every potential repair. It can take you longer to find the right person to do the job, leading to delays in completing the repairs.
Often costs more money
Repairing yourself can be more expensive than leaving it up to your manager. These professionals have established relationships with contractors, often leading to discounts on repair services. They also regularly outsource some of the repair duties to different people who specialize in it.
For example, they know who to call if your California unit has environmental hazards and is not habitable. They know they should contact an HVAC specialist for repairs related to air conditioners or heating systems, like clogged filters or wiring issues. If you, as the owner, do repairs yourself, you may pay more than you need to.
Increases liability for the owner
If you repair your unit yourself and something goes wrong, you may be liable for any damage or injury. It can be highly draining financially and otherwise and worsen the issue that needs resolution. By taking on such repairs yourself, you may expose yourself and your investment home to unnecessary risks.
On the other hand, managers carry liability insurance to protect themselves and their clients from lawsuits.
Deteriorates the relationship between the manager and the tenant
If owners take on repairs themselves, it can affect the relationship between the manager and the tenant. Rental managers are responsible for ensuring that repairs get completed promptly. If owners take on repairs themselves, it can create confusion and lead to delays in completing repairs.
The tenant may also not know exactly which party to connect with in emergencies. It can lead to the renter feeling that both parties are unreliable. They may not convey their repair requirements, causing your home to sustain eventual, long-term damages.
Affects the renter's trust in the manager
Finally, owners who conduct repairs may undermine tenants' trust in their property manager. Tenants expect managers to handle repairs and maintenance. If owners take on repairs themselves, it can create the impression that the manager is not doing their job correctly.
Therefore, owners with managers should avoid doing their own repairs. Managers are well-equipped to handle repairs quickly and efficiently. Repairing yourself can lead to delays, increased costs, property damage and more dire consequences.
Owners should leave repairs to the experts and focus on providing their managers with the resources to manage their houses effectively.
What Does Bell Properties Do Differently?
Bell Properties is a full-service southern California property management company. Our expert repairs, maintenance, and inspection services safeguard your investment. Our team recognizes the benefits of resolving repair issues on time. Therefore, we provide tenants with secure portals to submit repair requests.
Unlike other companies, we do not involve you, the owner, in every process. Renters can directly submit repair requests to us, and we resolve them. However, we always coordinate with you and the tenants to protect your home and keep you updated on the status of the repairs.
We are known for offering quality repairs at competitive prices and prompt responses to your tenant's repair requests. Therefore, it can be beneficial if you, as the owner, let the manager do the repairs.
You can find it challenging to let go of your responsibilities, especially if you have managed your investment individually until now.
However, the right property management company can help you handle these tasks with expertise. It can take a while to find the right manager who meets all your requirements, customizes services, and keeps you updated every step of the way.
At Bell Properties, we make sure that you have the best rental management experience. With a dedicated and expert team of professionals and repairs specialists, we work tirelessly to ensure that your property is maintained per your expectations at all times!
For more information on our rental maintenance services, connect with us at Bell Properties.