Maintenance Requests & the Absent Landlord

Written by Adam JD Martin

You’ve read the posts on Facebook, you’ve seen the online forums, and if you’re reading this- you probably know one. Maybe it’s you. Who am I talking about? I’m talking about the absent landlords. One of the biggest complaints we see online about landlords is that they aren’t there when you need them. There seems to be an epidemic of landlords that don’t respond to their requests for maintenance and service. 

We know from experience that most of this is a communication problem. Most landlords, or at least the ones we know (and we know a lot), are not out there trying to cause hell for their tenants or deliberately let their buildings get damaged. The reality is that most of these landlords have incredibly demanding schedules, multiple lines of communication that are ongoing, and they are typically over committing themselves to multiple projects, people, and properties at once. We know this for a fact, we’ve done the primary research. And yes, we’ve also neglected tending to tenants right away. It happens.

The problems get compounded when you are answering texts, calls, and messages with tenants between Kijiji, Facebook, and email. The more of these messages you get and forget, the worse the problems get. It has a negative impact on your tenants in both the short term and the long term. They become less appreciative of their once well maintained shelter, and become very fixated on the negative elements of dealing with your communication blunders and any defects on the property. It’s not a good spot to be in, especially when they are supposed to be sending you a good portion of their earned income every month. But it is reality, and it’s human nature. 

This was one of the biggest contributing factors that lead to our prioritization of maintenance requests on Control Your Property. We knew that most of the problems were coming from dropped lines of communication. It’s easy if there’s one communication channel, but when you combine 3 or 4 modes of communication with a full schedule during the day, it’s easy for that text you got in the morning to get buried amongst all the other noise of the day. Our solution- standardize the process and get everyone on the same platform. With Control Your Property you create and receive maintenance requests that you can automatically delegate to your preferred service providers. Fast, simple, and effective, this tool allows landlords to immediately deal with the problem at hand, and outsource the work to their maintenance providers. The maintenance provider then gets a notification on their (free) dashboard and an email.

Once completed, the maintenance provider can attach photos of the completed work, and the invoice and photos will be associated to the unit and building that the work was done at. This built in accountability keeps everyone involved on the same page. Your tenant gets their work completed, the maintenance provider can show you the work they’ve completed so you can feel more comfortable about paying promptly without actually having to review their work in person, and you can track your expenses for you and your partners. 

-@adamjdmartin