Hurricane Michael is almost a memory…already.   Nothing big except a tree through a roof (my rental of course) and a refrigerator full of roaches.  Why do owners want to do their own maintenance?   

A new tenant moved into this property two days ago.  She calls this morning to announce there are roaches in her fridge and coming out from under it.   My gag reflex hit almost immediately.   Angie looked up the property and it was flagged that the owner “performed all maintenance.”   Angie called and explained the situation.  The owner’s response was that she would have her “guy” go out and take care of it.  Angie called the tenant, who responded just like anyone reading this post would respond.  “Oh Hell NO!  I need a new refrigerator.”  Cleaning and killing bugs in a refrigerator is not the answer.  (If you have a friend in need of advice on how to rid their place of roaches…try here) . A property manager always walks a fine line on these types of judgment calls.   We work for the owner, but certain levels of service and upright conduct must be observed.

Angie escalated the call to Brandon who called the owner and explained just how unacceptable cleaning the refrigerator was.    She balked for a minute.  I could sense that Brandon was seconds away from terminating our relationship with her.   He looked at me and we didn’t have to speak.  We were of one mind on this particular topic.   Property managers get blamed for owners that go “cheap” on maintaining the property.  Hey, I, myself, have been a tenant and thought poorly of the property manager who said the owner wouldn’t fix something.  Tenants don’t care who isn’t doing something…the property manager is the person they are looking in the eye.

Finally, the owner relented.  She wanted her “guy” to take a look at the fridge and then she promised if it was “as described” it would be replaced.

Don’t get me wrong,  I have rental property myself and act as my own property manager.   Everyone wants to have a nice home and keep as much money in their own pocket as they possibly can.   There are just some situations when that is not acceptable.  If you are a landlord and don’t have a “rainy day” fund to maintain your property, you are headed for disappointment.  Nothing breaks or

It sets the wrong tone for the tenant.  When a tenant leases a place and decide the owner will “cut corners” and not make repairs, it gives them permission to treat the rental like a “rental.”  We all know how that will end.

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