As a landlord in Dallas, Texas, it’s your responsibility to ensure that your tenants live in habitable premises. Among other things, a habitable property is one that is structurally sound.
Conversely, when your property’s foundation is damaged, your building is not 100% structurally sound. Which means you’ll need to repair it as soon as possible lest the problem becomes more serious.
Foundation repair is often a complex job. Without a proper plan, your tenants could easily view it as a major inconvenience to their normal living.
Admittedly, no one likes to live or work around an invasive repair like that involving the home’s foundation. That said, there are a couple of things that you can do as a property manager to minimize the disruption the project may have on your Dallas tenants.
1. Understand your foundation repair contractor.
Prior to hiring a particular foundation repair company, first learn how they run their business. This will help you get an idea of what to expect when they start working for you. For instance, you’ll know the length of time the project will take and the level of intrusion to expect.
Some of the questions you can ask them include:
- Will I have a dedicated contractor on my case?
- Will there be an on-site supervisor during the entire repair process?
- How will you store the equipment, waste and refuse while on-site?
- Will my tenants need to be relocated during the repair process?
- Will you need access to my tenant’s homes?
- Can your company accommodate residents with special needs?
- Are the crews flexible? Can they work at a different time of the day?
Depending on how they answer, you’ll have a general idea of whether or not they are fit for the job. You should also check their ratings on sites like Angie’s List.
2. Get to know your tenants’ needs.
Understanding as well as satisfying your tenant’s needs is key to the success of your business. With a project like foundation repair, it’s especially important to go the extra mile to help make sure all their requests are considered.
Once you identify the needs of your tenants, it’s important to communicate the same to your foundation repair company. This allows your foundation repair company to adapt the repair strategy to best fit the tenants.
Your repair company, for example, may then decide to build a temporary ramp for a tenant whose patio would need to be accessed.
Without your tenants, your rental income will surely take a hit. By prioritizing their interests and comfort, you’ll help make them feel happy and appreciated. This will have a positive effect on your rental business in the long term.
3. Give your tenants adequate notice.
A tenant has the right to quiet enjoyment of his or her home. Showing up unannounced with repairs can put a strain on you and your tenant’s relationship.
Make sure you are as thorough as possible when communicating with your tenants about the repairs. Leave no room for confusion or misunderstanding.
If the repair crew needs access to their home, let them know. Fill them in on the estimated amount of time the repair process may take, as well as the nature of the work.
You can also use this opportunity to educate your tenants about the advantages of the project. For example, you may tell them that the project will help rectify the problem of:
- Counters and cabinets separating from the wall.
- Gaps around window frames or exterior doors.
- Improperly functioning doors and windows.
This will enable them to see that the project is intended to improve their quality of living.
And, once the project begins, remember to update your tenants about the progress. Being transparent will help your engender trust among your renters.
4. Be attentive and responsive to your tenant’s concerns.
If your tenants raise an issue, respond to it as quickly as you can. This can be through a quick text, an email or a phone call, just to let them know you are handling it.
Communication is essential to building a great landlord-tenant relationship. Which ultimately helps them decide whether or not to stay in your property long-term.
Hiring a foundation repair company that has full-time, on-site supervisor helps to ensure that any issues will be handled as they arise. That’s why it always pays to take the time to research what the various foundation repair companies have to offer.
Hiring the right company also makes you look better as a property manager!
Also, don’t forget to keep the after-hours management informed with any developments. When the entire management staff works together, your tenant reaps the benefits.
After all, your tenant is your business. And, being your business, means doing everything possible to make them content/
Foundation repair is not a simple task. If not planned adequately, it has the potential to bring stress to your residents.
The first step begins by hiring the right foundation repair company for the job. Choose one that is communicative and reliable. The next step would be to stay as proactive as possible with your property management responsibilities.