11573 Jollyville Rd.
Austin, TX 78759
PO Box 202344
Austin, TX 78720
- Real Estate Services to Buyers and Sellers
- Out of State Property Management Company Referrals
- Maintenance and Make Ready Services for our Owners and Referring Agents
Mike Ebert, REALTOR®, RMP®
Director of Property Management
512.794.8171 X 211
Yvonne Dougherty, CTA
Leasing and Management Coordinator
512.794.8171 X 220
Check Your Insurance: Events can happen - flood, extreme heat, earthquakes, fire, and more! It is important to check your insurance to obtain the best coverage possible and ensure that it is current.Review now with your insurance agent before a disaster/emergency occurs.
If an Emergency Occurs: Please be patient and avoid tying up critical phone lines and our time. Our first priority during any emergency is to handle the situation, taking any necessary measures for the safety of your property and your tenants. Then, we will contact you as soon as we are able.
Good News Continues for Austin!
The Pros and Cons of Tenants
Many times tenants offer to perform maintenance on properties. It may seem to be an excellent idea with visions of saving money and an easy repair. However, it can lead to more problems.
Landlords need to ask themselves why the tenant is offering to absorb the time and expense of the work. There are tenants who are honest and capable, but sometimes there are underlying motives that property owners should question.
A prospective tenant wants to entice the owner to accept their application.
They are looking for a reduction in rent and have financial problems.
They wish to avoid having someone check the property because of their upkeep.
As they say, "there is no free lunch" - there are questions to ask and answer before accepting a tenant's offer to do maintenance. Do you really know if the tenant is capable of the work? Is it a simple maintenance item or a job for a professional?
The easiest way to approach tenant maintenance is to treat it entirely as a business matter, not a personal or emotional one. The questions to ask are:
Will this really save money?
Will this create a landlord/tenant issue?
Will this create any liability?
Will this become a legal issue?
At first, it may seem that the landlord is getting the best of the bargain. The tenant does the work for perhaps only the cost of the materials. If they are capable, this could work out for the owner's benefit. What if tenant does not know how to do the repair? Different scenarios could now develop and none of them are attractive.
A Truly Sad Situation
This is a true story. The property owner paid for materials and reduced the rent; the tenant was to do the work. The job is incomplete or caused another problem. Now, to complicate matters, more money is required to hire a competent tradesman because the tenant has created more damage.
Will this now lead to a landlord/tenant issue? The repair has gone sour, more repairs are necessary, the owner feels the tenant should reimburse him for the damage, and a bad owner/tenant relation develops.
It gets worse! The tenant moves out, the owner deducts the damages from the security deposit, and the tenant sues the owner.
Now there is a liability issue. The tenant is now claiming pain and injury suffered while doing the repair. The owner has paid a non-licensed person to perform work and the court looks very dimly on the situation. The insurance company is now involved and the policy may not cover this issue.
No owner wants to live through a similar or worse scenario.
Perhaps this story sounds ridiculous and you are having a good chuckle, but as Property Managers, we know this does happen. We hear it from self-managed owners, from our Property Manager peers, read of court cases in the papers, and know that trying to save a few dollars can ultimately cost the property owner more money, not to mention great stress. Therefore, we take the steps to "Protect Your Investment." Instead of allowing the tenant to do the work, we contract for reasonable repairs with competent vendors to avoid unnecessary problems.