Your community management company has two primary goals: to increase your property value and to facilitate the enjoyment of the community for all residents. Part of ensuring that the community looks attractive is to address maintenance requests right away, so your management company assumes the role of facilitating communication between residents and the community association’s Board of Directors to help the repairs process proceed smoothly.
Though most management companies conduct regular inspections, on-site residents can catch maintenance issues right away and help accelerate the process by reporting these needs immediately. This helps minimize interruptions and down time in common areas.
Here are some important tips to help you address maintenance needs quickly and effectively.
Understand what constitutes a maintenance request
Your community has separate guidelines for repair requests and requests for community improvements. Repair and maintenance requests are in place to handle aging or broken features of common areas that are part of the existing structure, like broken sprinklers or burnt out light bulbs. Requests for changes that involve adding, modifying or remodeling structures or landscape qualify as “improvements” and are handled with separate provisions as laid out by your community’s rules & regulations.
Keep your contact list updated
Keep a list of your community’s current contact information handy and use the correct contact for your issue. Most community websites list current contact information, as do common spaces and community newsletters.
Property management companies want to make it easy for you to submit maintenance requests right away, so they generally offer multiple ways to get in touch. For communities with an on-site community management office, stop by during office hours and speak with the property manager. Other methods include calling by phone, submitting a request online through the member portal of your community or management company’s website, or through direct email to your community manager.
Know when to expect a response
Property managers should respond to non-emergency issues within 24 hours of your work order request. However, most community management companies have an emergency or after-hours phone number, which should be used for issues that threaten property or life. Managers should respond to emergency requests–such as an uncontrolled sprinkler leak or fountain or pool overflow–within 15 to 20 minutes. For any emergency that presents an immediate danger to residents, call 911 before contacting your management company. Never use the emergency contact channels for non-emergency issues.
Provide feedback after your request has been handled
Let your property managers know how they’re doing. By sharing both positive and negative feedback you help your property manager understand which maintenance request processes are benefitting residents and which could use improvement. Don’t restrict your feedback to purely negative complaints. Letting your property manager know when they have done a good job boosts confidence and morale.
Additional tips for submitting a successful maintenance request:
- Leave specific info about the location and description of the maintenance request. Submit pictures so your manager can quickly assess the nature of the issue.
- Share your contact information so your community manager can let you know that your request was received and ask additional questions if needed.
- Don’t try to fix anything yourself. Even minor repairs can present huge liability issues for your community association. If you have special skills that might benefit your community, put them to work by volunteering to serve on a committee that oversees maintenance and repairs.
- When in doubt, submit a request. If you’re not sure if it’s a city, resident or HOA responsibility, submit your request anyway. Your community management company will direct the request to the appropriate party.
- Be patient. Typical items generally require about two weeks to resolve. Higher-cost repair requests must be submitted to the community association management board, under the provisions set forth in your community’s governing documents and this process may take some time. Your management company will work hard to accelerate the process within the guidelines set forth by your community.
- Follow up weekly if you are interested in a project’s progress. Call your community management company and ask for a quick update and an expected start or completion date. They will be glad to share the status of pending repairs.
If you have any additional questions about how to improve your community’s maintenance request process, please call us at (949) 833-2600. We’re always glad to help.