Issues relating to property maintenance are common among all rental houses, more so in Nairobi. As a property owner, it is your responsibility to ensure that your tenants live in habitable conditions. This means that situations that require repair works or revamping must be met with immediate attention so as to avoid damaging the relationship with your tenants.
The most appropriate method of handling property maintenance issues is by encouraging your tenants to submit requests through complaints for corrective actions to be undertaken. Notably, you should decide how these requests will be submitted. Once you receive sufficient requests from your tenants, it is important to devise a plan for managing such requests. So, let us go over these 4 steps to help you address the requests.
1. Establish the Severity of the Complaint
Tenants in Nairobi are more likely to continue renting from you once they realize that you have the ability to respond to maintenance requests with the shortest time possible. So, when you receive a list of various maintenance issues, you should assess them before grouping them according to their levels of urgency. This is essential since it helps you to create a work order schedule.
Repair works for complaints with low urgency such as broken shelves or cracked tiles should take at least a week. For those which require moderate attention such as lighting and clogged drainage systems, repairs should not take more than 48 hours. Complaints which require urgency such as damaged locks, plumbing and electrical outages should be fixed within 24 hours if possible.
2. Develop a Work Order
The worst case scenario to witness is your tenant vacating your property and ending your lease agreement for failing to respond to their complaint. Thinking of how to schedule your maintenance requests? Well, the most ideal method is to develop a work order. A work order is a list of scheduled maintenance jobs assigned to a specific tenants. It also has the details of the person assigned to do the work and the cost of it. It facilitates timely and effective maintenance of your rental property which is essential for fostering your relationship with your tenants.
To help you develop an effective work order, consider listing the requests with respect to their levels of urgency. Critical issues that require urgent repairs should top your work order while those with minimal urgency should follow in a descending order. This facilitates the establishment of a time duration for each task. Moreover, it helps to determine the level of skill required to perform the various repairs. This will enable you to assign the appropriate servicemen for each job.
3. Hire a Professional to do the job
Once you have determined the skills required in your work order, then it is time to call your professionals. When you contact your handyman, communicate when you need the repairs done and the expected duration to avoid compromising the good will of your tenants. This step will significantly help you determine availability of the required services as well as the prospective expenses to be incurred. Though it is best practice to call your handy man, if you are skilled and confident in doing the repairs yourself, pick up the tools and go for it!
4. Contact the Tenant informing them to expect
The last thing you want is to barge into your tenants’ homes without notice unless it is an emergency. Therefore, it is wise to provide notice and seek consent from your tenants if you intend to access their rental property. For in-house maintenance, it is courtesy to inform your tenant that you wish to conduct repairs at least a day in advance. Also, provide an estimate of how long the repair works will take. If the repair is likely to affect the all the tenants (e.g. turning off water or electricity), notify all available tenants beforehand.
5. Review the work done
After the work is done you need to review and approve it. Inspect the materials used and the quality of workmanship. The last thing you want is a poorly done job that does not last.
6. Pay the Professional/Supplier
You need to close the work order and pay the supplier’s invoice. This is the final step in the repair process.
How to do this using Kodisher.
Kodisher enables you to easily address maintenance requests from your tenants using a work order. You can create a work order by assigning contract services to individuals and track their payment.
N.B: You must first establish the name, contact and account information of the service specialist
To create a work order for your property, follow the following procedure:
- First, you need to log in to your Kodisher account
- Go to https://kodisher.com/workorders/workers
- Navigate to the right hand side of your page and click on the ‘Add Worker’ button.
- Enter information relating to your service worker i.e. name, specialty, payment method, and contact details and click on the ‘Save Worker’ button below.
- Proceed to create your new work order by clicking on the ‘Add work order’ option under Expenses tab (on the left menu)
- Enter the details required.
Note: When creating a work order, assign the correct worker name to the required service.
- Save by clicking on the ‘Save work order’ button.
- Upon completion of the service, you can process payment by generating a payment voucher for approval. To do this, click on ‘All Work orders’ and select ‘Generate Voucher.’ Enter the amount and click on the ‘Approve Voucher’ button.
- Enter an approval note on the new window and click ‘Approve and Send’ button.
- Once the payment voucher has been approved, you can proceed to make payment. To do this, select the payment method and enter the transaction ID. Payment methods include cash, cheque, bank transfer and M-Pesa.
- Click on the ‘Pay’ button to complete payment.