A top worry of most landlords is a middle of the night call from a resident stating that there is a maintenance emergency. The following post will look back at data from all of RL Property Management’s 2019 after-hours maintenance calls.  This data is from our Columbus, Ohio office location.  Temperatures in the Columbus winter are usually in the 20-30 degree F range.  We may have several days down to (minus) -5 degrees F or as high as 55 degrees F.

In 2019, RL Property Management:

  • Had 150 total after-hours calls
    • 10 Appliance Issues
    • 2 Break-Ins
    • 13 Drain Clogs
    • 1 Bad Detector Battery
    • 2 Frozen Pipes
    • 2 Gas Leaks
    • 23 Water Leaks
    • 20 Lockouts
    • 13 No Air Conditioning
    • 34 No Heat
    • 5 No Hot Water
    • 12 No Power
    • 1 Rodent
    • 1 Wildlife
    • 4 Security Issues
    • 4 Towing Issues
    • 2 Trees Down
  • Ended the year with these Top Three categories from above:
    • 1st Place – 34 No Heat Calls (Furnace is broken in some way) – Almost all furnaces are forced air natural gas systems.
    • 2nd Place – 23 Water Leaks
    • 3rd Place – 20 Lockouts (Drain clogs, with 13 calls is the more relevant maintenance issue)

There are a few recommendations we can glean from this data:

  • Approximately 1 in 4 units will contact you about one after-hour maintenance emergency per year.
  • No Heat and No AC calls are pretty common. We recommend you replace those Furnace and AC systems at or shortly before their end of useful life.  If a furnace or an AC system reaches 20 years old, we’d recommend replacing these systems as a preventative measure. This will improve system reliability which will improve resident satisfaction.  No resident wants to experience losing these systems.
  • Have a solid and well defined lockout policy for residents.  We do not provide any services for lockouts after-hours, rather we advise our residents to contact a locksmith to re-gain entry.
  • Water leaks are very common.  Replacing supply lines to sinks, clothes washers and refrigerators on a preventative basis is recommended.
  • We make residents responsible for local drain clogs.  Main line clogs, both inside the house and underground are handled by our 24/7 plumbing vendors.  We do recommend having your main sewer line camera inspected before buying a property, and regularly cleaned based on the lines condition thereafter.  Some main sewer lines have recurring root intrusion or heavy interior wall wear/buildup which we have seen require an annual drain cleaning.  This really depends on the condition of the line, with some newer lines, probably not needing regular cleanings at all.

If you are looking for a property management team that has several decades of experience dealing with nothing but property management including the topics described above, do not hesitate to reach out to RL Property Management Group.

RL Property Management Group, the only property management company in Columbus started and run by engineers. Our clients enjoy a premium property management experience without paying a premium price. RL Property Management is designed to provide our clients reliability and performance.