Rental Maintenance with RPM Today

Real Property Management Today is a full-service solution for all your property management needs.

One major arm of our operation is our maintenance crew. Our maintenance crew consists of a Maintenance Coordinator, three maintenance technicians, a move out specialist, a property review specialist, and administrative support. Together, we are responsible to see that all maintenance needs are met for the various properties and problems that come with them.

Josh, our maintenance coordinator works closely with our in-house crew as well as outside contractors as certain types of work requires special permitting or licensing. Chris, our head maintenance technician oversees all project-based work, ensuring all tasks are completed and that quality is up to par.

Our process begins when a tenant contacts us about a maintenance need in the home. From there, Luis, our administrative assistant receives the complaint and commences determining the legitimacy and all details of the problem. If possible, Luis works with tenants to solve the problem on their own via troubleshooting steps. Often, we are successful in avoiding any service call to the property which allows us to close out that particular request. However, when troubleshooting does not solve the problem, we approach the owner to seek approval to handle the situation. Approval is at least in part a formality as Washington Landlord Tenant law requires action when a maintenance request is received. RCW 59.18.060 refers to a landlord’s responsibilities, where 59.18.130 lays out the responsibilities of a tenant. The law further defines expected timelines when notice is received to commence remedial action in 59.18.070 and goes on in subsequent sections to define tenants’ rights in the event work is not completed. In brief, maintenance is required while a home is rented. Appliances and features that are supplied must be maintained, repaired, or even replaced when necessary. Naturally that can be a lot to take in, and costs can become intimidating as a result. It is recommended that a landlord set aside 3 months rent.

A common question we run into is how costs are handled when it comes to completing work and how profit comes into play. We may realize a profit when overseeing maintenance. However, maintenance is much more than the time on site. As mentioned above, a complaint is received, troubleshot, approval is sought, the job is then researched and planned for in-house work or planned for a contractor, scheduled, completed, the tenant is surveyed, and the job is invoiced, and billed. Many costs are associated with this process, down to ink on the page. When we utilize our in-house crew, most of the time, work is billed by the job. This is most often to the benefit of the owner because of all the time spent diagnosing, shopping for parts, and completing the work. However, smaller and more common jobs are by the hour at $65 per hour. A $25 coordination fee is added to the total as well as material markup to cover those extra uncaptured expenses one often doesn’t realize such as a vehicle stocked with parts, gas and insurance, and more. We often obtain wholesale pricing on certain material which helps absorb any markup, so the end price is the same or similar to retail. The same logic applies to working with our contractors. As repeat customers in most situations we have negotiated rates. As a result, any markup applied will typically land a job at what a retail price would be. This is common in all general contracting work, it’s just not typically transparent in this way.

In the end, we can’t always guarantee that you will pay bottom dollar for work to be done. However, we can confidently state that prices are fair and in line with industry pricing. We hold our crew and contractors accountable to ensure a job well done and within the confines of the law. Of course, as an owner, we will always be ready to work with you to iron out costs ahead of time as much as possible so that there are no surprises. Some owners opt to place full trust in us to handle any and every need when it arises, while others want to be involved in each and every decision.

We are ready and happy to support whichever management style you need to feel comfortable about your investment. Should you have any questions, feel free to inquire at: