By in Business

So much for a day off tomorrow

One of the downsides of owning rental property/being a landlord is that - if you are doing your job properly - you have to be ready to deal with emergency calls and repairs at any time. A weekend off can be gone in a flash. And that seems to be the case for me this weekend.

We were just pulling in the parking lot at the county fair tonight when I got a text from one of my tenants (new, they just moved in at the beginning of August.) All of a sudden there's no hot water in the apartment. After having them check a few things over the phone, it seems that the unit is tripping the electric breaker, which is not good. I tried messaging my regular repairman/contractor but no response, he may be away for the weekend.

Sigh. So tomorrow morning I need to try calling some different repair services/plumbers and see if I can find one who can come out tomorrow to look at the unit and hopefully figure out what's wrong. I hope it's not that the whole heater needs replacement but you just can never know with these things.

I feel bad that this happened when they've only been in the apartment for a week. But I swear it's like a law of nature that there's always something that a new tenant discovers that needs to be fixed asap - either something that the previous tenants didn't notice/never reported to me or something that gets screwed up very quickly by people not familiar with the property yet. At least they are cool about having to go one day without hot water - and hopefully it will only be one day. I am also glad that they were quick to report the problem to me.

But still, sounds like there goes my relaxing Saturday at home since now I have to drive into Philly and back to deal with this.

Image Credit » by kboyd

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Paulie wrote on August 7, 2015, 10:59 PM

Are you renting a row house in Philly? My ex-wife used to have one in Northeast Philly. Wouldn't it be easier if you had a property management company handling the rental for you?

sockii wrote on August 7, 2015, 11:08 PM

I don't like/trust management companies, especially in Philadelphia. They take a lot of money for doing very little, skimping on repairs and maintenance calls, not screening new tenants to the standards that I would...that's just been my experience. When we first bought this property 16 years ago it had been mismanaged almost into the ground, it had been so badly taken care of by a particular Philadelphia management company I will not name. They were also terrible to deal with during the closing process. That whole experience (and what others I know have dealt with) makes me too wary to hand over that responsibility to anyone else.

Honestly it's been a very good experience for me to have this responsibility for all of these years. I learned a lot about what it takes to maintain a home, how to deal with different problems and issues, and how to do certain types of repairs on my own. It's just a small building - three apartments - so I can have months that go by with no issues at all. It's just when they come up the timing always seems to be unfortunate!

Paulie wrote on August 7, 2015, 11:13 PM

I have also had some bad experiences with management companies. The worst took place when I was living overseas years ago.

CoralLevang wrote on August 8, 2015, 3:16 AM

I'm sorry to hear about the weekend change of plans. I wish that landlords were all like you. emoticon :smile:

chrisandmark wrote on August 8, 2015, 9:03 PM

We used to stay in a lot of rented properties and sometimes the issues are only ones that can be spotted by people actually living in a house

cheri wrote on August 9, 2015, 8:54 PM

That is really a headache. I am also into rental type but it is only one and so far no problems