As a landlord or property manager, your tenants will turn to you for help fixing problems in their units. The issues could be something as simple as a cracked sidewalk or as complex as faulty electrical wiring. Generally, these requests for fixing will reach you via emails or phone calls, which can be difficult to keep track of and record. A simpler, more efficient way to handle maintenance problems is to provide your tenants with a maintenance request form.
What Is a Maintenance Request?
A maintenance request is a formal petition to a landlord or property manager to repair a problem on your rental unit that you cannot fix on your own. Ideally, maintenance requests should be issued in written form so that the landlord can maintain a record of the request and use the document as a checklist to ensure the repairs are done well.
Maintenance requests can be routine or emergencies. The latter requires a faster response time because they pose a risk to the tenants and are usually addressed faster. On the other hand, a non-emergency maintenance request could be answered after some days.
What Is a Maintenance Request Form?
A maintenance request form is a formal document completed by a tenant to inform their landlord or property manager that certain things or conditions need fixing on the rental property. The form communicates to the recipient all the problems that must be fixed and can give them a clue as to the origin of the problem. Additionally, they create an official record of the request.
Why Do You Need a Maintenance Request Form?
Regular maintenance is crucial to protecting your property from deterioration, keeping your tenants happy, ensuring everything is running smoothly, and fulfilling your landlord duties. But where do maintenance request forms come in? These documents give you all the information you need to meet your obligations. Here are the reasons you need them:
- Maintenance request forms streamline the repair process because they tell you exactly who made the request, when they made it, what they need, and how you can fix the problem.
- Since the forms are dated, they keep you abreast of all repair duties and deadlines so you can keep track of your contractors and their progress.
- Maintenance request forms can be arranged in order of priority, allowing you to plan your activities, call contractors, and handle emergencies on time.
Maintenance Request Form Templates & Examples
Essential Elements of a Maintenance Request Form
When a tenant moves into your property, it is usually the norm to provide them with a maintenance request form they can use if they need repairs. This document may seem simple, but it actually captures a lot of information, including:
- Dates: The date the request was filed, when the tenant will avail the property for repairs.
- Tenant Details: Tenant’s name, contact information, and unit or apartment number
- Request Details: An itemized list of the repair requests and some descriptions where applicable.
- Permission: The tenant’s consent to the landlord accessing their unit or apartment.
- Delivery Instructions: A checklist describing the preferred method of the form’s delivery.
The Importance of Maintenance
Maintenance is a crucial responsibility that comes with owning any asset, be it property, a car, or a business. This activity ensures that your asset is in top shape and prevents injuries, accidents, or diseases that could lead to illness or even death. For example, consider what happens when a landlord fails to fix a broken railing and a tenant slips and falls from the third floor, breaking their spine. This situation could have been avoided had the landlord carried out maintenance.
There are several types of maintenance practices depending on the problem at hand. The main forms are described below:
- Periodic Maintenance: Involves doing regular inspection and repairs to avoid surprise failures.
- Preventive Maintenance: Involves keeping an asset in good condition to prevent problems.
- Predictive Maintenance: Involves predicting the future condition of an asset based on an inspection and making necessary counter plans.
- Corrective Maintenance: Involves adjusting and correcting defects before they lead to further problems and require repair or replacement.
- Maintenance Prevention: Involves updating equipment or designing more stable solutions and doesn’t require frequent maintenance.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I write a maintenance request?
When writing a maintenance request, you should be as detailed as possible. You want the landlord to understand the problem, why or when it occurred, and why they should fix it. You should use a polite, professional tone and be factual when writing your descriptions. Exaggerating the severity of the problem could cause inconveniences. Here are the steps to follow:
- Step 1: Write the current date.
- Step 2: Introduce yourself, i.e., provide your name, apartment/unit number, contact information, etc.
- Step 3: Describe the problem, giving as many details as possible.
- Step 4: Explain the urgency of the matter (emergency maintenance requests)
- Step 5: Suggest a repair day that works for you.
- Step 6: Authorize the landlord to access your unit.
- Step 7: Provide your contact information
- Step 8: Sign the form.
What qualifies as emergency maintenance?
Emergency maintenance or breakdown maintenance refers to the response required when an item, system, equipment, or property suffers a breakdown or condition change that causes an immediate threat to the health and safety of the occupants. An example is a faulty electrical box that is releasing sparks or broken railings in a high building.
What is a landlord’s responsibility for maintenance?
In most states, landlords are required by law to repair and maintain a property and keep it in a habitable condition while a tenant lives in it. A habitable property is described as having adequate electricity, water, and heat, being structurally sound, and free from infestation or malady. The laws governing this responsibility will vary from one city or state to another.
Before completing and sending a maintenance request form, you should ensure that the problem that needs repair is not something you can take care of on your own. A maintenance request-worthy problem is one that will require the services of a professional such as a locksmith, electrician, or plumber. It might be unreasonable to fill a form asking your landlord to come and hang your curtains for you. Still, if you are in doubt, a quick call to your landlord should help you determine your next steps.