Everything Put Together – Falls Apart
August 18, 2018
Paul Simon wrote a lyric that has stood the test of time: Everything put together, sooner or later falls apart. At Austin Fleck Property Management (serving Gilbert, AZ and the Phoenix Valley), we have found this to be true, even with the best of rental homes in Phoenix.
We recently went to see a lovely property with outstanding views, located on a lakefront. It was in an area where rental homes go for about $3,000 a month. When we arrived, the owner was speaking with a repairman and suggested we have a look around. As we took a quick strolling tour, we were shocked by some of the things we saw. To be honest, for all its potential, this home was a mess! There were many maintenance issues that needed to be addressed. Here are a few of our observations:
On the ground floor
There was evidence of significant damage to the original hardwood floors. Normally, that would require replacing the hardwood in order to restore the look and feel of this magnificent home. Instead, someone had replaced the flooring with a synthetic wood-like product that shouted “Cheap!” Not only that, but the installation appeared to have been done by a carpet-layer, rather than a flooring specialist. The baseboard was never removed prior to installing the new floorboards, so the fake wood flooring had been run up against the baseboard, rather than being tucked under it. The quarter round molding was then nailed down on top of it to hide the gaps. It was the shoddiest of repairs.
Pools are a great asset for a rental home, even though they are expensive to put in and require diligence to maintain. We noticed that the same kind of attention had been paid to the pool as was paid to the flooring: very little. The pebble surface surrounding the pool was cracked and looked pretty sad. No effort had been made to patch it. The pool itself was green from algae buildup and suffering from years of neglect. The thought of swimming in it was enough to bring on a cold sweat.
The Blame Game
The owner caught up with us on our inspection tour and asked what we thought of the home. When we kindly and tactfully pointed out the various problems we had seen, the owner began to blame the tenant with claims of, “The tenant this. . .the tenant that. . .” and complaining that they had been rough with the property. As we looked around, we sensed this owner’s inability to acknowledge that homes receive normal wear and tear. But as most rental property owners know, according to law these maintenance issues are the owner’s responsibility.
We work for you
At Austin Fleck Property Management, we work for you, the owner. We represent you in our dealings with tenants. We represent you in our handling of maintenance issues. We also understand that normal wear and tear happens, and the blame for it can’t be put on the tenant. The fact is, everything put together, sooner or later falls apart. But we work to solve the problems as they arise, because it is our greatest satisfaction to see that your rental homes in Phoenix maintain their value as an integral part of your long-term financial plan.