This strategy saves a lot of time for the property manager, but what does it do for the homeowner? It guarantees less rent and it opens up the door for tremendous amounts of liability.
When a property manager is managing a property, all repairs should be done by qualified people and in a professional manner. That’s part of what we as property managers are paid to do… manage the property.
Think about this, if an outlet needs to be replaced, it’s not that complicated to do. But allowing a tenant to do it can open up a lot of risk for everyone involved. What if a fire starts because the outlet wasn’t installed properly? What if a fire starts when the next tenants move in because the previous tenant who was encouraged to do the repair didn’t know what they were doing?
Let’s pretend there’s a plumbing leak repaired by a tenant, and something drastic happens that might require an insurance adjuster to come out. What do you think will happen if the adjuster finds out it happened because of what the tenant did? Is it the tenant’s fault? Is it really the property managers fault? Google the scenario… you’ll be shocked how these things turn out.
Some property managers thing this practice is okay because they “vet” tenants to ensure they have proper tools for repairs, and know what they are doing. We all should have E&O insurance to cover mistakes we make as property managers. Every insurance company we’ve asked about this has said they won’t cover this situation. It’s the same thing as making an intentional poor choice.
Yes, it might be cheaper in the short term to have a tenant change a light fixture vs. a professional, but it’s definitely not the right choice. In our honest opinion, it’s a property manager trying to minimize their responsibilities when managing a property.