About home warranty programs…
In our experience, home warranty companies generally do not benefit our rental property clients. That is why, as a matter of policy, we do not work with home warranty companies.
We can relate numerous stories of the inefficiency and needed call-backs of the vendors dispatched by the home warranty companies. These companies are in the business of making money, not spending it. As a single example, there was a case recently where as many as nine service calls were required to get repairs made to a heating system. Each time, the owner was charged for the technician’s visit, and each time the technician replaced the same part. The original problem with the furnace was never corrected. In that particular case, the owner/client lost a good tenant, through all the hassles and service calls.
The cumbersome way in which home-warranty work is performed on the rental homes causes difficulty for both management and tenants. With a home warranty company calling the shots, we have no control over the quality of work, how the tenants are treated, and whether the maintenance issues actually are resolved as they should be.
The vendors we utilize for repairs to your property are carefully vetted by us. We know they are (1) licensed to perform the work they do, (2) insured for liability, in case something goes wrong, (3) and loyal to our company and the clients we serve – they do what they say they’re going to do, and they do it in a timely and professional manner, at a reasonable price. If not, they don’t stay on our vendor list. It’s as simple as that.
We do know of a few occasions where a home warranty company has stepped up and taken care of a problem that could have cost the property owner thousands of dollars. These cases are the exception, rather than the rule, in our experience. The decision to have a home warranty is one that the property owner must make on his/her own, with full understanding of the risks and benefits. If you decide to get a home warranty policy, we must decline your business. However, we’re always happy to give you names of other property management companies you can interview.
In the words shared by one of our owner/clients:
“Bottom line…as a former professional home inspector who has seen the impact of age on mechanical systems, the best advice I can give is to insure yourself by starting a household saving account to cover unexpected repairs. Take the same bet that the warranty companies do: you’re not likely to need as much money as you put away. The difference is, of course, that you get to keep what’s left over.”
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