Eight Common Central Florida Vacation Property Repairs

Vacation Central Florida

Maintaining a Vacation Home in Kissimmee and Cocoa Beach

Property managers put a lot of energy into changing light bulbs and troubleshooting TV remotes, but there are eight common short-term rental repairs that can be a bit more challenging. These situations arise often, and your property management company should be experienced in handling minor repairs, knowing when to get a licensed contractor involved, and arranging appropriate technicians to quickly take care of the bigger issues.

#1 Appliances

Some guests will eat out most of the time, and some will cook all of the meals in the rental unit for the maximum number of people it can legally hold.  Typical guests will run the dishwasher, co ee maker, and stove at least once a day.

If you o er laundry facilities inside your vacation rental home in a beach-accessible place like Central Florida, they will get a good workout. Beachgoing renters with young children will really give your washer a run for its money in an attempt at sand-control.

Your appliances will experience normal wear and tear with an added feature: Guests may cause additional problems because they are unfamiliar with the settings and limits of your machines. This is why your property management firm should have a solid preventive maintenance schedule and the ability to contact reliable appliance techs on short notice - as well as clear instructions for guests about the use of your appliances. A lot of times guest calls can be caused by human error and improper operation. Providing instructions on how to use these appliances will help avoid unnecessary callouts to the property.

#2 Leaky Faucets

The valves, seals, and other parts for the sinks, showers, and tubs in your rental home wear out over time. Your property manager should be able to handle the small issues with leaky faucets, and have fast access to a plumber for drips - and emergencies - when needed. Small issues can turn into larger problems fairly quickly. You want to keep an eye out on your plumbing and fixtures for any leaks. Know where your main water shut o valve is to the property and accessible. This is very helpful in an emergency to provide guests to stop any issue quickly that might arise. This is why checking in on the property constantly is so crucial to preventing and catching these things before it happens.

#3 Water Heater

There are inconveniences with hot water, and then there are problems. Your property manager must be able to handle both.

Inconveniences

People have di erent tastes and expectations when it comes to hot water. Some will complain if the water in the shower is not hot enough to cook an egg, while others are concerned about the risk of burn injuries for children and elderly folks.

Your property management team must comply with safety ordinances and regulations regarding the maximum temperature of the water that comes out of the water heater. They may also work under strict water conservation requirements such as showerheads that restrict water pressure.

The property manager must obey the law and have the savvy and diplomacy to handle guests who feel they are being cheated out of a scalding, high-pressure experience.

Real Water Heater Issues

When it comes to real water heating issues, the water heater should be checked regularly for signs of impending failure. In Florida, It is best to replace it every 8 years. It is cheaper, easier, and fosters more goodwill if guests don't have to experience a water heater leak in the middle of the night.

The relative cost of replacing a water heater proactively is well worth it. The cost and hassle of cleaning up after a leaky water heater are usually much greater than the cost of replacing it preemptively. In a condo, this is also a great practice so the neighbors below and to the sides have peace of mind (and, hopefully, they will follow suit).

In case the worst happens, your property management firm should be able to turn o the water quickly and bring in an emergency plumber.

Let's Talk about Water Damage

Water is one of the most common sources of damage to your property, and water heater leaks - especially - can cause an awful lot of damage in a short period of time. If a leak anywhere in the house is not caught early and repaired immediately, water damage can put you out of business for several days, weeks, or even months while repairs and water mitigation are completed.

If your unit is in a condo building, leaks and floods can have a domino e ect on people below you, and the people above can a ect you. Consistent and timely preventive maintenance and "wellness checks" on your property are the best defense against water damage getting out of hand.

In a separate article, we will discuss insurance and the need to have a great insurance policy. This is true for any vacation home, but especially if you own a condo unit.

#4 Pest Control

The biggest turn-o for your guests would be a bug sighting or the unthinkable - a bug, rodent, or other critter in the house. This is one of the most consistent “maintenance” issues in a vacation rental home, especially in Florida and other southern states. It can be managed through dedication and persistence.

Some seasonal outdoor pests cannot be eliminated - such as mosquitos at sunset on a summer day, living and breeding in natural bodies of water your property manager cannot control. It’s the inside of the home that needs proper attention to control any issues before they get out of hand.

Crawling insects and rodents may occupy indoor areas if the property manager is not militant about cleaning between guests. Ants and roaches are attracted to food, and guests may be careless about putting food away or sweeping up the baby's cheerios.

After each guest leaves there should be a thorough cleaning inside, under, behind, and on top of furniture and built-ins to remove the loose food particles that appeal to the creepy crawlies. When it comes to rodents, trees and bushes should be kept trimmed back and away from the roof of the house.

#5 Clogged Toilets

This is a universal problem that does not need much introduction. If the same toilet is a regular, repeat o ender, your property management team should find the cause and correct it by having drain lines snaked or replacing the toilet.

For those times that a guest-toddler helps mommy by flushing his diaper - there is no pre-emptive plan. You just need a responsive property manager onsite to manhandle the plunger with diplomacy -  and call a plumber for backup, if needed.

#6 Running Toilets

Beyond annoying a guest who is a light sleeper, a leaky toilet is a guaranteed way to make your water bill go through the roof! Running toilets are the most common cause of an increase in your water bill.

Property managers must be intimately familiar with the inner workings of the toilet tanks in your rental home. They should understand how each specific flapper and float work and be able to anticipate and replace worn parts. They must also have a good understanding of the water supply into the toilet.

The most serious issues with toilet leaks have to do with the water supply, meaning the shut-o valve at the wall, the water line into the toilet, and the corrosion of bolts and fittings that attach the tank to the bottom seat. Your property management company should conduct regularly scheduled testing and maintenance to minimize the risk.

#7 Garbage Disposal

If your guest has a garbage disposal in their home, they will expect to find one in your vacation rental that is in good working order. Nothing ruins a vacation like a sink full of trimmings and plate-scrapings with nowhere to go.

 

The worst aspect of a problematic garbage disposal is not the food scraps in the sink - it is the bits of food that may have made their way down into the disposal and prevent water from draining through. Again it is a case of preventive maintenance and replacement at appropriate intervals to guard against water damage.

#8 Air Conditioning & Heating

 

Next to a nice, hot shower, arriving guests look forward to relaxing in their vacation lodgings at a comfortable temperature. If it is hot outside and not much cooler inside the house, it is hard to form a positive first impression.

Preventive maintenance should be carried out multiple times a year on heating and cooling systems, along with routine checks to be sure the A/C and heat work properly. Thermostat controls in the house should be checked regularly and batteries replaced.

A schedule should be followed for replacing filters; depending on the time of year, filters should be replaced once every two months, or every quarter when it’s cooler outside. Filters should be regularly checked and replaced if they are found to be dirty and restricting airflow.

What Does This All Mean to You as an Owner?

If you own your primary residence, you know the kinds of systems and equipment that break down over time. Similar maintenance issues will come up in your vacation rental property. The common theme with all of these items is that if not treated, fixed, or maintained. Can cause real problems, more expensive problems, and harder to fix problems over time. Some much more quickly than others. However, having a consistent and top quality vacation rental manager can help keep your home maintained. Things do happen and there is no 100% way to stop them from happening. Which is why having a responsive and quality vacation rental company is key to long term success.

Having a reputable, full-service property management firm is like having a personal doctor on standby for your vacation home. They will follow established practices for checking and conducting preventive maintenance for the eight repairs we have discussed.

At Vacation Central Florida, we are dedicated to quality service. With preventative maintenance for these issues. We believe that a small problem doesn't have to become a huge repair. We want to be proactive rather than reactive. We maintain an onsite presence so we can keep our finger on the pulse of every rental property we manage, and we keep the lines of communication with our owners open so there are no surprises.

Give us a call now to discuss your individual needs!

(407) 877-0777

dan@vacationcentralflorida.com

 

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