Today, we are talking about whether it is beneficial for property owners to purchase a home warranty policy for their rental properties. Although we do have a few properties we manage that have warranty policies and we work with those warranty companies when necessary, we do not necessarily recommend that you buy a warranty. At Windsor Pacific, we have very high standards when it comes to response times and quality of work, and we sometimes find that warranty companies do not match those standards.
Once you place a claim with the warranty company, which takes a little time, you have no way of knowing which vendor the warranty company will assign to your repair. Even when you do get a vendor assigned, we do not always know the vendor or have a professional relationship with that technician. This creates some confusion for the tenant, who has to be there to let the workers into the house.
What you also have to consider is that the vendors sent over to your property by the warranty company have no loyalty to the tenant, the property owner or the property manager. There is no existing relationship the way there is with the professionals we use for repairs. Our concern is that without such a relationship, they will not do their best to ensure the repair is done correctly the first time. We have found ourselves having to make a second or a third phone call for the same issue.
Response time is another concern. When the warranty company is notified that there is an emergency at the property, they might not be ready to assign someone to address the problem right away. When the vendor cannot handle the emergency immediately, it’s a big problem for the tenant. For example, if the heater stops working during the winter season, you don’t want your tenants to be stuck without heat for days while the warranty company processes the claim and assigns a technician. We expect a vendor to get out there right away to restore the heat, but that does not always happen. A warranty vendor actually can take from 24 to 48 hours just to get in touch with the tenant and schedule an appointment.
Please consider your own standards and the expectations of your property management company before you buy a home warranty for your rental property. If you have any questions about home warranties, please contact Windsor Pacific Property Management, and we’d be happy to talk about the subject with you.