Pro Tips on Dealing with Emergencies at Your Rental Property: Forewarned and forearmed
So, here’s a forewarning for all rental property owners: There will be emergency situations for you to deal with – No “Ifs” and “Or’s” about it! It could be fire-related, water leakages, power outages, or related to broken or “obstinate” home appliances (heating in winter…AC in summer!). All professional rental management companies in Hartford County Maryland have mitigation strategies in place to deal with these situations. But most DIY landlords don’t realize the gravity of these occurrences and, therefore, never plan for them. And that’s where our forearming tips in this post can help.
Where do You Begin?
As a first-time landlord, there’s a unique euphoria to being your own property manager – as it should be. You’ve invested wisely in rental property in Hartford County, or elsewhere in Maryland, and it’s time to reap the rewards. However, property emergencies can undo all your investing efforts. Rental property management in Maryland involves being on call 24×7 – yes, even at 2:00 AM on a rainy, snowy, blizzard-driven, wintry day! It might be:
- A desperate tenant calling about a house fire
- Renters on the second floor complaining about water leaking through their ceiling
- A family, with young children, complaining about their erratic heating system – at 1:00 AM!
- An elderly couple complaining about “strange noises” from next door
Failure to respond effectively to these emergencies may, at minimum, open you to serious landlord-tenant litigation. Worse yet, the emergency may cause significant damage, or major destruction, to your property. So, where do you start mitigation of these situations?
Pro Tips on Effective Response to Emergencies
Before you’re blindsided by such a scenario, here are four pro tips, that rental management companies in Hartford County Maryland use, that will forearm you to deal with these (and other) emergencies:
- Have a Plan: Anticipate various emergency scenarios, and map out the response to each. Include contact details of possible service providers (Fire, Ambulance, Plumbing, HVAC repair, Electrician) in your response. Include site plans and building layout diagrams in your plan.
- Encourage ‘first response’ Action by Tenants: When you get a call, first ascertain that this IS truly an emergency. Typically, Tenants can take initial steps to reduce the impact – Call 911 if needed, shut off a water valve, reset a power breaker, exit the building – of the emergency.
- Reach out to the Pros: If it is a “real” emergency – don’t wait! Refer to your plan, and contact all the professionals equipped to respond to the situation.
- Get On-scene ASAP: In emergency situations, representatives from firms providing rental property management in Maryland immediately head out to the scene. It’s always helpful for the property manager/owner to be on site to consult with emergency response teams, and make major decisions.
Having a plan is one thing, but being able to respond to an emergency effectively is a different matter. Educate everyone about the plan, and possible responses. This includes your family (if they support you in managing the properties), staff, contractors…and most especially your tenants. Most professional rental management companies in Hartford County Maryland have websites with these resources posted online. At minimum, host your emergency plan on a cloud-drive (Google Drive or Microsoft OneDrive), and notify all stakeholders of their location.