Are you just getting started with owning your first rental property? If so, you’re making a smart choice! Rental properties make a great investment but they can also be a “headache” especially if you have to deal with one of the following rental property emergencies.
1. Gas Leak
If a tenant complains of an odor of rotten eggs in his or her apartment, it may signal a gas leak. Failing to address the issue could result in a gas explosion or carbon monoxide poisoning—as well as lawsuits, fires, and expensive repairs. Obviously, this emergency requires your immediate attention.
The best way to prepare for this scenario is to provide your tenants with their gas company’s contact information. Instruct them to call the company if they experience a gas leak. Have this information on hand, as well, just in case your tenant is unable to call or not home when the gas leak occurs.
In 2018, there were 86,500 apartment fires, accounting for 17% of structure fires. While the likelihood of one occuring on your rental property is low, you should still have a plan in place in case there is a fire. Doing so can improve emergency response time, saving your building and the lives of your tenants.
Prepare tenants for such an emergency by requiring them to have renters insurance and memorize escape routes. Placing escape maps in each unit and holding annual fire drills can also help your renters better understand what to do in the case of an apartment fire. Moreover, you can prepare yourself by installing smoke alarms, providing tenants with fire extinguishers, and testing outlets regularly.
3. Power Outage
In most cases, you probably don’t consider power outages emergencies—although your tenants might feel differently. For instance, in the case of extreme weather or a blown fuse, an immediate response isn’t necessary, especially if the outage occurs after hours. However, your tenants who live to watch Netflix and can’t stand their phone battery dipping below 50% might demand immediate attention. In most cases, fixing a late-night outage like this can wait until morning.
However, if a power outage results in a stuck garage door and your tenant must open the unit to retrieve their car, you must respond quickly and show them how to manually open and lock the garage door safely. Additionally, you’ll have to reset the door once the outage is over. However, you can prepare in advance for such a situation by walking tenants through these processes when they first move in.
Hurricanes, tsunamis, and torrential downpours can happen at any time, especially if your rental property is in an area where these extreme weather patterns frequently occur. If water infiltrates your property and floods units, you’ll want to act quickly to prevent mold growth, which can cause allergic reactions and illnesses. A fast response is also important in avoiding structural damage—something that can cost thousands of dollars to fix.
Prepare for floods by having the number of a plumber and electrician on hand at all times so you can call them at the first sign of trouble. You can also work to prevent floods by periodically cleaning gutters, updating plumbing systems, and even using sandbags if extreme weather is in the forecast.
5. Inoperative HVAC
Often, failure of the air conditioning system or heating isn’t a pressing emergency. Most people can live in mild discomfort for a few hours or even overnight. However, if it’s incredibly hot outside and the AC stops working or it’s a frigid winter and the heat malfunctions, these do qualify as emergencies. Without a working HVAC system, tenants—especially the aging or those with health conditions—can easily freeze or overheat.
As HVAC systems do tend to malfunction in extreme temperatures, it’s important to prepare for these emergency scenarios before they occur. Have an HVAC repairman whom you can call to repair the system on short notice or learn how to repair issues yourself to respond to tenants quicker.
Source – Bigger Pockets
Property Management Is The Best Way To Avoid Rental Property Emergencies
Even though rental property emergencies occur, one of the best ways to avoid them is to hire a property management company.
When you hire a property manager you can have confidence that every aspect of your rental property is being professionally managed so that you don’t have to deal with emergencies or anything related to management yourself.
To learn more about the property management services we can offer you contact us today by calling (831) 484-4604 or click here to connect with us online.