As a landlord, whether you’re managing your own home or considering the services of a professional property management company, you need to know how to handle after-hours emergencies. What happens if something goes wrong in the middle of the night?
We’re offering some tips on how to handle that.
Tenants will call in for anything from a beeping smoke detector to a true maintenance emergency like a fire or a flood. At Invest West, we take those calls and assess the situation. Emergency maintenance is the most expensive type of repair when it comes to getting vendors out. Usually, they charge double, so we want to make sure it’s a true emergency.
An emergency is something that will cause damage to your property or a hazard to your tenant. Your property management company should have someone on call 24/7 to respond. If you’re taking these calls yourself, have a plan in place when you go away for the weekend or take a vacation. Someone will need to be available to your tenants.
How to Handle Non-Emergencies
A refrigerator that stops working may seem like a real emergency to a tenant, but it isn’t. There aren’t even any appliance vendors who will come out in the middle of the night or over the weekend. It’s understandable that the tenants don’t want their food to spoil, but we can make recommendations that protect it. For example, they can put bags of ice in the fridge and only open the refrigerator door when it’s absolutely necessary. That will keep their food cold.
How to Handle a Real Emergency
If it’s a true emergency, like a fire or a flood, handle that call immediately. We always want tenants to call 9-1-1 first, and then call us. Our maintenance team and our property managers will get out to the property and assess the situation as the fire department or other emergency personnel are responding.
Make sure your property management company is prepared to take calls. Make sure they have the resources to make the process as pain-free for your tenants as possible. If you’re managing on your own, you need to have a list of vendors who know you and can respond if you need help. That can be challenging as a landlord, but it’s really critical. You don’t want to be looking for a plumber in the middle of the night to help you in an emergency. Minutes count.