Today, we’re talking about those after-hours emergencies that happen from time to time with your rental property. There are a few things you need to be prepared to handle.
Define Emergency Property Maintenance
Clearly identify what you consider an emergency. We believe emergencies fall into one of two categories. Either the situation poses a threat to your property or the situation is imminently hazardous to tenants. We recommend responding to these items right away:
- Substantial water leaks that can’t be stopped.
- Penetration of building by trees or other problems that are caused by wind events or vandalism.
- No heat in the cold winter months.
- Clogged toilets when there’s only one toilet in the home.
- Fires reported by your tenant.
Rental Property Repairs: Vendors
Identify key vendors ahead of time. You’ll need a good handyman, a roof repair person, a plumber, and an electrician. All the vendors you hire must be willing to work after hours for you. These emergencies never occur Monday through Friday or between 9:00 to 5:00.
Rental Maintenance and Tenants
Follow up with your tenant when after-hours repairs have been done. Ensure the work has been properly completed.
We also recommend charging tenants for the damages they cause to the property. Tenants stuff things in toilets or sinks and grind up materials in garbage disposals that can cause problems. In those situations, it’s legitimate to charge the tenants for your repair work.
Consider an After-hours Call Service
If you have more than a few properties, use an after-hours on-call service. They can help you pre-screen the situation and activate the appropriate vendors. It minimizes the amount of time you spend responding to emergencies in the middle of the night.
These are just a few tips. If you’d like more information on rental maintenance or anything pertaining to your Bellingham rental property, please contact us at Access Real Estate Services. We have been serving Bellingham and the surrounding area since 2010.