Being a landlord is not a typical nine-to-five job. Maintenance requests and emergency calls can come at any hour of the day.
That’s why it’s important to have a plan to deal with them. We’ve compiled a list of five top tips for handling after-hours calls from your tenants.
1. Set Clear Guidelines
Before a tenant moves in, establish a process for reporting and handling emergencies. This means clearly communicating with them what is considered a true emergency that warrants a call.
These standards are things that have occurred within the property that are immediately affecting the health and safety of the tenant or building. Some examples include gas leaks, electrical issues, water damage, backed sewer lines, fires, carbon monoxide detection, and non-working locks.
Every tenant should be informed of this criterion so that every minor repair is not being called in.
2. Know Your Responsibilities
As a landlord, it’s your duty to promptly handle all property maintenance and repair issues. These repairs should also be done in a timely manner to prevent issues from spreading throughout the property and causing further damage.
But there are some things that tenants may feel are emergencies but are in fact not. This includes things like clogged or backed drains, noise complaints, parking issues, or minor leaks. These issues should be communicated to tenants as being non-emergencies and therefore can be handled during standard work hours.
3. Preventative Maintenance is Key
It’s your job to provide a safe and habitable home for your tenants. And, to achieve that, you should be keeping up with repairs and maintenance as much as possible. Keeping up with maintenance around the also limits the number of after-hour calls you’ll be getting as it ensures systems are up-to-date. In turn, catching little problems before they turn into big ones.
Consider setting up a regular maintenance schedule where the components of the building are checked regularly (the plumbing, HVAC, pest control, landscaping, security systems, etc.).
4. Direct Your Tenants on Who to Call
Tenants should also be provided with emergency contact information before they move in. That way, when they move in, they will know exactly who to speak to in the event of an emergency. Doing this will help direct calls away from you, and towards the emergency line or company in charge of handling these situations.
If you don’t have a company there to help you, consider hiring a professional property management company, like us at PMI Midwest, we have a dedicated staff available 24/7 to help with your tenant’s needs who can expertly direct, and dispatch professionals to take care of the situation.
5. Ask the Right Questions
Staff responding to after-hour maintenance requests will also need to be expertly trained. Having a smooth response plan can ensure efficiency in an emergency. This means that the responding personnel should be asking for all the contact details of the tenant and checking if they will need emergency accommodations for the night.
They should also be inquiring to see if any major systems are to be shut down (such as heat, water, or electricity) and if so, they may need to contact other tenants in the building.
From here, the responder will need to determine who will be called to repair the issue, how long it will take, who is liable for the damage, and if any insurance companies need to be informed.
But, if you’re struggling to handle after-hours maintenance calls on your own, know that you don’t have to do it alone! PMI Midwest is here to help. Our expertly trained property maintenance team can help prepare a plan, and act in a responsive and professional manner to all your tenant’s needs. That way, you can focus on growing a successful business.
Consider speaking with a member of our staff today by phone at 317-546-3482 or emailing at email@example.com.