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Maintenance Issues: Emergencies Vs Regular Repairs

Maintenance Issues: Emergencies Vs Regular Repairs

All landlords know that managing a rental property can be time-consuming. While the typical job ends at 5 p.m., you might be expected to spend significantly more time handling a diverse number of tasks. One of them is handling emergency maintenance issues.

A lot of property maintenance concerns can be prevented or resolved with regular inspections. However, the most demanding maintenance concerns are the ones that come up unexpectedly, especially outside of regular business hours.

From the wee hours of the morning to deep in the night, you can expect to get a call from the tenant requesting quick attention to a problem.

But some emergencies may not be emergencies. How can you ascertain this and address this? That’s why the property experts from Rent Appeal have put together this article. You need to know what is considered an emergency, how to address those early morning calls, and more.

What Is Considered an Emergency Maintenance Concern?

What constitutes an emergency? What should have you waking from bed and rushing to your rental property? Any circumstance that only causes the tenant an inconvenience or discomfort does not apply. Such a scenario can wait till the morning. However, should there be a chance of bodily harm or damage to the tenant’s health, quickly make your way down.

To further help you decide in the future, here are a few examples of maintenance issues that are considered an emergency:

  • Frozen pipes and potential flooding
  • Fire
  • Gas leak 
  • Broken lock on the door (especially entry and exit doors) 
  • No heat in the winter 
  • No AC during the summer 
  • Electrical issues (especially during power surges)
  • Detection of carbon monoxide 
  • Intruder break-in
  • Leaking roof

All of these concerns can put your tenants or your property at risk. It is important to promptly address issues such as those listed above to ensure the safety of your property and tenants.

What Is Considered a Regular Maintenance Concern?

Let’s have a look at the other side. Should there be no immediate danger to the safety of the tenant, there is no need for you to rush to the property. Although these concerns may be an inconvenience, they do not require immediate attention.

  • Burning out of a light fixture 
  • Breaking of the dishwasher or some appliance 
  • Noise complaints 
  • A minor leak in the bathroom 
  • Disputes between neighbors on various issues (parking, garbage disposal, hanging lines, etc.) 

Should you wait till the morning or the next day, you will still be able to handle the above-stated issues.

Tips on How to Handle Emergency Issues

Even when you have a well-maintained property and quality tenants, the possibility of emergency maintenance issues is always present. You must be in a position to handle the issue promptly. Here are some things to consider:

Be Reachable

Your Tenants need to be able to get a hold of someone who can help, whether that’s you or your property manager. Once they can reach you, you can provide some instructions on how to handle the emergency. If this emergency requires first responders, you must stay in the loop as the situation progresses.

Know Emergency Services

You and your tenants should be aware of who to reach in case of an emergency. A handy trick to ensure your tenant's safety is to provide a list of emergency contact numbers along with which one to contact regarding the type of emergency.

Your tenants should always know who to call, whether they need firefighters, police, paramedics or emergency maintenance services.

Stay in Communication

Let’s say the matter in question is a broken pipe. After the plumber is called, your job is still not done. It is your responsibility to communicate with the tenant regarding the situation. 

Ask them if the plumber came on time. Did they offer a comprehensive service? Is the leak fixed? Following up to ensure the issue is resolved is something that the tenant will appreciate.

Be Decisive

As mentioned earlier, an emergency on a property is a question of when and not if. When it happens, you must ensure to be on sight quickly, get a handle on things, and start charting the next course of action.

In the case of a fire, you would want to know the cause. Will you be able to get temporary housing for the tenant? What is the extent of the damage?

Bottom Line

As you have figured out, there is a lot more to be discussed when talking about handling property maintenance emergencies. Property management is a comprehensive and diverse skill that requires one to be hands-on and give much of their time.

It can be hard to determine what maintenance concerns are emergencies, and what are not. Being able to provide great maintenance services to your tenants is important for fostering a positive relationship. This helps to ensure you have long-term and reliable tenants and will help avoid property vacancies.

Most property owners find out that they lack the expertise and knowledge to adequately manage their rentals. Atlanta property owners rely on the experience of Rent Appeal, the leading service provider in the region.

Are you looking for an experienced property manager in the area? Get in touch with us today.