Owning rental properties comes with certain responsibilities, and they include providing emergency services for tenants. Some emergency services are required to keep in line with local laws and regulations, while others simply provide your tenants with services they need to get the most out of their rental properties. If you are thinking about hiring a property management company, make sure that it offers the following emergency services.
Having the air conditioning go out on the hottest summer days can make life miserable for your tenants, and having the heat go out during the winter can be hazardous to their well-being. Your property management service should be able to dispatch HVAC repair service in the event of an AC or heat outage. Make sure that the company offers a 24/7 call line tenants can use to report a problem with the heat or AC. Remember that in some areas of the country, landlords are legally required to keep the temperature above a certain number in the winter. For example, in Chicago, landlords with control of heating services must keep apartments between 66 and 68 degrees from September to June.
From clogged toilets to backed up sewer drains, plumbing issues can be a nightmare for tenants. Ask what your property management company's typical response time for plumbing emergencies is, and ask if it has plumbers on staff. Some property management companies have agreements with local plumbing companies to dispatch licensed plumbers quickly, while others have trained plumbers on staff and available to handle minor repairs.
In the event that your building is broken into , your property management company should be able to provide immediate response. The company should be in charge of replacing broken locks and windows immediately after a break-in, and it should also be able to help tenants secure their homes in any other way that might be appropriate. A great property management company will also reassess the security for your building and make improvements as needed to help prevent future burglaries.
Bad weather can lead to a range of property management responses. Severe rainstorms can lead to leaks, roof damage, and flooding, while blizzards can leave sidewalks and driveways inaccessible. Your property management company should have a plan in place to respond immediately when severe weather hits. In the winter, this should include snow and ice removal as well as HVAC inspections to ensure the heat stays on. For properties located in hurricane-prone zones, weather response should include boarding up windows and taking other safety precautions in anticipation of a hurricane.
As you look for a property maintenance company, ask each company you are interested in how it plans to respond in the event of emergencies. Knowing that the company is ready to care for your tenants can provide you with added peace of mind.