When it comes to making emergency repairs for your tenant in your rental property for Los Gatos property management, it is extremely important that your tenant has a contact person he or she can get in touch with 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you are managing the property yourself, that contact person might be you. If so, make sure you are willing to answer the phone at 2:00 in the morning when your tenant calls to report the house is flooding. If you are not willing to do that, make sure you designate someone else, and tell your tenant who they should contact in cases of emergency. If you work with a property management company, make sure they have an emergency line that is answered 24 hours a day and seven days a week.
At Real Estate Connections, we have been in the residential property management business for 50 years, and we do have an emergency line that is answered 24/7. That line goes directly to my cell phone, so I am the one taking the calls and determining whether it is in fact an emergency, or a matter that can wait until normal business hours. Knowing what constitutes an emergency is also important. What a tenant considers an emergency might be entirely different than what a landlord considers to be an emergency. It is important to discuss this difference with your tenants.
If your house is flooding, that’s an emergency. If there is a fire, that is also an emergency, and a tenant should probably know to call 9-1-1 before calling the property manager. Outline the process of reporting an emergency with your tenant. It will save you both a lot of time and stress if you agree in advance on what things are emergencies and what things are not. For example, a toilet that does not work is something you can both probably agree is an emergency. Be prepared to help your tenants when urgent problems need to be addressed.
Keep a list of reliable vendors who will go out 24 hours a day, seven days a week to fix these emergency repairs. Talk to your vendors in advance to let them know you expect and need service around the clock. Many contractors are happy to help you and are willing to be reachable any time you need them.
Remember that habitability is a legal issue. If there are problems that make your rental property inhabitable, such as no heat, flooding or appliances that are not working, you need to fix those problems within three working days. This is the law, and you need to move quickly on issues that affect habitability.
We would be happy to talk to you further about what to do to prepare for emergency repairs. If you have any questions or need any help, please drop us a line, or call Real Estate Connections at (408) 873-2100.