How Property Managers Can Assist Tenants When There is a Flood
Water is essential to life, yet it can also be such a destructive force when a flood occurs. It can utterly destroy everything from electronics to furniture to clothing. It can also cause mold and nasty bacteria to take up residence without a lease agreement. Sewage backup can do even worse things, especially if water spreads it all around.
As a property manager, you need to be prepared for all manner of scenarios, including flooding, even in the Mile High City of Denver. That flooding could be due to a natural problem or a man-made one, even simple accidents. There are many things you can do to help out your flood-affected tenants as well as protect yourself in the event of legal issues.
One of the simplest things to protect tenants should occur before they even move in. Require every tenant to have current and adequate renter’s insurance. It may not protect them against everything, but it will take a huge burden off of them (and you) if they need to replace things ruined by flooding. Include a contingency in the rental agreement that if it lapses you won’t be held liable for their mistakes. Further aid your tenants by providing a list of insurance companies. Try to partner with a few to get good rates. Do your due diligence and highlight the ones that cover flooding adequately.
Whether mold, a broken pipe, or faulty appliances, it’s your job as the property manager to be on top of everything. Schedule maintenance teams to inspect apartments periodically for issues. Tenants may not even know there’s a problem. Mold especially can be a nasty surprise. Even a small flood – say, in a kitchen or bathroom – that was small and contained and thought not to be an issue can have an impact on an apartment below or beside. You need inspections regularly from Denver’s mold remediation experts. Check for leaks, moist areas, breaks in pipes, cracks in seals, and more. Every time a tenant moves you need to inspect the place thoroughly and completely, including crawl spaces. It will help the next tenant and provide you some peace of mind also.
Efficient Emergency Response
As the landlord or property manager, you are responsible for emergency repairs. Foster a strong partnership with a water damage restoration company that you can count on to be there when you need. You may not be able to prevent a flood every time, but you can certainly provide rapid response. Responding to a flooded apartment and working with both tenants and restoration people can have its challenges, but it’s in your best interests to show tenants you are there for them. When people feel cared for, they are more likely to care for the apartment.
Some property managers find a general maintenance guy to live on-site, often by offering reduced rent in exchange for some services. This is OK for average matters, but flood response requires the professionals. Get them there immediately to not only serve the tenants, but to put you “in the clear” about legal liability and duty of care.
From mold remediation to tenant relocation to fires and floods, you need emergency protocols in place and displayed clearly in every apartment. Protocols include what to do when an event occurs and also before one. Tenants need to know what they can do to help in an emergency and how to identify issues. Include info about things from repairs to evacuation. A flood remediation company might even come for free to educate tenants. EMT and fireman and police are also readily available.
We trust this information has been helpful for you. Feel free to ask questions and learn more about partnering with the best flood response and restoration team servicing Denver and the entire Front Range.
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