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Handling Emergency Property Maintenance

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If you are a property owner or manager, you may be accustomed to the routine maintenance needed for your rental spaces. Among other tasks, you may regularly inspect the plumbing for leaks, exterminate for pests, verify the operation of your smoke alarms, and change the HVAC filters.

Also, your tenants may submit maintenance requests for additional issues, such as a dishwasher that won't start or a door handle that seems wobbly. As long as the issues are not emergencies, they may be scheduled to be remedied within a day or two, based on the order in which they were submitted.

However, maintenance emergencies require immediate attention. Here are is a bit of information about emergency property maintenance and how it should be handled.

What Is a Maintenance Emergency?

A maintenance emergency includes property issues that cause critical systems, such as the HVAC or electrical system, to malfunction or fail. Emergencies also include issues that prevent the property from meeting government regulations for habitation. 

If a tenant reports a gas leak or a smoking electrical outlet, the problem must be addressed immediately. A delay in the repair could jeopardize the safety of the property and the tenants.

What Should You Do First When You Suspect a Maintenance Emergency Is Occurring?

If you believe that you may have a maintenance emergency, assess the situation to determine if a true emergency is taking place. Even though a tenant may believe that a dripping sink is an emergency, it may not be. However, if the leak is actually a flood of water from a broken pipe, emergency actions should begin.

Discuss the details with the tenant and survey the property to evaluate the concerns.

After Confirming a Maintenance Emergency, What's Next?

Once you have verified the emergency issue, contact the proper vendor or personnel to have the issue promptly corrected. It is best to establish a list of vendors that can be called upon at a moment's notice. The list should include plumbers, electricians, and HVAC specialists that can remain on-call for your property, even on holidays and weekends.

Additionally, be prepared to relocate your tenant if the maintenance issue prevents them from staying on the property. As you address the repair, notify them of the progress and the expected timeframe for the completion.

To learn more about property maintenance emergencies, schedule a consultation with a real estate maintenance professional in your local area.