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How to Effectively Handle Property Maintenance Emergencies

Leaking water pipe in rental property

Anything can happen when you’re a rental property owner in Annapolis, Maryland, especially when it comes to emergency property maintenance. As a landlord, you have taken on the responsibility to provide a habitable place for your tenants to live 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.  

Therefore, if something goes wrong and there’s an emergency that could put your rental property or your tenants in danger, you must step up and handle the situation.

If you’re a first-time landlord, this can be quite intimidating, especially if you aren’t sure where to begin when you need to handle a property maintenance emergency. 

Don’t worry! You’ve come to the right place to learn how to effectively emergency property maintenance requests with this step-by-step guide. 

What is Considered A Rental Property Maintenance Emergency?

Before we dive into the steps to handle emergency maintenance requests, we should first identify what issues are considered maintenance emergencies.

An emergency in your rental property is any situation where your property or your tenants are in danger. The following situations are considered emergency situations:

  • House fire
  • Flooding
  • Burst pipes
  • Gas leak
  • Broken windows
  • Intruder
  • Loss of power
  • Locked out of the property
  • Broken heat during the winter months
  • Broken AC during the hot summer months

These all interfere with your tenants’ right to live peacefully and securely in your property and must be resolved promptly.

How to Handle Property Maintenance Emergencies Step-by-Step

In the case that you receive an urgent call from your tenants in Annapolis, property owners should follow these four steps to handle their emergency requests.

Step 1: Determine If It’s an Emergency

You will sometimes find that your tenants call you with emergency maintenance requests for things that aren’t technically emergencies. So, before you go into full-on resolution mode, it’s important to determine whether the situation is an emergency or not.

Talk to your tenant and see if they are in any danger. Ask them to describe the situation and the events leading up to it. You may even request that they send photos of what is happening at the rental property.

Once you’ve determined that the situation is, in fact, an emergency, you can move on to the second step.

Step 2: Direct Tenants to Take Action

Since your tenants are already at the property, direct them to take action to either stop the emergency from happening or to try and prevent more damage from happening.

For example, if there is a burst pipe, tell them how to shut off the main water valve, so the flooding doesn’t further damage the property.

It’s important to stay calm during this step and clearly give directions to your tenants so they can feel more in control and help in this emergency situation.

Annapolis plumber inspecting leaking pipes for landlord

Step 3: Call a Professional

Depending on the type of emergency maintenance request you receive, you may have to call a professional to come and help you remedy it at your property. It’s a good idea to keep a list of numbers on hand in case of this situation.

You’ll want to have a contact for a plumber, locksmith, and electrician who makes emergency calls. This will save you a lot of time and stress during the actual instance of a property maintenance emergency.

Tell the professional what is going on, the address of the rental property, and ask them to come as soon as possible to fix it. The quicker you are, the less risk of expensive property damage. 

Step 4: Go to the Property

Even if it’s after normal business hours, or even in the middle of the night, it’s important that you show up to the property in the event of a maintenance emergency to ensure your property and tenants are safe.

In some instances where you don’t need a professional, you may be able to fix the problem yourself when you arrive. The point of this step is to show up and be as helpful as possible during this kind of situation.

The most important thing to remember is to stay calm during this situation. Your tenants will likely be looking to you for guidance.

How to Prepare for Emergencies at Your Rental Property

One of the best things Annapolis real estate investors can do is to prepare for emergency maintenance requests ahead of time. With this preparation, you are less stressed and have steps in place to follow.

Have a Plan in Place

The key to effectively handling emergency maintenance is to have a plan in place. Above, we gave you a four-step plan to ensure you stay calm and manage the situation well.

If needed, add some steps depending on your situation, but this should work for pretty much every situation.

Annapolis landlord checks phone to see tenant emergency

It’s tempting to put our phones on silent and escape from the world sometimes, but as a rental property owner, you don’t have this luxury when you manage your properties independently.

Always Be Reachable

Your tenants should always be able to reach you, no matter what time of day it is, in case there is an emergency situation.

Have Backup Contacts

In the event that you’re on vacation or out of town and cannot get to your property in case of an emergency, have someone you trust go in your place. You never want to leave your tenants to handle these situations alone.

The Secret to Handling Emergency Maintenance without the Stress

What if you never had to answer an emergency maintenance call ever again but still benefit from receiving rental income each month?

When you work with a property management company like Mainstay Property Management, you never have to answer another maintenance call again. Professionally trained property managers will handle all routine property maintenance requests, and handle any maintenance emergencies no matter when they happen. 

Experienced property management companies in Annapolis have proven plans in place to handle every emergency that may come up at your rental properties. So, when you have a property manager, you can go ahead and put your phone on silent mode and get a good night’s rest. 

To learn more about property management and how hiring a property manager can make your life easier, read this article on 8 Secrets Every Landlord Must Know to Get Tenants to Pay Rent on Time.

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