Dealing with maintenance emergencies is part of property management. First of all, a tenant’s idea of an emergency might not be my idea of an emergency. If a tenant calls at 10:00 in the evening and tells me the toilet is clogged and I know they have two toilets, it’s not an emergency. We’ll get someone out there the next business day and it will keep the cost down for our owners. Always make sure it is really an emergency before you send someone out to the property.
Some emergencies are seasonal. In California, a heater not working in July is probably not an emergency. A heater not working in January, when the temperature has dropped to 40 degrees is an emergency. A lot of places in the bay area do not have air conditioning, but if it’s a hot day and the a/c is not working, that could be considered an emergency. This is especially true if your tenants are elderly or they have very young children. In those cases, air conditioning is needed. Keep these things in mind when your tenant calls you and tells you there is an emergency at the property.
At Aapex Property Management, we have two employees who get the emergency calls. They do not go out to some other vendor who may or may not know our properties and our tenants. The calls come to us directly so we can determine what needs to be done. It is also really important to keep a list of vendors you know and can trust. You want to make sure you vendors will handle after hour emergencies. You don’t want to find yourself flipping through the phone book at 2:00 in the morning, trying to find someone who can contain the damage being done by a water heater problem. Have a list of preferred vendors you can refer to quickly.
Another thing that’s important is keeping your tenants calm. When a tenant calls and they have an emergency, the first thing we say is that we are very sorry they have to deal with this right now. We also tell them we will do our best to take care of the problem right away. That can calm a person down a little bit. Things can get stressful when water is running all over the house or the tenants cannot flush the toilet or stuff starts coming up through the bathtub drain. Calm them down and let them know you are taking care of it. This will make a big difference.
If you have any questions about how to handle a maintenance emergency in your rental property, please contact us at Aapex Property Management.