At ZenPro, we have been engaging with landlords, property owners, investors, and residents throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Our team has been quick to share any resources we have, and we’ve been working hard to protect the properties we manage as well as the health and safety of our team and the people we work with.
With the COVID-19 crisis still very much active and ongoing, we’ve had to be creative in the way we lease, manage, and maintain Temple City rental homes. One of our most unique challenges has been maintenance and repairs. Deferred maintenance can be bad for your investment. It leads to more expensive repairs and the deterioration of your property.
We’re working with residents, owners, and vendors to provide ongoing maintenance services in a way that’s smart and safe, and we want to talk about how to handle these maintenance requests during a pandemic.
Can You Complete Maintenance Requests During COVID?
The process for handling maintenance requests needs to be flexible and safe. You will want to continue responding to emergency repairs and habitability issues with the same sense of urgency that you always have. For routine and non-emergency repairs, it’s okay to slow things down and be more deliberate in the way they’re scheduled, tracked, and managed.
Many of the vendors we work with are still hesitant to go into homes. So, when owners and tenants are cooperative about holding off on unnecessary repairs, everyone can stay a little safer. It helps tenants who may have anxiety about people entering their home and it also keeps some extra money in the bank for owners who may feel vulnerable.
When repairs are made, we ask our residents to take some extra steps. If possible, we want them to not be home when repairs are being made. That means less contact. We also ask tenants to disinfect and clean before and after the repair has been made. Gloves and masks are required for our vendors as well as tenants when they elect to stay in the property during the repair.
Encourage Residents to Continue Reporting Maintenance Issues
Your tenants may not be eager to report a minor maintenance issue, but you still want to know about them.
Even if you’re not going to respond to it right away, you need to know there’s a problem. Make sure your residents understand that they should still submit maintenance requests, even if it’s minor and even if the repair can be delayed.
This is important. They may not want anyone coming into the house if it’s not an emergency, and you can empathize with that. Ask them to report the problems even if an immediate solution is not required. This will give you a documented list of things that need to be done. You can then prioritize them and measure the safety of your residents and your maintenance crew against the maintenance needs of your property.
Continue Responding to Emergencies
Unexpected maintenance emergencies are going to continue, even during a pandemic. You will get calls for leaks, exploding water heaters, problems with electricity, and as our temperatures continue to stay hot as summer ends, issues with air conditioning.
We recommend you respond to these emergencies promptly to ensure your property remains habitable and your tenants safe. When you need to send a vendor or contractor over to the property, take a few precautions. We recommend:
- Asking the tenants not to be at home when the repair is made.
- Requiring masks and gloves to be worn whenever possible and safe by your maintenance team.
- Instructing your vendors or contractors to provide extra cleaning on any surfaces that were touched during the repair.
- Taking extra pictures and notes to document who was in the property, what was done, and what the end result looked like.
If tenants are unable to leave during the repair, make sure they understand the requirements of social distancing and advise them to wash hands and clean thoroughly before and after the maintenance vendor is in the property.
We know these are difficult and stressful times, and we hope you are handling the management of your rental property as best you can. If you would like some professional Temple City property management help, now is a good time to talk to us. Contact our team at ZenPro, and we’ll discuss some solutions.