The holidays are here again, and for most of us, that means we’ll be taking some time away from our usual day-to-day schedules to spend time with family and friends. If you’re a property owner/manager/landlord, you deserve to take a break as much as everyone else. But sometimes the many demands and daily tasks of property managers can be especially overwhelming and cause added stress during the holidays. Knowing how to keep tenants happy is one of the traits of a great landlord, and with tenants going out of town or hosting gatherings in their home or office, there can often be tenant emergencies over the holidays that you’ll need to handle. And if you are planning to travel during the holidays yourself, you’ll need to put even more preparation and planning into how you will stay on top of your tenant needs while you’re away.
But don’t fret—we’re here to help make your holidays as stress-free as possible (at least when it comes to your landlord duties)! Here are a few tips for how to handle tenant emergencies over the holidays.
- Make sure you have a trustworthy person/company lined up to fill in for you.
If you’re heading out of town for the holidays—or if you will be unavailable for any reason—you need to make sure there is someone you can trust to fill in for you and help handle any property or tenant emergencies while you’re away. Depending on the type, size, and number of properties you own or manage, it might make sense to ask a trusted local friend or relative, or one of your trusted vendors, like a handyman. While the hope is that no major emergencies will arise, you certainly don’t want to risk it, so it’s best to have a fill-in who understands the responsibilities of a property manager and what it takes to be a (good) landlord. Of course, this is one of many excellent benefits of hiring a full-service property management company like Powell Property Management.
- Prepare your fill-in.
Make sure whoever is taking over for you has all the information they need to handle any situations that might arise while you’re away. We suggest providing the following information to your replacement:
- How to get ahold of you while you’re on vacation, and any other trusted contacts’ info.
- A list of each property and tenant’s contact information and any other important notes about specific properties and/or tenants they should be aware of.
- Keys, alarm codes, or any other necessary means to access each property/unit in cases of emergency.
- A list of preferred vendors (e.g., plumber, electrician, locksmith) and contact information with details about who to contact for what and when.
- Account info/form of payment for emergency work (e.g., plumber).
- A Reminder of basic landlord and tenant laws in Washington regarding rights and responsibilities, etc.
- Inform your tenants.
Make sure to notify all of your tenants of the dates you will be unavailable, and instructions for how and when to contact your replacement during that time (e.g., you may ask them to contact the fill-in for emergencies only; so if it can wait, please hold off on the request until you are back). It’s also a good idea to remind your tenants of any security, weather-related, or other property issues and precautions to consider if they are planning to be away from their rental property over the holidays (e.g., set your thermostat to ensure pipes don’t freeze, double check all locks, etc.).
- Inform your vendors.
Be sure to give any preferred vendors a heads-up as well and let them know your replacement will be in touch should any issues arise—and that they are authorized to submit work orders on your behalf—while you’re away.
When it comes to the role of a landlord, it can often be tough for a single individual to manage everything year-round. Hiring a company like Powell Property Management is a great solution for many rental property owners because we’ll always have a team of great people at hand to take care of your property management and tenant needs—24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Contact us today to learn more about who we are and how we can help!