Probably the number one thing you need to do is to have an action plan, especially if you don’t live in Las Vegas. You should have a list of vendors that you can easily contact for all types of repairs, insurance contacts, emergency housing for tenants, and of course funds set aside that you can access so that the rental emergency doesn’t turn into “your” personal emergency. As in the case of a fire, or say an accident where a driver lost control of a vehicle and the vehicle ended up inside your dwelling, you might also need all the contact numbers for the police, fire dept, city inspectors, and city emergency response departments. As the old saying goes, if you fail to plan you will be planning to fail.
Get A List Of Vendors
First let’s discuss the vendors. The key here is to find vendors that are qualified and that will actually respond after hours, because not all vendors do. Emergencies never happen when you want them to, and they almost always seem to happen at night or while you’re on vacation. When you have 6 inches of water throughout the property, and it’s moving up your walls, the last thing you want to be doing is searching Yelp to determine who can come to the rescue.
Determine Which Vendor Is The Best Fit
So, how does an owner figure out who the best vendors are that they can rely upon in times of need? An owner needs to have enough experience in each trade in order to conduct an effective interview with a prospective vendor. Owners need to be able to dig deep and ask the right questions to get a clear picture of what each vendor is capable of. In addition, the owner must be able to instantly create a relationship with the vendor so that they’ll receive competitive rates and timely responses.
Unfortunately, as an owner, if you only have one or two properties, you’re really not that important to a vendor. Being able to create a relationship or get preferred rates after one phone call will be difficult. Here is where an owner has an opportunity to leverage a property managers contacts and size so that they instantly become important in the eyes of any vendor.
Get The Right Insurance Coverage
There are a couple of insurance policy considerations to make as well. The first is to make sure your policy covers mold remediation and temporary relocation for your tenants, and secondly you might consider requiring your tenant to carry renter’s insurance. Keep in mind, requiring renter’s insurance could potentially interfere in obtaining qualified tenants for your vacant property unless it was something you were going to provide for them.
So, when something like a fire, or a flood from a broken water pipe happens, you need to have a reliable first responder available, 24/7. There needs to be multiple people that a tenant or city official can contact at a moments notice. In fact, Nevada State law, NRS 118A.260, actually requires a landlord to engage or hire someone to handle their rental if the owner lives more than 60 miles from the property. Not having these resources in place to act on your behalf could put you in a variety of unwanted situations.
Let’s take a moment to review. There are your 4 basic steps to take regarding a rental emergency.
- Set up an emergency fund to cover unexpected expenses
- Know who you are going to call
- If it’s an emergency perform a quick remedy to stop the bleeding
- When you put everything back together, do it right the first time by using qualified vendors. If you go for the cheapest price, you will probably end up paying more in the long run.
The Easiest and Best Solution
Nobody expects or wants an emergency. However, owners need to plan for the worst and hope for the best. The easiest way to do that is to engage an experienced, 24/7 property management firm like the Atlas Group LC. Problem solving and helping owners thrive is what we do. Let’s discuss your needs… there’s no obligation, just give us a call.