The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a change in how we all live our lives, but it has also impacted businesses small and large worldwide. That's especially true of businesses that involve close contact with other people, such as restaurants and bars. However, as an expert in Maryland property management, we know quite well that landlords also have to work in close contact with others—which can make handling maintenance during social distancing seem impossible.
Thankfully, this most crucial of tasks is still achievable as long as you have the right policies in place and the right kind of help! Consider the following insights from our perspective as a Maryland rental property professional when determining how to approach the maintenance needs your renters have during the pandemic.
Create and Execute New Maintenance Policies
Creating new policies to help people stay in compliance with social distancing rules is essential to everyone's health and well being. That's why it's important that you create policies that align with CDC recommendations about social distancing so that everyone stays safe and protected during the pandemic.
If you work with outside vendors, they also need to be aware of your established procedure when entering any rental homes under your ownership. This keeps your contractors and your renters safe and healthy! Here are some of the policy changes we recommend as professional Maryland property management.
1. Only Do Emergency Maintenance
Create a policy that states you'll only complete emergency maintenance. Let your tenants know that any maintenance requests that aren't emergencies will be put on hold until the pandemic is over or priority requests are taken care of. Non-emergency maintenance issues typically include cosmetic fixes that don't hamper the functionality of your rental home.
Emergency issues include things like:
- Fire damage
- Broken refrigerators
- Broken air conditioners
- Flooding caused by pipes
- Clogged, inoperable toilets
- Doors or windows that won't lock.
Let your tenants know exactly what kinds of repairs qualify as emergency and non-emergency repairs, so they don't call in unnecessary maintenance requests.
2. Tenants Can't Be Home During Maintenance Work
Coordinate with your renters during repairs, if possible, to ensure they are out of the home. Make sure to inform your tenants ahead of time so that when they need to make a maintenance request, they're already planning to be out of the house when the maintenance workers are scheduled to arrive. This policy can ensure everyone stays safe and healthy and help combat the spread of the virus.
3. Communicate Your New Policies in Writing
Once you've written your new policies, make sure to give a copy to each of your tenants. You can choose to do it through email or by mail. Just make sure everyone gets a copy, so they know what new policies were put in place for maintenance requests during the coronavirus pandemic. You could even have all your tenants sign a document of confirmation saying they received the new policies so that you're sure you got through to everyone.
Consider the Help of a Partner
Hiring a professional Maryland property management company takes the worry out of things! You won't have to think about getting up at the crack of dawn to address maintenance issues that could be better handled by professionals. You also won't have to worry about whether you've done a quality repair or how long it will hold up. A property manager is your professional buffer between you and your renters: you'll never have to wonder if your tenants are being cared for and their needs are being met.
Let a Property Manager Handle the Details!
If you'd rather not hear about maintenance issues, your property management company can handle any requests received from your tenants and communicate with them about how and when the maintenance will be done. You don't have to worry about having direct contact with your renters or about having to coordinate repairs. We've got your back!
Access to Professional, Licensed, and Insured Vendors
As mentioned above, property managers have great networks of professional, licensed, and insured vendors whose sole purpose is to perform routine and emergency maintenance. By going through an experienced property management company, you'll be able to leave the work up to the professionals and devote your time to other important tasks related to being a good landlord. It also means that your standards of care during the pandemic will be upheld from the start!
You've Got This—and We've Got Your Back!
Handling maintenance during social distancing can seem daunting—especially if you're going at it alone. However, working with the Maryland property management experts at Renters Warehouse BW Metro can help you manage your maintenance requests with ease. However, that's not the only thing we tackle for property owners!
To get a better idea of everything we manage for you in a crisis, download your free copy of our Collecting Rent in a Crisis Handbook to tap into our insight as a property manager!