There are three reasons landlords invest in property: stability, rate of return, and minimal effort. However, as a property owner, you may experience a few hiccups that can range from a leaky faucet to something more severe—such as a complete economic recession. As a professional Schertz property management company, we have seen this happen to more landlords than we’d like!
It helps to know what to do in these instances. By having a plan, you are better prepared for almost any eventuality and can experience the kind of security and peace of mind that comes from being proactive rather than reactive.
A quick foreword: This article is not intended as a substitute for medical or legal advice. If you’re facing a challenge that requires a competent attorney or expert property management skills, Schertz landlords, reach out to us for more guidance!
What a Crisis Plan Should Contain
Your disaster plan is more than just a list of emergency contact numbers! It should primarily serve as a blueprint that allows you to take fast and decisive action. It’s essential to include the right strategies and information in any crisis plan you draft so that it’s flexible enough to meet any challenge head-on.
As long-time experts in property management, here are some items we recommend you include:
Up-To-Date Contact Information
One of the first things you need to do in a crisis is to determine whether your tenants are safe and unharmed. This is difficult to do when the information on record is stale or incorrect.
- Get the contact details of every tenant that inhabits the building if you own a multi-family rental property, not just those on the lease agreement.
- It’s also important to keep track of who lives in your property to ensure that you can account for everyone in an emergency.
- Getting in touch with your renters during a crisis after you’ve checked in on your own family can also give you some information about the condition of your rental.
Safety Protocols to Follow
Not all situations will warrant the same response. For instance, when there’s a fire, it’s crucial to have an evacuation plan in place. Other threats may require a different response, such as the need for PPE. It’s vital for landlords to know what to do or who to contact when these threats occur. Defined safety protocols are important to have, and should form part of the crisis plan.
Consider multiple events when creating your crisis plans, such as:
- Natural disasters
- Fire hazards
- Gas leaks
- Civil unrest
- Hostage situations
- Viral outbreaks.
Make it your business to confirm that your tenant knows where certain crucial items are located in their rental home, such as a fire extinguisher, the breaker box, or a water main.
Crisis Response Management
As a landlord, it’s important to know ahead of time how to communicate with tenants in the fastest, easiest way possible.
- Emails and instant messages are fast and provide a paper trail.
- It’s important to let tenants know who their point of contact is in the crisis should you appoint someone to the role (like a property management partner).
- A single spokesperson, whether it’s you or your property manager, will ensure that all the communication remains uniform and informative.
Trusting a Schertz property management professional to handle this makes communication between your renters and your property manager simple and efficient.
As a landlord, it’s also important to plan for the devastation that might occur during a natural disaster. Alert tenants that they should follow the evacuation orders and that they should take photos of their belongings if they have renters insurance. This will help them file for an insurance claim.
An Understanding of Eviction Law
During a pandemic or severe recession that causes financial hardship, the government or the state may halt evictions and request you to be lenient to tenants who experience difficulties. It’s important to know what the restrictions are to enforce rental agreements and whether it will make sense in the long term to evict or to arrange something else with the tenant, such as a voluntary move-out.
- While this may seem like a touchy topic for landlords, it’s important to know the laws that govern Texas and Guadalupe (or Bexar) County, and how they affect landlord and tenant rights.
- It’s also important to know which steps to follow and under which conditions to start the eviction process. By knowing the process and the timeline before a tenant moves in, landlords can plan better and not get caught off-guard if they need to proceed with an eviction.
Plans for Financial Preparedness
There are several reasons landlords should have some money tucked away as a rainy day fund. Landlords should expect maintenance, repairs, and the unexpected costs that make savings an important part of the crisis plan. These include copayments to the insurance company during a claim or the cost of an eviction.
There is also the possibility of the loss of rental income because of non-payment. Landlords should have enough money stashed away to weather the length of an eviction period and any repairs or maintenance that need doing. Of course, you can avoid those fears with the right guarantees offered by the experts in Schertz property management!
Seek the Right Guidance
Landlords need to stay abreast of laws that affect their properties! This includes being aware of tenant rights and situations that could affect the ability to collect rent. It also means knowing where the responsibilities lie in terms of crisis management. A crisis plan helps.
However, relying on the right property manager could help put that plan into action—or prevent you from ever needing to act on it in the first place. A professional property management partner handles so much more than maintenance or communication between you and your renters! We are a crucial part of your tenant screening and placement process, too!
We also help you manage rent collection—even during the toughest times. If you are interested in having your property managed by Real Property Management Campanas, have more questions, or just want to speak to one of our team members, then contact us online or call us directly at (210) 314-1039 today!
We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.