How to Deal With After-Hours Calls from Your Tenants
Unlike usual nine-to-five jobs, being a landlord has no set work hours. On the one hand, a flexible schedule can be advantageous. However, on the other hand, you might also need to conduct business after hours.
When you get after-hour calls from your tenants, it most likely would have to do with an emergency that needs attending. In these cases, you must be prepared to deal with it and know what to do. Here are some tips that can help you handle after-hour calls from your tenants.
Establish Emergency Guidelines
When you get after-hour calls from your tenants, it may or may not be an emergency. It’s essential that both parties understand what constitutes an emergency so that you won’t be getting unnecessary calls at ungodly hours.
Generally, tenant emergencies that warrant after-hour calls should be ones that can affect the health and safety of the tenant and other people in the building. These emergencies could include fires, gas leaks, water emergencies, carbon monoxide detection, electrical issues, and more.
However, it is also possible that your tenant might consider an issue an emergency that warrants a call even when it isn’t. They may call about backed-up toilets or parking issues. However, these really aren’t issues that need immediate attention. Even security concerns shouldn’t be considered a landlord emergency, as the calls you should be making should be directed to the police or 911 instead.
It’s crucial to clearly define emergencies that warrant after-hour calls at the beginning of the tenant’s lease to avoid any inconvenience in the future. You may even have it posted in each property you manage so that your tenants will have a reminder.
Have a Protocol for Emergencies
If it turns out that your tenant is calling about a legitimate emergency, you should have a protocol set so you won’t be flustered each time. Start by asking the right questions to obtain the relevant information. Ask them what exactly happened and if they were able to call the right authoritative figure. For example, if it was a fire, you should know if firefighters are already there or at least on the way.
Next, you should focus on your tenant. Ask them if they need emergency accommodations for the night. You should also already have options for instances such as this so you can provide your tenant a safe place to stay in the meantime. Have a list of nearby accommodations so you can be prepared if ever you need them.
Your protocol should also include finding out if any significant systems, such as water and electricity need to be shut down. Find out how long they’ll need to be down and figure out how long the repairs would take.
Once you’ve made arrangements that ensure the safety of your tenant and other people affected, you must then need to deal with the insurance. Determine who is liable and see if you need to contact your insurance provider or your tenant’s renter’s insurance provider.
Hire a Property Management Company
It can be challenging to self-manage a rental property. And if you own different properties, it can be even harder, especially during emergencies.
Hiring the services of a property management company can really help take some of the burdens off your shoulders. They’ll help deal with the after-hours calls and may even have 24-hour customer support. And since they do this for a living, they’ll be better equipped to handle emergencies promptly and efficiently.
While the flexibility of a landlord’s work schedule may be beneficial at times, sometimes, they can mean dealing with issues after hours. When handling after-hours calls from your tenant, you should have already set emergency guidelines for them to follow. This can prevent any inconvenience from issues that could wait in the morning. But if your tenant does call after hours for legitimate emergencies, you have to be prepared and have a protocol in place for a prompt response.
One way to deal with after-hour calls from your tenant is to acquire the services of the best property management company to help you out in these situations. You can count on Quest Real Estate to help you out with your property management concerns. We specialize in all types of residential and commercial property management in Jacksonville, FL. Contact us today to get started!