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When investing into rental properties, one of the most important jobs to focus on is maintenance. If your units are worn down, your property values will fall alongside it. Worse yet, sometimes the wear and tear your properties go through can create hazards that eventually spiral into full-blown rental property emergencies.
Fortunately, if you plan ahead and know how to prepare yourself and your properties. Plenty of emergency scenarios can be quickly resolved – or potentially even avoided. So, to help you avoid a catastrophe, here are five common rental property emergencies and how you can prepare for them.
Protect Your Property From These Rental Property Emergencies
As an investor, you are almost certain to deal with some sort of rental property emergencies throughout your career. However, by planning ahead and investing into preventative and protective measures, these rental property emergencies will be no match for you.
But first, protecting your investments from rental property emergencies is going to take some money up front, so let us help you find the funding you need to defend against these rental property emergencies with a free strategy call from our team at LendCity at the link below.
Flooding is a nightmare for both property owners and tenants, especially if you are not properly prepared for these rental property emergencies. If your property is in a region known for high storm volumes, sits below sea level or is near a body of water, the chances of your investment property flooding is going to be much higher. So, the first thing you should do is determine the flood risk of your property. There are plenty of useful tools to help you determine where flood zones and drain areas are located that you can use to get started.
Once you have determined the expected flood risk of your property, you can begin a more detailed evaluation. First, have an inspector check on the foundation of your home to ensure there are no cracks that could allow water to leak into your property. You can also look for any signs of water damage inside the property that may help you determine where water could potentially get into the home.
Finally, inspect any drains located in the basement of your property to make sure there are no blockages that could eventually back up and allow sewage or waste water to flood into the house.
While many house fires occur unexpectedly, it is still important that you make sure you, your tenants and your property are prepared in case one happens to occur. First, you should make sure all of the smoke alarms are in working order on the property and plan with your tenant to ensure they regularly tested and inspected so that your tenants can be properly alerted if a fire were to break out.
Then, you should have an experienced electrician inspect the property and make sure that all electrical wiring is properly covered safely routed so that the risk of an electrical fire can be minimized. As well, it is important to make sure that all of the gas lines on the property are properly inspected and maintained in order to make sure none of them end up leaking and causing a fire.
Speaking of gas leaks, these emergencies can be sudden and need to be addressed almost immediately. So, it is your job as the property owner to ensure that you or your property managers take the correct precautions to avoid gas leaks and repair any that may occur.
There are two primary types of gas leaks you need to worry about, carbon monoxide and natural gas.
Carbon Monoxide Leaks
Carbon Monoxide leaks are incredibly dangerous because you cannot see, smell or taste carbon monoxide gas in the air. So, it is incredibly important that your property have carbon monoxide detectors properly installed throughout the property in order to alert your tenants immediately to the harmful substance.
To prevent a carbon monoxide leak, ensure that all of your gas appliances are thoroughly cleaned and have clear ventilation so that any gas that may occur is quickly removed from the home. This includes ventilating the garage and basement. You should also make sure your tenant is aware of the dangers of running any gas engines in an enclosed area. This includes leaving a car running in the garage or running a generator in the basement.
Natural Gas Leaks
To prepare for the risk of a natural gas leak, have someone inspect your gas lines to ensure that there nothing is leaking, and everything is well maintained. Unlike carbon monoxide, natural gas does have an odour due to gas companies including an additive known as mercaptan so you and your tenants should be able to smell if there is a leak. However, you should still make sure you tenant is aware of the physical signs of natural gas poisoning just in case.
To help monitor for potential gas leaks, you or your tenant can monitor the gas bill regularly and keep an eye for any sudden spikes in gas use that may indicate further problems.
Heating/Cooling System Failure
While it may not always seem like an emergency, it is important to be prepared for your property’s heating and cooling system to fail. This is especially important to be prepared for during summer and winter months where temperatures are more extreme and capable of harming your tenant.
As a property owner you should plan to have a professional regularly inspect your heating and cooling units to make sure they are fully operational. Ideally this is someone who can also remain on-call in case of a sudden failure in order to prevent leaving your tenants in inhospitable climates. It may also be worth the investment to buy a few portable heaters or air conditioners for your properties, that way if there is going to be a delay with maintenance coming to repair your units, your tenants can remain comfortable.
While the majority of power outages occur on the provider’s end, it is still important to prepare for a potential outage in your rental units. First, you should have an electrician properly inspect your fuse box to ensure your breakers are not going to blow under normal circumstances. As well, it may be a worthwhile investment to buy backup generators for your units if you know the local power company has a history of outages.
Discover Residential Property Management With This Step By Step Guide
If you are looking for more insight into the world of real estate investing, contact LendCity today and book a consultation with a member of our team. You can find us online at LendCity.ca or give us a call at 519-960-0370. Alternatively, click the link below for a free strategy call today.