Are you wondering how to respond to maintenance requests during the COVID-19 pandemic?
This is affecting property owners, and we are here to answer all your questions. We know that you have important duties to take care of, but your top priority should be protecting yourself and your tenants from this virus.
In this practical guide, Cool Realty will outline how to safely deal with maintenance tasks during this pandemic.
For the latest updates and guidelines, check the CDC website and other qualified health organizations.
Communication with Your Tenants
Successful property management starts with open, friendly, and responsive communication. Begin your COVID-19 pandemic communication plan by reaching out to your renters. Let them know that you are still here to provide them with essential services and support.
Tell your tenants that you are taking all the appropriate precautions during the current situation. Reassure them that their well-being and safety is your top priority when entering their property.
You also want to share useful information with your tenants. That said, refrain from sending them articles from unofficial online publishers. Share news, latest updates, and guidelines from reliable sources such as the CDC or State authorities.
Your renters will appreciate quality support, so continue to speak with them through emails and phone calls.
Finally, you should let your tenants know that you will quickly respond to emergencies such as fires and floods. If an issue puts your tenants or the property in danger, you can consider it an emergency.
Taking Necessary Precautions for Maintenance
When conducting routine maintenance, it’s important to take basic precautions. By doing so, you are playing a role in preventing the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
Wearing personal protective equipment when carrying out maintenance is fundamental in coping with the current pandemic. Extend this requirement to anyone in your team. Fully complying with this will ensure that you and your tenants stay safe.
- Wash hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. This is essential for preventing the spread of the Coronavirus. Note that the use of hand sanitizers is not a replacement for proper handwashing.
- Use a fresh pair of gloves for each new task and every new rental unit. That said, just switching to new gloves isn’t enough. Familiarize yourself with the donning and doffing of personal protective equipment (PPE). Ignoring this safety procedure inflates the risk of cross-contamination.
- Keep your work areas disinfected and clean. Disinfect anything that you touch including doorknobs, light switches, countertops and more.
Ensure You Have Enough Supplies
The demand for product and equipment is high. You want to order supplies well before you find yourself running out of essentials. However, keep the orders reasonable as you want to make sure others have supplies as well.
Here are some of the supplies you should have on hand:
- Masks. According to the CDC, you only need a mask if you’re a caregiver, if you’re infected, or if you believe you may be infected. That said, you should wear a face cloth. This will ensure you can’t spread the virus to others if you are a silent carrier.
- Gloves. Check that you have an extra box of gloves available. Gloves are definitely necessary for completing maintenance tasks.
- Hand sanitizer. If your tenants’ running water isn’t working, you should use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always carry a bottle of sanitizer with you when you are visiting tenants’ units.
Take Note of Important Considerations
With the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s inevitable that you will have to adapt in certain ways and make different decisions.
We recommend that you assess the risks and circumstances before responding to your tenants’ service requests. For instance, visiting the tenants in person is not always needed. Here are some of the ways you can avoid entering a property:
- Phone calls: Sometimes, you may feel as though you are able to talk the tenant through the procedure. They may be able to fix the problem themselves.
- Non-essential repairs: As a property owner, you have the right to determine what is essential and what isn’t. Suspend all non-essential repairs.
Also, in these times, a lot has changed. You must be ready to adapt to these changes. Here are some examples:
- Since children are now at home, they will likely be on the premises when you respond to a service request. This means you have to be extra careful with tools and supplies that could be hazardous in the hands of children.
- You must work more quietly. Many adults are working remotely from home. You have to be mindful of how your actions could disturb their focus and peace. Maintain the property without making much noise.
Self-Managing During COVID-19: How a Property Management Company Could Help
Self-managing your rental property is a stressful responsibility, especially during this COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, it may be a good idea to consider the services of a professional property management company.
Professional property managers have the knowledge, skills, and experience to face unique challenges. When you work with a quality property management firm, you can rest assured that they maintain protocols and standards that protect your tenants.
Assess your current situation. Consider if self-managing is worth the risks involved. Partnering with a reputable property management company means that your investment and the safety of your tenants will be in good hands.
On another note, click here to learn more about the Fair Housing Act and the guidelines you must follow.