Many Utah counties continue to operate in the yellow low-risk phase of Coronavirus recovery, and that’s excellent news for rental property owners! Now that we’ve experienced the change to rental property protocols as a result of COVID-19 and social distancing, property owners can learn from it and make plans about how to adapt again if the high-risk precautions need to return.
Smart investors know it’s a good idea to be prepared in case we have to manage maintenance tasks due to some ongoing social distancing guidelines—or if we see a second wave of the virus and reinstated, strict social distancing requirements.
Crisis planning isn’t “doom and gloom” when it comes to having a profitable rental property portfolio. It’s just smart business—and that includes documented plans to quickly adapt your routine maintenance tasks and emergency responses if contactless operations need to be “standard” procedure any time in the future.
We’ve been through it before, and it’s wise to prepare again! Make the transition easy for your renters with these social distancing maintenance tips from the experts in property management.
A word of caution: This blog post does not act as a substitute for legal counsel or medical advice. Consult with your trusted attorney, property manager, and medical care provider for real-time assistance.
Create a Social-Distancing Maintenance Policy
What social distancing protocols worked well for handling maintenance? Which operations need improvement if we need to return to stricter social distancing requirements in the future? Whatever worked (and didn’t work well), document it.
Creating a strategy with a documented protocol helps keep everyone on the same page. When your vendors know what to do, they can make a seamless transition into different ways of doing business without sacrificing the quality of services for tenants. Your policy can include:
- What “reduced” services look like
- How tenants can reach you during an emergency
- Resources for more information about current social distancing guidelines
- How you’ll handle different types of maintenance requests until “normal” operations can resume.
Putting your policy on paper makes it easy to communicate changes to your tenants. When your vendors and your renters know where to look for your social distancing policies and procedures, they can respond quickly if things change again.
Communicate the Plan to Your Tenants
Providing an “official” social distancing maintenance policy for your properties helps tenants feel like you’ve got things under control—even during uncertain times. Having already been through operational changes due to COVID-19, if we’re required to go back to those protocols, tenants have an idea of what to expect.
However, it’s a good idea to document how you’ll operate and what you expect from tenants when handling maintenance and rental payments during social distancing. Make it a resource they can refer to in their tenant portals and communicate it through email, too.
When tenants know what you’re doing—and they understand that it’s for everyone’s safety—they’ll adapt to minor inconveniences that come with social distancing maintenance protocols. Make sure to include the following details into your plans.
1. Prioritize Emergency Requests Over Non-Emergencies
In many cases, non-emergency requests can go “on hold” during social distancing. Let tenants know that this protocol is temporary, and you’ll handle a non-emergency request as soon as it’s safer to work in their property.
Never ignore non-emergency requests. Respond to tenants and assure them that you’ve received the request, and it’s on your list of to-dos when social distancing protocols allow.
2. Request An Empty Property During Scheduled Work
Request “true” social distancing when your vendors work in a property. Ask tenants to leave the property—even for a walk around the neighborhood while your vendor works. They don’t have to go far, especially if businesses remain closed during social distancing.
Your vendors should wear gloves, masks, and any other necessary PPE while working in a property. However, when tenants aren’t home, it adds additional safety measures to reduce the potential for contact during social distancing.
Hire Experienced Property Management
The best plan for handling maintenance during social distancing is to hire expert property management! Property managers help protect you and your tenants. They are the barrier that allows you to avoid close contact with tenants in your rental properties.
Property managers also have an excellent network of professional vetted, licensed, and insured vendors to perform maintenance for your rental. At Reeder Asset Management, we ensure that our vendors understand social distance protocols before ever stepping into your properties.
Expert property management makes it simple to adjust “business as usual” maintenance services when it’s necessary to adapt to social distancing.
We Make Social Distance Maintenance Protocols Work For You!
Transitioning how you handle maintenance can be challenging on your own. Reeder Asset Management makes it easy! When it’s necessary to adjust, our team has a plan to make social distancing maintenance protocols work for you—and your tenants.
Let us help you put a plan in place now before you need it again! We can even guide you on how to help your tenants pay the rent during uncertain times. Learn how we do it with our free resource, the Collecting Rent in a Crisis Handbook!