If you haven’t hired a Woodinville property management company for your units then you are required to provide emergency support for your tenants. This includes setting up or offering a number that they can call 24/7 in case of an actual emergency. This involves setting up a number, setting policy, and distributing the number to your tenants. If you’re not quite sure how to go about this, the following advice from Woodinville property management company SJA Property Management should help.
Set Up a New Number
You most likely don’t want your personal number up on billboards so consider setting up a new number specifically for emergencies. The advantages include that you already know there is an issue when you answer the phone, and that the phone will only ring for something that you have to pay attention to. You can consider hiring a Woodinville property management company to help with this, or you can hire a 24/7 call answering company to answer the phone for you if you don’t feel like getting up at 3 AM when the phone rings.
Providing Tenants With Your Number
You are legally required to list emergency numbers in plain site for your tenants. Most landlords choose to use a billboard in the lobby if possible as well as a printed and laminated sheet of emergency numbers in each unit. A list of emergency numbers should include the fire station, the police, your emergency number, and any specific numbers set up for repairs or management contacts. You should also list garbage disposal, gas, electric, and poison control numbers as well.
it is important to define emergencies to your tenants in order to ensure that they do not use the emergency number for minor repairs or issues. For this reason, you should consider creating a and printing a checklist of ’emergencies’ that warrant being contacted for. For the most part, that should include the following, plus any emergencies of similar effect.
Carbon Monoxide Leak
Sewer Backup or Major Blockage
Major storm damage or holes in the building
Essentially, if the issue is either dangerous or majorly impacts the quality of life then it is an emergency. Otherwise, they should use your regular number to call and ask for a repair.
Responding to Emergencies
One of the most difficult things to do is actually responding to emergencies. Most landlords should take the time to fully familiarize themselves with every aspect of the building so that when something goes wrong they know what to do. For example, in case of a small fire, landlords can advise the tenant to call the fire department and then how to use their fire extinguisher. In case of a gas leak, the landlord can advise the tenant on how to turn off the gas. For this reason, it is important to remain familiar with the units, unless you have hired a Woodinville property management company to do so for you.
The discussion herein is of a general nature only and is not to be construed as specific legal advice, which requires the establishment of an attorney-client relationship and fee agreement. SJA Property Management does not provide legal services.