Sunday, March 4, 2012

Review Basic Emergency Maintenance Steps with New Residents

One of the privileges of owning and managing rental properties is the late night emergency calls. Reviewing emergency procedures prior to occupancy might just prevent a late night call from a panic-stricken resident. Always properly identify and preview with the resident the location of the following systems within a rental unit.

1) The water shut-off. This is one of the most vital controls to cover with residents. Having this simply knowledge can literally prevent thousands of dollars in damage. Always show residents its location and demonstrate how to shut the water completely off. Hang a “water shut-off” tag on the handle.

2) The circuit-breaker panel box. It is important for residents to not only know where this is located but they should also be told how to locate and reset a breaker that has tripped.

3) Ground-fault circuit interrupters – GFCI’s in bathrooms and kitchens. Many service calls are made for what is usually a very simple fix involving these safety devices. Make sure your residents know where they are and how to reset them.

4) The thermostat and its proper operation. This is especially important if the rental unit has a heat pump. Varying settings to save expense on heat pumps can actually cost the resident more money for energy costs. Residents should also understand the function of the emergency heat switch.

Taking these simple precautions can prevent many emergency calls and extra expense. Cover these items in advance and remove some of the headaches associated with rental property management.

Courtesy by Jennifer

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