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The landlord’s job has always been pretty intensive. After all, the moment tenants occupy a property under your name; you become responsible for their safety. Certainly, things like property checks and speedy repairs have always been part and parcel of the job.
Sadly, as with everything else right now, your ability to function is likely hampered by lockdown. Suddenly, you’re having to respect social distancing and perhaps even come to rental agreements like those outlined in this COVID-19 property advice hub from Vail Williams. And, that’s before you even consider how you’ll tackle property management.
Overseeing your rental property is now a much more trying task than it was just three months ago. Worse, you’ve likely had little time to prepare for the shift. Yet, your legal responsibility towards a safe environment is, if anything, even more pressing. With that in mind, it’s vital you consider the following ways that you can adapt to coronavirus with current property management processes.
Inspect using video
As well as ensuring that your property is in good condition, regular inspections allow you to look for potential repairs and generally check-in. Yet, with social distancing, you may need to find creative ways to keep inspections going. Video is, by far, your best way to achieve this. This medium, which has saved countless working processes during the pandemic, allows you not only to get some idea of the state of the property, but it also keeps communications with tenants open. Never underestimate how vital that could prove.
Document requests for non-essential work
Every landlord has a legal responsibility to address repairs speedily, and should typically aim to solve such issues within a week or so of receiving notification. That’s sadly not possible now, with all non-essential work going straight on the back burner. That said, you can’t shirk responsibilities altogether. You still owe it to your tenants to address that broken extractor fan or funny light switch as soon as you’re able. As such, you should create a file with dated proof of all requests sent during the pandemic. Then, you can work through them promptly as soon as you’re able.
Make prior arrangements
Sadly, some work can’t wait until lockdowns finish. Things like fire hazards, broken windows, and even basic gas safety checks are still considered essential. But, even if you have your tenant’s best interests at heart, you can’t just expose them to workpeople unannounced if they’re trying to self-isolate. Instead, be sure to communicate well and make prior arrangements that work for everyone. Remember, there’s no reason tenants actually need to talk to repair people, etc. Simply let them know when they can expect such arrivals so that they can take to their bedroom or somewhere else that’s out of the way until the coast is clear.
Landlords, like everyone else, are having to work fast to account for sudden operational changes. But, by keeping these pandemic property management pointers in mind, you shouldn’t find it too tricky to keep tenants happy regardless.
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