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Initial Response

In the event of a water loss its important to respond immediately. Find out from the tenant how bad it is. If remediation is needed, then send a company out right away. Inform the tenant that they need to try to contain it with towels or anything else that can block the water from going into the unit further. In addition, inform the tenant to try and protect their personal belongings.

Whenever remediation is needed, contact the water remediation company right away and the manager should try to go out in order to evaluate the property prior to removing drywall, cabinets, flooring, etc. In addition, take pictures of the damage while calming down the tenant and reassure the property owner that everything is under control. Everyone feels more assured if the manager is onsite. This helps a property manager retain control of the situation. In the event that the water loss, sewage backup or flood poses an imminent threat to the tenant, tell tenant to leave immediately.

property manager responding to a flood for landlord

Insurance Claims

If an insurance claim needs to be filed, its important to use specific and clear terminology. Water loss is different from a flood which is different from a sewage backup. Floods occur from an outside source such as rain water, river, lake, etc. Sewage backups occur when raw sewage backs up into the home from a sewage line. If the tenant’s personal property is affected, then they need to contact their insurance company. In some cases the tenant does not have renters insurance. Hopefully the lease requires the tenant to have renters insurance and if this is the case, its best to inform the tenant that this is required by the lease and they need to get insurance. A request to repair or replace their belongings can be presented to the investor but the manager cannot guarantee to the tenant that the owner will honor the request.

If the owner does not have insurance or coverage is denied, then they will have to pay out of pocket to complete the repair. In the event they cannot afford the repair, then the tenant needs to be given the option to move out of the property with a full refund of their security deposit.

Using The Right Vendors In Hawaii

If it’s a water loss, send out the appropriate technician depending on the type of water loss. Examples: If its from a roof, then a roofer. A water line ruptures in a wall, then a plumber. Wash machine is over flowing, then an appliance technician.

If there is a sewage backup, find out from the tenant how bad it is. If remediation is needed, then send a company out right away. Most sewage backups will require the affected areas to be remediated due to the high potential that the water contains contaminates such as bacteria, parasites, viruses, etc.

Final Thoughts

In the event of a flood from rain water, the property manager may not be able to do anything right away depending on if the flood is controlled or if the rain has stopped. Most floods will require the affected areas to be remediated as its usually treated like raw sewage due to the high potential that the water contains contaminates such as bacteria, parasites, viruses, etc.

Response is key especially to prevent the development of mold or to reduce the need for remediation, both of which will be discussed in another article.



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Guide to How A Property Manager Should Respond to a Water Loss - by