Property managers should be proactive when it comes to potential water losses. Some ways to help minimize the damage from a loss is to provide the tenant with information on how to prevent the water from spreading.
Top 10 things a property manager should discuss with a tenant regarding water leaks:
- Show them the location of the main shut off valve for the property and how to use it
- Teach them to react quickly to try and stop the leak at its source; whether it’s a shut off valve at the toilet or leaking garbage disposal
- Sewer line backups are nasty, and the best way to respond is to have the tenant turn off any appliances that use water while also avoiding using any water in the home; including showers, washing their hands, and even using the restroom
- Depending on where you live, opening up doors and windows are a great way to pull moisture out of the home; keep in mind that this only works if the humidity outside is less than inside the home
- If its not freezing outside and its above 60 degrees, have the tenant turn on the air conditioner; this acts as a dehumidifier which can pull out moisture until help arrives
- Go over setting up containment barriers by using towels, sheets, blankets, paper towels, etc.
- When available, have the tenant setup fans to start drying things out but let them know to be careful if there is standing water because the last thing you want is for them to electrocute themselves
- Some tenants have wet and dry shop vacs, if this is the case then ask them to suck up any standing water, or at least do the best they can until a water remediation company can get out there
- Instruct the tenant to take whatever measures are necessary to move their person belongings away from the problem
- In some cases, a waterloos could be coming from upstairs or is near power sources in which the tenant would need to turn the power off to the home to reduce the risk of electric shock and or shorting out the breaker panel
When the tenants take the right steps to minimize damage, it can save the investor a lot of money while making the managers job easier. Share these items with your tenant today to help minimize problems tomorrow.
August 22, 2013