Social Distancing and Maintenance Visits
Did you know that a worldwide pandemic like COVID-19 can’t stop a refrigerator from cooling? That’s right – no matter what is going on in the world around us, our rental properties are still going to require our attention, especially for maintenance issues.
Whether it is a busted pipe, a leaking dishwasher, or a malfunctioning oven – maintenance visits of all sorts must still take place. But, how can you do this with all the social distancing guidelines?
Believe it or not, it is possible. There are a few things you can do to make sure you are handling the situation with both care and caution. As you prepare for your maintenance visits while practicing social distancing, consider these tips:
Tip 1: Make sure you have the proper equipment.
Never show up without being prepared. Just as you would make sure you have the right tools needed for the maintenance issue, you will also want to make sure you have the items that will help you practice safe interaction with others – in their home.
Before you enter the property, be sure you have:
- A mask
- Hand sanitizer
- Clorox wipes or other disinfectant wipes to wipe down the areas you touch
Tip 2: Get in contact with the tenant.
Just as you may be uneasy entering the property during the pandemic, your tenants are hesitant about having you in their safe space. Be understanding of this. Speak in advance and advise of when you will be arriving and what areas of the home you will need access to. Make a plan for entering the home so that both you – and the tenants – can maintain social distancing.
Tip 3: Take precautions in the home.
While you are at the rental property handling the repair, take care not to touch things unnecessarily. It is natural to put your hand on a countertop as you stand or on a wall, for instance. But, don’t. Remember, the idea here is to touch as little as possible. In fact, you should only be focused on the job at hand.
Request that your tenant remains in another room or, at least, a safe distance apart from you. Remember those Clorox or disinfectant wipes you brought with you? Wipe down the areas you did touch to leave behind a clean, safe space for your tenants.
Tip 4: If it is not an emergency, consider waiting.
Consider waiting until a later time to handle maintenance issues that are not considered emergency repairs. Of course, you don’t want to completely inconvenience your tenant. But, if it is something that can wait, then let it wait. You may be surprised by how willing your tenant is to not let you in their space during the pandemic, too.
This is a season of life that is requiring us all to make changes in the way we handle business. Be prepared, have a plan, and focus on those maintenance issues that can’t wait. It shall soon pass.
Marina Shlomov, a managing partner at ALH|Podland Rental Homes Property Managementis the author of many articles on Landlording, Property Management, and Real Estate Investing. A residential builder in the state of Georgia since 1999, Marina is an investor herself. Her property management company is intended “For Investors” and “By Investors” for a simple reason – she knows what investors’ goals are and she works hard to reach their goals. In her spare time, Marina likes to spend time with her family, friends, garden, read and travel. Check her out atwww.alhpodland.com. You can find Marina’s articles and comments at @rentalhomesatl on Twitter, on Facebook, Google+, Blogger. and YouTube,Bigger Pockets and REI CLub and LinkedIn.