5 Aberdeen Rental Property Repairs That You Should Not DIY

Rental Property Repairs Do Not DIY

These days it may feel like any do-it-yourself projects is possible to undertake.

With internet videos showing you step-by-step how to complete even the most complicated home repairs, it all looks so easy, not to mention more affordable than enlisting the help of a professional.

While the thought of saving money is definitely tempting, the truth is, there are certain DIY rental property repair jobs that are too complicated, too dangerous, and oftentimes just as pricey (if not more) to do yourself.

And, while you are responsible for most of your Aberdeen rental property’s maintenance repairs, that doesn’t mean you actually have to do the work yourself.

Let’s take a look at some common do-it-yourself home repairs that should not be handled by inexperienced DIY-ers.

Rather, the below projects should be left to those that, without a doubt, know what they are doing.

 

5 DIY Projects Better Left to Professionals

DIY Projects to Leave to Professionals

Your Aberdeen property manager is sure to tell you there are some DIY repairs that any successful rental property owner should know how to do.

For example, repairing a hole in the wall, being able to fix your property’s gutters, and even being able to handle common toilet issues are all good skills to have as a landlord.

That said, there are some property repairs that are better left to the professionals because they are typically more than you can handle, and dangerous to both you and your tenants if done incorrectly.

1. Electrical Issues

Small DIY projects, such as installing a ceiling fan and changing out a light switch, are typically okay for the average DIY-er.

Just make sure to always turn the power off before starting an electrical repair to avoid shocking yourself.

However, when you get into electrical repairs that require extending circuits, or running new electrical cables, you face some serious issues if you don’t know what you are doing.

With electrical projects, the safety risks heighten.

You can easily start a fire instantly, create a fire hazard that may spark later and threaten the safety of your tenants, or even electrocute yourself in the process of completing the work.

You may also be performing electrical work that requires a permit. Without the proper permit, not only do you face severe penalties and fines that will affect your rental property business, you become liable for performing work not completed by a professional.

Lastly, trying to carry out electrical work in your Aberdeen rental without truly knowing what you are doing can be trickier than you might expect.

You can easily overload your power outlets and create more electrical issues throughout the property, or even wire something incorrectly, adding to the fire and safety concerns.

The Electrical Safety Foundation reports that 140,000 electrical fires happen each year, with 400 deaths resulting from electrical issues.

Therefore, as tempting as those do-it-yourself YouTube videos can be, it is not recommended you attempt to handle any major electrical repairs in your rental property without the help of a certified electrician.

 

2. Roof Repairs

Roof Repairs Are Better Left to Professionals

In the past, we have discussed the necessary steps to take, should your rental property need roofing repairs.

And if you recall, we recommended enlisting the help of your property manager and professional roofing contractor when it comes to dealing with significant roof damage.

Repairing your rental’s roof takes a lot of experience and knowledge that the average person just doesn’t have.

In fact, what seems like a simple roof leak may actually be more serious than you originally thought.

You need to identify the source of the roof leak; repair the shingles, flashing, and vents; match materials to your existing roof; and utilize expensive equipment to get the job done.

In addition, you need to avoid creating more damage in the process, which will lead to more repairs, more expenses, and more time to get the roof repaired.

And don’t forget the danger that working on the roof of your rental property poses, especially to a novice DIY-er.

One small misstep or slip, and you might come tumbling down off your roof, with roofing materials and tools following.

The injuries you can expect to sustain from a roof fall are just not worth the risk.

 

3. Floor Refinishing

Leave The Floor Refinishing To The Professionals

Improving your Aberdeen rental property’s existing hardwood flooring is always a good idea, especially if it has been a while since you gave your property’s flooring some TLC.

Plus, tenants love the thought of having beautiful, sturdy, and long-lasting hardwood flooring in the property they are leasing.

You may think that sanding your property’s wood flooring is a simple process: Rent the sanding machine, get to sanding, and voila, good as new, right?

Wrong.

There are licensed carpenters that won’t go near even their own home’s hardwood floors with a sander, preferring to leave it to the flooring professionals.

All it takes is a little extra sanding on one spot to create a severe divot in your stunning hardwood flooring.

These divots are nearly impossible to fill, and if you do this in several spots across the floor, you are looking at having to re-do the entire space with new flooring.

 

4. Wall Removal

It may seem like a fun weekend project to knock out an existing wall in your rental property in order to open up the living space, combine two rooms to create one bigger one, or even get rid of an awkwardly placed wall that makes your rental seemed cramped.

However, removing a wall in your rental property is anything but a simple DIY weekend project.

If you don’t know what you are doing, and you attempt to take out a wall in your rental property, you could bring your entire rental property down instantly.

Worse yet, you may unknowingly create an unstable foundation that can come crashing down later, perhaps on your tenants.

Not only can removing a wall on your own ruin the framework of your property, but you also risk tapping into a water or gas line, which adds to the danger – and expensive renovation bill – you will face.

 

5. Tree Cutting and Trimming

Tree Cutting and Trimming Is Better for Professionals To Do

Do-it-yourself home repairs are not limited to the interior of your rental property.

In fact, tree cutting and trimming is something that many DIY-ers attempt to master themselves.

Although it is tempting to forgo hiring a professional landscaper to handle your rental property’s tree growth, there are several reasons to rethink this DIY project before even getting started.

To start, the equipment needed to bring down large trees and branches is expensive to rent if you don’t already own it.

And then there’s the element of danger.

The fact that you will need to climb up a large ladder to reach the areas that need pruning poses a serious fall risk.

A small misstep, slip, or branch firing back at you with a vengeance can land you in the hospital with serious injuries.

A professional landscaper experienced in tree pruning should handle any tree that requires cutting or trimming. This is especially true if the trees exceed 20’, or are near roads, other properties, or electrical wires.

 

If you have a repair that seems like too much to handle, even for an experienced DIY-er, it probably is.

That’s why it is best to enlist the help of an experienced professional.

Professionals are liable for their work and any additional damage they cause, and are prepared to make the end result look flawless, so your Aberdeen rental property only benefits from the repairs.

It is also a good idea to receive help from a property management company, such as Bay Management Group, for all your maintenance needs.

We handle issues ranging from minor property repairs to serious emergencies, such as floods or electrical issues. And, we do so using our 24/7 maintenance crew.

Benefiting from our licensed and insured contractors, you can rest assured any rental property repairs you need performed will be done safely, timely, and affordably.

Contact Bay Management Group today so you and your tenants don’t have to worry about costly maintenance problems, safety, or health issues.


Top Reasons Landlords Use a Property Management Company

Top Reasons to Choose a Property Management Company

Are you thinking about hiring a Maryland property management company to help you care for your Potomac investment properties?

Many property owners quickly find out that self-managing their rental properties entails a lot more work than they originally anticipated.

This is especially true for those looking to grow their rental property business, expand their portfolio of properties, and come out successful on the other end.

In the past, we have discussed why you should consider opting for a property manager to help you with your investment properties:

  • Save Yourself Time. Managing rental properties, especially if you have another job to hold down, can be overwhelming. Sometimes being physically present at your rental property is impossible, due to other commitments filling your time.
  • Expertise. You may find out after investing in your first Potomac rental that you lack the necessary skills to conduct a profitable rental property business.
  • Willingness. You may find that you are simply unwilling to put the required time into managing every detail necessary for successfully leasing your rental property.

 

These three reasons for hiring a property manager are definitive. In fact, the majority of property owners fall under at least one of these three categories.

However, there are more reasons why a property owner might want to utilize the services of a property management company.

And, it just so happens that our Potomac property managers are privy to this knowledge, and want to share it with you.

 

Reasons to Enlist the Help of a Potomac Property Management Company

1. You Do Not Live Nearby

Enlist Help From a Property Management Company Because You Don't Live Nearby

Landlords that do not live nearby their rental properties will have a tough time managing the day-to-day operations investment properties require.

This is where a property management company in close proximity to your rental comes in handy.

Not only can they handle daily things with your property, in the case of an emergency, they can be at your property right away. This is helpful to you, and satisfying to your tenants.

 

2. Vendor Relationships

Knowing someone that is highly qualified, affordable, timely, and customer-service oriented is valuable.

That’s why having the help of a property manager is beneficial to you as a landlord.

Successful property management companies have built strong relationships with vendors of all kinds throughout the years – maintenance workers (if they do not have their own crew), contractors, suppliers, tradesmen, and vendors.

Your property manager’s connections will garner you the best work in town, and save you money in the long run.

 

3. Customer Service

Hire a Property Management Company for Customer Service

Knowing how to keep your tenants happy, and willing to sign lease renewals come the end of their lease term, may seem easy.

Unfortunately, many landlords do not possess the customer-service skills tenants expect from their landlord.

This can break down a healthy landlord-tenant relationship over time, which ultimately leads to a vacant property come the end of the lease term.

However, by using a customer-service oriented property management team in Potomac, you will reap the benefits of their ability to satisfy your tenants.

Whether it be with the tenant package they provide new tenants, their quick turnaround times when it comes to maintenance and repairs issues, or simply the convenience that online rent collection provides busy tenants, a good property management company will be able to take care of your tenant’s every need.

 

4. Help Expanding

Property management companies are well versed in the real estate market trends that span the regions they work in.

This means that for those looking to expand their portfolios across regions, the insight of a property manager that is already managing one or more of their properties can be very helpful.

If you are looking to cross city or state lines in hopes of investing in some valuable rental property, an already established relationship with a property management company will be useful for gaining knowledge about new markets.

Plus, you can have them take over the management of your new properties, making the transition to other areas even easier.

 

5. Setting Rental Rates

Hire Property Management Company to Set Rent Rates

In tune with knowing the status of the current rental property market, a qualified property management team will also understand what the going rent rates are.

They will be able to help you determine the right rent rate for your properties, depending on things such as location, amenities, and going rates for similar properties.

This will prevent you from both undercharging and failing to maximize your monthly rental income, and overcharging, which can lead to longer vacancy periods.

In addition, a good property manager will be able to help you decide when a good time to raise your current rent rates is, and by how much.

 

6. Compliance with the Law

Ignorance of the rules and regulations, as they relate to Potomac rental properties, is no excuse when it comes to owning investment properties.

Here are some of the important legal concerns an experienced Potomac property management company can help you with:

  • Fair Housing regulations
  • Lead and mold inspections/disclosures
  • Smoke and carbon monoxide detector requirements
  • Housing and building codes
  • Proper notices
  • Eviction procedures

Don’t get caught up in landlord-tenant disputes, or worse, legal battles that can ruin your rental property business.

Hire a property management company to help ensure you are always in line with federal, state, and local laws as they apply to your rental property.

 

There are plenty of solid reasons for investing in a property management company in Potomac.

By choosing a competitive property management team, such as Bay Management Group, not only will you reap the benefits of their services, you will maximize your profitability and boost your success as a property owner.

If you are in need of an experienced, highly qualified, and customer-service oriented property management company in the Potomac area, get in touch with Bay Management Group now. We can help you find the best tenants, minimize risks associated with investment property ownership, and ensure that your rental property business continues to grow.


Top Considerations if You Need to Fill Your Vacant Rental Property Quickly

Speed vs. Quality: Interviews and Screening Tenants

Be Sure to Properly Screen Your Potential Tenants To Avoid Problems Down the Line

Most landlords dream of filling a vacancy almost immediately. But, when trying to put someone into their empty properties as quickly as possible, they often ignore proper screening processes.

If you don’t go through the proper screening and interview process, the tenant may end up violating the terms of the lease, which will result in you having to eventually evict the tenant.

No landlord enjoys evicting tenants. The eviction process itself can take months, and you likely won’t collect any rent during that period. Thus, be sure you don’t discount the long-term benefits of taking your time to put a quality tenant in your rental property.

 

Traditional Marketing Not Working for Your Rental? Think Outside-the-Box

Consider Non-Traditional, Outside The Box Marketing Options To Fill Your Vacant Rental Property Quickly

  • Word of mouth. Try to encourage your other current tenants to spread word that you have vacancies. You can even offer referral bonuses if they do, such as half-off the next month’s rent.
  • “For Rent” signs. It might seem silly, but putting up signs in front of your rental will capture the attention of local traffic. Even if the person who sees it doesn’t want to rent from you, they may know someone who does.
  • Online listings. Websites such as Zillow and Craigslist allow you to post your rental property listings for free. You can also take advantage of free online classifieds and other listing sites for Baltimore County.
  • Real estate offices. Many larger real estate offices handle rental properties, but be aware that they’ll often charge you a fee that varies depending on your location.
  • A Baltimore County property management team. A local property management company such as Bay Management Group can take over the duties of marketing your vacancies, as well as many other unwanted landlord tasks.

 

Consider Opening Your Rental to Section 8 Housing

The term “Section 8” refers to renters who qualify for the government’s Housing Choice Voucher Program.

People who qualify have a very low income and receive help to afford their rent. The government pays anywhere from 33 to 75 percent of their rent.

While it is illegal to discriminate against tenants for reasons outlined in the Fair Housing Act, it is important that all income property owners fully understand the program and how it may work for their rental.

 

Benefits

A Pro to Opening Up Your Rental Property to Section 8 Housing is Guaranteed Rent

  1. Guaranteed rent. The percentage of the tenant’s rent covered by the government will arrive on time every month via direct deposit.
  2. Low-priced marketing. Many websites offer property listings for a low fee. They’re frequently visited by Section 8 tenants, so it’s an effective way of placing renters in your properties quickly and inexpensively.
  3. Potentially higher rental rates. In general, the rent you can ask from a Section 8 tenant often exceeds what you get for low-income housing.
  4. Shorter vacancy periods. Many cities have lists with a great number of Section 8 participants seeking housing. If you file a vacancy on a property that has already been inspected and approved for Section 8 housing, you’ll very quickly fill the spot.
  5. Long-term tenants. Many Section 8 tenants stay in the same rental properties for a long time. They typically sign one-year lease agreements wherever they go, but oftentimes stay for much longer. They’re allowed to move, but they’re required to notify the Housing Authority, provide you with proper notice, and find a new home before they’re able to do so.

Concerns

  1. No damage compensation. If a Section 8 tenant damages your property, you won’t receive any damage repair money from the government. The tenant’s voucher may be revoked as a result of damages caused to your property, but you won’t see any compensation for your losses.
  2. Additional occupants. Section 8 tenants are more likely to allow long-term guests such as family members and significant others to live with them. These extra occupants cause extra wear and tear on your property and aren’t legally allowed to live there under Section 8 rules.
  3. Strict property guidelines. Section 8 will not pay you any rent until they’ve inspected your property and approved it. Fortunately, their guidelines are fairly straightforward – but strongly enforced. If you fail your inspection, you have 30 days to make whatever necessary repairs before they’ll perform another inspection.
  4. Section 8 is often understaffed. As a result, minor clerical errors are commonplace. You may have trouble contacting Section 8 offices and filing claims.

 

Filling a vacant rental property in a rush can be stressful and it may be tempting to cut a few corners to move the process along quickly. However, it is essential that every rental property manager or owner adhere to a routine screening process with each potential tenant.

Always do your due diligence before approving a tenant’s application and think about the long-term relationship you will have with these tenants.

If the thought of this is overwhelming and you would like to enlist the help of a professional to aid in this process, contact Bay Management today to help you with all aspects of managing your rental properties.

 

 


Property Management vs Rental Property Maintenance

Property-Management-VS-Rental-Property-Maintenance

Owning rental property in the Baltimore County area is not without challenges and complications.  That is why many landlords choose to hire a property management company to handle such tasks as finding quality tenants, collecting rent, and scheduling routine maintenance and repairs.

But what exactly do we mean when we talk about “property management”?  

It is more than cleaning, responding to maintenance calls, collecting rent, and managing tenants.  Property management can typically be divided into two separate entities—property management and rental property maintenance.  These entities, though different, work together to efficiently and effectively manage your property.

It is important to know exactly what to expect when you hire a property management company to manage your investment.  Today, we will examine the key differences between property management and rental property maintenance of your Towson rental home.

Property-Management-in-Baltimore

What is Property Management?

Property management companies manage your rental property.  They operate, control, and oversee your investment in numerous ways.  These tasks, when done properly, add vitality to your rental property and facilitate positive cash flow each year.

Let’s take a look at the primary responsibilities of a property management company:

Tenant Screening

Finding great tenants is crucial to being a successful landlord.  This is why hiring a good property management company to screen potential tenants for your valuable Essex rental home is so important.

There is a lot that goes into finding the perfect tenant for your Dundalk property.  Background checks should be performed for all potential tenants.  You should screen for prior evictions, liens, bankruptcies, criminal history, and credit worthiness.  You should also follow all federal, state, and local laws regarding tenant screening.

Lease Agreement Drafting

A legally compliant lease agreement should outline all of the important things a prospective tenant should be aware of.  This is where a property management company is especially helpful.  Understanding all landlord-tenant laws and the importance of a thorough lease agreement, your property management company will be able to take care of everything effortlessly.

Rent Collection

It is vital to your bottom line be able to collect and distribute rent payments on time each month. A hired property management company will be able to efficiently collect rent from your tenants and get the payments back to you quickly.

Collecting late rent payments is the responsibility of your property management company as well.  A quality property management company will also be responsible for starting the eviction process, handling lawsuits, and defending you as a landlord.

Property management companies are also responsible for many of the administrative tasks involved in the management of a rental home in the Parkville area of Baltimore.

Here are a few other important things that to look for in a good property management company:

  • Rental property registrations
  • Monthly and yearly financial statements
  • Routine inspections
  • Move in and move out reports
  • Low management fees
  • Advertisement of vacant rental properties

Rental-property-maintenance-in-Baltimore

What About Rental Property Maintenance?

Though they seem like one and the same, property management and rental property maintenance are actually two separate entities.

When you own a rental property, even in the mature and wealthy area of Pikesville, you will eventually have to deal with maintenance issues on your property.  And while property management companies are responsible for facilitating maintenance requests, that is typically where their responsibility ends.

Most property management companies have their own separate maintenance group.  These  licensed contractors are equipped to handle routine rental home upkeep, emergency repairs, and major damage that can result from accidents or an irresponsible tenant.

Tasks handled by rental property maintenance staff include:

  • Lawn and yard maintenance
  • Plumbing
  • Heating and Air Conditioning
  • Painting
  • Electrical work
  • Locksmith issues
  • Common area upkeep
  • Flooding emergencies

A responsible property management company will have a maintenance crew on hand 24/7 should your tenants encounter any issues— big or small.

In addition to the maintenance staff a property management company contacts when an issue of maintenance or repair pops up in one of your Catonsville property investments, your property management company should have relationships with professional licensed vendors that can handle  being tasked with the difficult problems that are beyond the scope of expertise of most general maintenance workers.

It is the responsibility of  the property management company to contact and schedule the repairs. From there the maintenance staff is responsible for resolving the issue, invoicing the landlord or tenant—according to the lease agreement—and taking care of any concerns that may arise during the course of work.

Rental-property-maintenance-and-management-in-Baltimore

So, Aren’t They Really One and the Same?

It may seem that property management companies and rental property maintenance staff are actually one and the same—and some are.  The problem is, not all property management groups provide their customers a rental property maintenance staff.  This means that as a landlord all administrative tasks related to your property will be handled but the maintenance issues will be your responsibility.

Doesn’t this defeat the purpose of a hiring a property management company?

This is why it is so important to research your property management company beforehand and compile a list of questions to ask each company you are considering prior to bringing them in for an interview.

Property-management-in-Baltimore

Bay Management Group

Luckily for you, if you own a rental property in the Owings Mills or the surrounding Baltimore areas you have access to one of Maryland’s premier property management companies, Bay Management Group.

Not only does Bay Management Group thoroughly handle all property management tasks related to your rental property, they have an experienced, licensed maintenance staff and vendors on hand to resolve any maintenance issues you or your tenants might encounter.

Bay Management Group is dedicated to the job of property management, and they take pride in a job well done.  Bay Management Group is the ideal property management company for you and your Baltimore County rental property.

 

Final Thoughts

Whether you are new to the rental property business, or you have multiple properties, it is important to understand the benefits of hiring a reputable property management company.  Take time to make sure that you and your property management company are in agreement about the tasks outlined in the contract as well as monthly management fees.

If you’re in need of a full-service property management company in Baltimore County, give Bay Management Group a call.  Their knowledgeable and friendly staff is here to answer all of your questions and I bet by the end of the conversation, you will be convinced they are the right choice for your property management needs.

 

 


Tracking Rental Property Income and Expenses

6 Financial Considerations for Baltimore Property Managementbaltimore-rental-property-income

The key to receiving a return on your investment property is accurately recording income and expenses.

From reporting incoming rental funds to calculating total expenses, the entire process can quickly become overwhelming for busy investment owners and/or those with multiple rental properties throughout the Baltimore area.

With an understanding of what needs to be tracked and recorded, however, you can ensure you receive the optimal ROI for each property you own.

 

Income Sources and Expenses to Track

Understanding the net operating income (NOI) equation is important for any property investor. Without a firm grasp of this concept, you’ll find yourself making mistakes and missing out on potential profits.

The formula is simple enough: your net operating income is equal to your gross operating income minus operating expenses. But each of these variables has multiple inputs and expenses tied to it.

Your gross operating income is determined by taking your potential rental income, subtracting vacancy and credit losses, and adding other income.

If you are not currently working with a property management team, your operating expenses in Baltimore may include the following:

  • Advertising and marketing. This is the total amount you spend on Internet marketing, paid advertisements, signage throughout Baltimore, listing fees, and more.
  • Auto and travel. This refers to how much money you spend on traveling to and from your various properties for routine maintenance and inspections or to show the property to potential tenants.
  • Cleaning and maintenance. Whether it’s as simple as having the floors scrubbed and countertops wiped off or as time intensive as laying new flooring and installing new appliances, there are always cleaning and maintenance expenses incurred prior to welcoming a new tenant.
  • Legal fees. 78463454-001A lease isn’t anything to cut corners on. A high quality, accurate lease that protects your interests requires the attention of an experienced attorney.
  • Utilities and taxes. Unless your tenant pays for all utilities and taxes, you will incur some of these expenses. They should be accounted for.
  • Insurance. Rental property insurance is often overlooked by many landlords, but is crucial to protecting yourself and your property.

 

Other Expenses

It’s also worth noting that there are some additional expenses that are not figured into the NOI equation. These include debt service, depreciation, income taxes, tenant improvements, capital expenditures, and more.

 

Your Easy Button: Baltimore Property Management

Thankfully, as an investor, you don’t have to worry about all the finer details that go into turning a profit on a rental investment. By hiring a local Baltimore property management company, you can focus on the big picture while letting somebody else take care of the particulars.

From screening tenants, facilitating maintenance and repairs, and setting rental rates, to handing contracts and tracking expenses, a property management company can save you lots of time.

 

Bay Management Group

bay-management-maryland-logo-2
At the Bay Management Group, we offer premier property management services in Baltimore.

Whether you have a large portfolio or a single property, we can help you by relieving the burden of tracking expenses and handling tenants. It is always our goal to reduce your expenses and increase your net operating income.

For more information, contact us today. We would be happy to discuss our services in further detail.

 


Landlords: 5 Steps to Get Prepared for an Emergency

Being a landlord is both rewarding and stressful. Finding responsible tenants is only one of the hardships you have to go through. If you want your undertaking to succeed, you have to be prepared for various emergency situations that may occur on your property. A slow or inadequate response during an emergency situation can cost you time, money, efforts, and even make you liable for negligence.

So what kind of emergency situations are we talking about?

Natural disasters: earthquake, flood, hurricane, fire, etc.

Security breaches: break-in, burglary, vandalism, etc.

Tenant emergency: health issues, involvement in crime, death on your property, etc.

Utility failure: no water, gas, electricity, AC, etc.

Life-threatening conditions: gas leak, mold, insect infestation, etc.

The main challenge is that you are not there when an emergency happens. This means your tenants will be taking the first step of notifying appropriate emergency services and you. Your role is to help your tenants protect their lives and possessions, as well as to help authorities and emergency responders do their job.

Bay Management Group is here to help property managers get prepared for any emergency situation. Here are a few steps to take.

1)  Educate your tenants.

Because most likely they will be the ones dealing with the emergency first-hand, it’s a good idea to provide your tenants with the key knowledge and tools. Create and distribute an emergency plan that should include:

–   A phone number to reach you 24/7

–   Emergency exits on the property and the location of closest shelters.

–   Phone numbers of emergency responders (medics, firefighters, police, etc.). Make sure your tenants know when to call you and when to dial 911.

–   Definition of an emergency, as well as situations that don’t constitute emergency, such as slow drains or minor drips. You still need to be notified about those, but not in the middle of the night.

–   Helpful information about how to detect problems on early stages.

2)  Know your tenants.

It’s easy if you only have one property, but if you own several apartments or the entire apartment building, things get complicated (our Baltimore property management pros know this from experience.) No matter how busy you are, it’s important to keep and update the list of your tenants. Emergency responders might ask you to provide it to make sure everyone is accounted for.

3)  Keep your keys and codes organized.

Medics or firefighters might need access to your locked basement, shed, garage or other facility. Make sure you have all the keys organized by property and accurately labeled – this could save someone’s life!

4)  Make an emergency calling list.

A flooded basement is not a reason to dial 911, but it’s still an emergency, because the water causes inconvenience to your tenants and damages your property. How fast you respond matters a lot, which is why having a list of reliable contractors who can fix different problems is essential.

Create a calling list to include names, numbers, emails, reliability and availability of different contractors. Make sure that you have at least one contractor per category (plumber, electrician, waterproofer, mason, etc.) who provides 24/7 services. Make copies of this list, so that you can access it anywhere: in your car, at home, at work and even on the go.

5)  Advise tenants to get renter’s insurance.

It’s a common misunderstanding among tenants that in case their possessions get damaged, they will be covered under the landlord’s policy. This is not true, and it’s a good idea to inform your tenants about renter’s insurance. It will cost anywhere between $15 and $30 a month and will be useful in case of property damage by fire, flood, storm or theft.

As you can see, the preparation might take some time, but at the end it’s worth it. It leaves no room for panic and lets you respond to any crisis situation in a timely and effective manner. Does it feel like too much? Our Maryland property managers can take care of everything for you. We have emergency plans set up for each of our clients and being on call 24/7 is a part of our job. Let us know if you need help taking care of your rental property.