Dealing with rental property emergencies at your property in Rugby is all part of the job of being a landlord! Dealing with emergencies effectively minimises the impact on the property and tenants so it's crucial you respond rapidly.
But what counts as an emergency for landlords? There are several emergency situations which may happen, from flooding to fires to structural issues. Therefore, the team at Horts Estate Agents in Rugby has some helpful information about which actions to take.
You may also be interested to read our recent article on maintenance tips for landlords to ensure your rental property is in the best shape.
Emergency: My tenant has reported flooding in a rental property
Your property may be flooded by rainwater entering the property from outside, perhaps through a damaged roof. However, flooding is also caused by internal water leaks. This occurs due to frozen pipes that crack as the ice melts or failed pipework joints. Alternatively, the issue of a tenant allowing the bath to overflow could be the cause.
When dealing with rental property emergencies that involve water, no matter the root of the flood, your tenants should switch off the water supply at the stopcock. The next step is to call the appropriate emergency number. This could be the property management company, emergency contractors, or you as the landlord.
Emergency: My tenant has lost their keys
When dealing with rental property emergencies that involve keys lost by a tenant, they must take responsibility for the costs for replacement. You should outline this in your tenancy agreement. You or your letting agent may be willing to let your tenants into the rental property if they need to access it immediately. However, if your tenant discovers their keys are lost outside of office hours, they may need to telephone a locksmith and pay the costs themselves.
Ensure your tenant is aware of who to call in the event of this happening. If you have insurance to cover replacement locks and lost keys, there will likely be a 24-hour response line for them to contact. While your tenant may think only their key must be replaced, a lost key poses a potential security risk and may impact your insurance.
Therefore, tenants must replace all lost keys and security devices at their own expense. If the lost key means the locks must be changed, the tenant must pay the locksmith’s fee. The tenant is also liable for the cost of the new lock and new keys for themselves, you, and anyone else who needs a key.
Emergency: My rental property has suffered fire damage
When dealing with rental property emergencies that involve fire, it’s essential to make your tenants aware that they must telephone the emergency services immediately. This is before informing you or the letting agent. Should any damage have occurred that you need to claim on your insurance for, you must get in touch as quickly as possible with your insurer.
Fire damage makes a property uninhabitable and smoke damage alone poses health risks for tenants. Therefore, it's likely they must move out, but who should take responsibility for these associated costs?
In cases where the tenants were the cause of the fire, it’s possible to ask them to cover the costs of repairs. You have no legal obligation to help them find somewhere else to live, but you may choose to help. Additionally, if your insurance policy covers costs for alternative accommodation, you should speak to them about the options.
In cases where the fire occurred due to your own negligence, you bear full responsibility for the cost of repairs. Your insurance policy may also be invalidated, so you must get in touch with the insurers straight away. It’s possible you may also need to pay out for any damage incurred to your tenant in terms of their own belongings and potentially their lost earnings. You may also have responsibility for finding them suitable alternative or temporary accommodation.
In cases of accidental fire, both parties are responsible for replacing personal belongings and covering repairs.
How do I prepare for emergencies in my rental property?
Of course, no landlord expects an emergency to arise in their rental property in Rugby. Just in case, there are some key steps you should take to prepare:
- Ensure you’ve given your tenants contact numbers to call in the event of an emergency.
- Emphasise the importance of your tenants taking action immediately in the event of an emergency.
- Ensure you’re properly covered with a fully comprehensive insurance policy for landlords.
Rental Property Management in Rugby
When the team at Horts fully managing your rental property on your behalf, we handle everything that relates to your property and your tenant in the event of an emergency.
Call us today on 01788 550044 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.