If you’re a landlord in Las Vegas, you know that maintenance emergencies rarely occur during business hours. When a pipe bursts or there’s a problem with the water heater, you need mitigation to start as close to immediately as possible. But, if you aren’t in the office, how do you handle these problems as they crop up? Third-party contractors are the best way to coordinate property maintenance after your office is closed.
At Sierra Air Conditioning & Heating, we know that you need experienced plumbers, HVAC technicians and other repair personnel available at any time of the day or night. Plus, regular maintenance can help avoid the need for an emergency call in the first place. That’s why we offer a variety of annual maintenance plans that include priority service, so your property is the first on our list.
Defining a Plumbing Emergency
While all plumbing systems can have a major impact on daily life, not every plumbing problem is an emergency. A leaky faucet can usually wait a few days, but when there’s flooding in your unit, that’s something that needs immediate care and attention. To avoid nuisance calls afterhours, it’s a good idea to give your tenants a list of things that warrant an afterhours call.
- Broken Water Lines or Frozen Pipes
- Gas Leak or Broken Gas Line
- Sewer Back-up
- No Heat in Winter
- No Air Conditioning in Summer
- No Running Water
These are just a few of the problems that might need emergency help, but this list can help tenants get a better idea of when to call you or the number you’ve included on your emergency contact list.
- Appliance Malfunction
- No Hot Water
- Ice Maker is Broken
- No Air Conditioning in Summer
- No Heat
- Minor Leaks
Though with minor leaks, a call might be a good idea either way. It can be difficult to tell the extent of a leak if it’s occurring behind walls or in other hard to access spaces.
Handling Emergencies As They Happen
There are six steps every landlord should follow to ensure a good landlord/tenant relationship and excellent property maintenance. At Sierra Air Conditioning & Heating, we can help with every step in the process. We can also help with any insurance claims that might be needed to obtain reimbursements after repairs. We believe in offering full service with every job, helping you enjoy the benefits of property ownership with fewer daily headaches and hassles.
Step 1: Be Reachable
In an emergency, you need to have someone your tenant can call to handle emergencies. That said, you don’t need to handle everything yourself, particularly if you won’t be personally performing the repair. At Sierra Air Conditioning & Heating, we offer 24/7 service so that you don’t have to. If there’s a plumbing, HVAC or other major system emergency, your tenants can call us directly with your approval. We can be the line of communication between you and your tenanct, helping to reduce the number of afterhours calls that you receive.
Step 2: Give Your Tenants a Phone List
While tenants can’t, and shouldn’t, have the authority to approve major work on your units, any address under a service contract may qualify for discounted service on parts and labor. Plus, by establishing a relationship with a contracting company you can trust, you know that any work done beyond immediate, emergency mitigation is within whatever guidelines you work out for your property.
Step 3: Be Reachable During Normal Hours
It’s perfectly reasonable to want to avoid 3 a.m. phone calls, but that does mean you should make a commitment to answering your phone during your normal business hours. While our plumbers can quickly shut off the water to a specific unit or an entire building, we’ll likely need your approval to perform any major repairs. As long as we can get in touch with you, we can coordinate the work with the tenant and let you know the final costs and any future work that may be coming up.
Step 4: Know Your Responsibilities
As a landlord, property maintenance is typically your responsibility. That doesn’t mean every repair has to happen overnight. Anything that threatens the safety of the property or a tenant’s health and safety is an emergency and should be handled quickly. Other, non-emergency repairs can likely wait until you’re in the office.
It’s also important to know what falls outside the scope of your responsibility. You’re responsible for maintaining the property, but only due to normal wear and tear. If a tenant flushes an object that isn’t suitable for a toilet, the tenant would be responsible for the cost of that repair. If a unit floods, you’re responisble for stopping the flooding and repairing any of the plumbing systems, but you aren’t responsible for the contents of the unit. Any property the tenant lost due to water damage is something they’ll need to replace, hopefully with the help of their renter’s insurance.
Step 5: Get the Critical Information to Tenants
We can repair a broken pipe or busted water heater fairly quickly, but some plumbing issues may need more comprehensive remediation and tenants may need to relocate during a repair. Always keep your tenants in the loop when something major may affect their ability to continue to live at that address.
Step 6: Document Everything
There are many reasons to document everything related to a maintenance call. By keeping good records, you can more easily deduct maintenance expenses at the end of the year. Documentation is critical when there is a court case that involves a dispute between you and one of your tenants. Using a warranty may require you to document regular maintenance. In general, it’s a good idea to keep solid records of every conversation about maintenance efforts and any actual repairs performed. At Sierra Air Conditioning & Heating, we keep records regarding every service call, so you can always get a copy of when an incident was first reported and when the repair occurred.
Create a Welcome Packet for Tenants
To avoid unnecessary maintenance calls, one of the best things you can do is to create a welcome packet that includes all of the numbers that a tenant might need, along with hours of operation. For example, you’ll always want to include your office line, but make sure you also list when tenant’s can expect someone to answer that number. For emergencies, be sure to list each number based on the type of emergency.
For example, if there is a fire, you may need plumbing assistance, but likley not immediately. Instead, you might have an emergency contact number for your insurance agent or whoever might need to handle the first steps after a fire. For flooding, Sierra Air Conditioning & Heating could be your emergency contact since we offer 24/7 service and offer maintenance contracts.
Solving Plumbing Emergencies in Las Vegas
At Sierra Air Conditioning & Heating, we have a well-deserved reputation for excellent service at any time of the day or night. If you want more information about how we might be able to help you avoid late night emergency calls, contact us today! Our friendly staff is always happy to explain our services and how we might setup maintenance calls to minimize your stress when managing multiple rental properties.