5 Tips for Dealing with Property Damage
At some point, all landlords must deal with property damage. Property damage can result from wear and tear, neglect, or misuse. Dealing with property damage the right way is essential for a landlord’s peace of mind and revenue flow.
At Property Management Toronto, we’ve been in the real estate business for over 25 years. As one of the top Toronto property management companies — we have experience dealing with property damage. Drawing on our expertise, we’ve developed a list of five tips to help landlords deal with property damage.
#1 Don’t Stress
The first thing you must do after learning about property damage is to take a depth breath. Remember, this is part and parcel of being a landlord. Like any business, the rental property business can face unexpected costs.
At the same time, avoid delaying the repairs.
Some types of property damages can grow into more expensive problems. Additionally, they can lead to liability concerns. Take, for example, a driveway with spreading cracks. Fail to fix it over a few Canadian winters, and the expansion and contraction from the changing climate can turn those large cracks into dangerous potholes.
If a court finds that a landlord was legally obligated to maintain and repair a piece of the property that resulted in a tenant’s injury, then they are liable.
So, inspect the damage, develop a repair strategy, or let your property management team step in.
At Property Management Toronto, our 24/7 Maintenance Services are part of our program. Landlords can rest assured that our team is available all day and every day. We realize that repair concerns don’t stop on the weekends, so that’s why we support our clients whenever they need it.
#2 Know Your Insurance
Landlords usually take care of minor repairs independently to avoid raising their insurance rates. But they call their insurance providers after a sizable problem, like a broken roof after a thunderstorm.
Know where you’re covered and your deductible. Read your insurance policy in detail to understand your coverage and avoid unpleasant surprises after an undesirable event requires hefty repairs. For example, your insurance may cover roof replacement costs after an accident but may not pay for repairs after normal wear-and-tear or neglect.
You should also have a rainy-day fund that helps you pay for expensive repairs. As we said earlier, treat the rental property business like any business, and stay prepared for asset maintenance and repair costs.
#3 Use the Right Contractors
Hiring reputable, licensed, and trained contractors to perform maintenance and repairs is essential; incompetent or corrupt contractors can create more problems. Unfortunately, there are several cases of contractors cheating homeowners in the Greater Toronto Area by leaving halfway through the job or stealing from them.
Our clients have peace of mind knowing that we fulfill repair requests for them. Our team of reliable maintenance support workers helps us ensure tenants’ safety and quality of living and seamless property management for our landlords.
#4 Be Proactive with Maintenance
One of the most common types of calls you can expect as a landlord from a tenant is regarding maintenance concerns. An A+ tenant will let you know when your property needs repairs. Such phone calls are helpful because they allow you to address a problem before it becomes more costly to repair or turns into a liability.
For example, if a tenant tells you about a broken kitchen overhead cabinet door, you can fix it on time for a nominal fee. But if you fail to act and it falls off, your repair bills may be higher. You may also have graver concerns if the tenant is injured because the cabinet door fell on them.
You can read our list of tips for property maintenance to learn more about how to reduce the risk of property damage through pre-emptive upkeep.
Being proactive with maintenance is a critical piece of advice for any landlord. However, we understand that many property owners find the list of responsibilities and challenges for landlords overwhelming.
That’s why more property owners are partnering with property management companies that offer complete tenant services with little to no tenant interaction. You can sit back and relax and let us take care of the heavy lifting:
- We answer tenant phone calls
- We manage maintenance and repairs
- We collect paychecks on your behalf
- We strive to sign A+ tenants to new contracts year after year
A significant advantage of utilizing our tenant management resources is that we tactfully handle excessive requests. We immediately react to obligations within our client’s responsibilities, like a leaking pipe. But we politely inform tenants about repairs that fall under their responsibility, like broken lightbulb changes.
#5 Pick A+ Tenants
One of the best ways to deal with property damage is to mitigate your risk of property damage by selecting A+ tenants. The best tenants treat your rental property with love and respect. They take care of minor upkeep, inform you about repair concerns, and live responsibly.
Unfortunately, undesirable tenants may fail to pay rent, use your property for unlawful activity, break contractual rules, or damage your property, resulting in expensive bills. With the Landlord and Tenant Board taking months, if not years, to review cases, your best chance is to be cautious with your renter selection to avoid a nightmare tenant.
Property Management Toronto has a criminologist on the team who helps verify a tenant’s credentials. We also look at employment letters, credit reports, and reference checks. We will show you all filed applications from A+ tenants to help you make an informed decision.
Our Property Repair Process
Our property repair process starts with the troubleshooting phase at no cost to the landlord. We try to address more minor concerns from the tenant quickly. We call our extensive list of qualified suppliers and contractors if repairs are needed. Finally, we offer landlords three repair options at three different price points.
With Property Management Toronto on your side, you don’t have to worry about getting the job done correctly at the right price. You also don’t have to worry about poor raw materials or unreliable contractors. We leverage our resources to ensure that your repair concerns are managed to your satisfaction.