One of the most common reasons people choose rental homes in Fort Collins over buying a house is the peace of mind that major or emergency repairs are often the responsibility of the property owner. Renting also allows you to turn to the landlord for decisions and actions, taking away some of the stress of the situation. You must keep in mind, however, that there are circumstances where the landlord is not held responsible and that there are steps you must take to properly handle emergencies at your rental home. The best way to come to a positive outcome is to be well informed on the things you should and shouldn’t do in an emergency.
Things You Should Do in an Emergency
Emergencies can happen at any time and with little to no notice. Although emergencies can make things difficult or uncomfortable for you, you must be sure to handle the situation carefully and appropriately. Here are a few suggestions of things you should do to best handle an emergency.
1. Communicate the Problem as Soon as Possible
You have to remember that your property manager or property owner does not live at the home. They cannot know about a problem or provide a solution for a problem if they are not informed about it. Make sure that you tell them about any issues or concerns in a timely manner. Do not put off calling because the longer you wait, the worse the problem can become. If your heater isn’t working like you think it should be, tell your property manager before it completely stops working in the middle of the night on a cold day. If you accidentally broke a window, let them know right after it happens so that they can send someone to cover it up and schedule for a replacement. The sooner you communicate a problem, the sooner it can be resolved.
2. Be Honest and Clear About What Is Happening
If there is a problem, you should communicate quickly, but you must also provide clear detailed information about what happened. And if your actions are to blame, be clear about those details. Being honest upfront allows your property manager to come up with the most effective solution. By withholding details, it can take longer to address the situation properly.
3. Have Patience as Services Are Arranged
Although problems such as a broken appliance or a leaky toilet can be inconvenient, you must keep in mind that property managers are not miracle workers. They cannot make a repair company instantly appear to resolve the issue, so make sure that you are patient and understanding as they work to bring a solution.
4. Work With Your Property Manager
The goal of any property management company or landlord is to quickly and efficiently tend to problems or emergencies when they arise. Often times they are not able to do so because of tenants who are not willing to work alongside them. Renters may not be financially responsible for the leaky roof, but they will have to be involved in getting the problem fixed. If tenants are offered a time to have a repair made, they should do their best to work with it. If they are asked to leave the house while something is fixed, things are sooner resolved if they do their best to make that work. Emergencies at rental homes are inconvenient for everyone involved, but the situation can be taken care of better if tenants and property managers work together respectfully.
5. Continue to Pay Your Rent on Time
Even if a problem is not addressed properly, tenants do not have the legal right to withhold their rent. When tenants sign a rental agreement, they entered into a contract that obligates them to pay their full rent on time regardless if there is a repair that hasn’t been taken care of. Withholding rent will only create problems rather than solving them.
6. Let Your Property Manager Decide What to Do
As a tenant, although you live in the house, you do not own it and therefore do not have the authority to make major decisions or take action on your own accord. If there is an emergency at your rental, make sure that you let your property manager or the property owner decide what to do. You can offer suggestions or work with them to come up with a solution, but you cannot act without their approval. For example, do not hire a repair company on your own and then bill the property manager. Likewise, do not perform a major repair yourself without being given the authorization to do so.
For any other questions regarding what you should do if there is an emergency at your rental, contact All Property Services as quickly as possible.