With the novel Coronavirus pandemic still sweeping across the country, businesses everywhere are challenged to find new ways of doing things. Whether it’s how businesses deal with their clients or how they manage their employees, we've all been forced to implement various changes. Property investors are no different: you have likely also had to navigate towards new ways to handle maintenance while adhering to social distancing guidelines. This can be challenging because there will be extra steps investors must take when it comes to managing maintenance for their Plano rental properties.
While it may feel more cumbersome to manage, we know as Plano property management professionals that the way property investors choose to manage their maintenance policy during a crisis is going to be a great indicator of renter satisfaction during lease renewal.
With that in mind, let's take a look at what rental property owners need to do to handle property maintenance during social distancing protocols—especially now that masks are mandatory in Texas.
Please note: This article is not intended as a substitute for the great legal advice of a skilled attorney, the medical advice of a doctor, or the expert services of a Plano property manager. When in doubt, reach out to the pros at RentHub Property Management!
Create A Policy
As with any new guidelines you put in place, it’s best to have a policy or plan that “spells out” your approach. This way, everyone knows what to expect. A good way to do this is to let CDC recommendations and current guidelines in Texas guide your policy. That way, you are adhering to safe practices—and you are protected from liability, as well. Here are two things you can do to ensure that you will maintain safety while performing maintenance.
Protect Your Hands
- Make sure to cover and clean your hands frequently during and after performing maintenance. You can begin by using disposable, latex, vinyl, or synthetic, polymer-type gloves.
- Dispose of them properly when you’re done with the job by pulling them off from the inside out. You should require your vendors to do this as well.
- If you don’t wear gloves, be sure to sanitize or wash your hands immediately following the job. Using hand sanitizer will probably be the most convenient since a water source may not be readily available.
Cover Your Face
- Covering your face with a face mask will be essential when working inside a home when someone else is in your presence. You can use disposable ones, or you can opt for a cloth mask or masks with replaceable filters that you can wash and reuse.
- Covering your face with a mask will help protect you from sneezing and coughing, but not from airborne virus droplets that could enter eye membranes. It’s also vital to maintain a distance of six feet from others for this reason as well or to combine your face mask with a face shield.
Get Your Priorities in Order
As a part of your policy plan, you should prioritize your goals around maintenance. You will discover that you may need to rearrange your priorities to fit the new situation that we’re in with the Coronavirus—especially if you're not working with Plano property management.
Dealing with a pandemic means you may have to switch your priorities around and put off some things. In some cases, this may equate to letting non-emergency maintenance calls wait for now while you address emergencies. Once the novel Coronavirus settles down or flattens out, you can begin to tackle non-crucial maintenance jobs again.
Create a Scheduling System
You can schedule your jobs in a “smart” manner. There's no need to make things harder on yourself by putting yourself at risk in the pandemic. You may be wondering who scheduling will reduce your level of coronavirus risk. You can work around your renters’ schedules to do maintenance work when they are not home. Work out a schedule with your residents to manage the urgent calls first (priorities). Then, as time permits, you could even schedule regular maintenance.
If you do this, you’ll need to make sure to work out a schedule with them and gain permission and access to the property. You don’t want to barge right in without advising them about your plans! After developing your policy, this is when you'll want to communicate your plan. Communication is vital for your vendors as well as your renters. Everyone should be on the same page when it comes to wearing masks, hand sanitization, and social distancing.
Hire a Property Management Company
Finally, the best course of action you can take for your Plano property is to work with a Plano property management professional. This will certainly take a load off your mind when you put maintenance in the capable hands of a property manager!
- Working with a Plano property manager provides a barrier between you and your renters so that you can feel safer during these uncertain times and reduce exposure to your own family.
- Property managers work with a large network of licensed and insured vendors who will understand proper protocols to use during a pandemic. They’ll be equipped with the personal protective equipment necessary to do the job right.
If you realize the difficulties of balancing maintenance jobs while following social distancing guidelines, let the pros take over! At RentHub, we are here to give a helping hand. We also recommend that you take advantage of our many resources, including our Collecting Rent in a Crisis Handbook!