With a purpose to help landlords overcome the pandemic, below are ten essential tips to help you and your tenants through this trying time.
The rules and guidelines may appear obscure to landlords, especially when there’s advice on conducting business at both the national and local levels. This guide shall help you through common areas landlords are having difficulty understanding or need clarification on.
The safety of your tenants and employees is of the utmost importance. HealthySpace offers services that can help ensure a smooth reopening.
Create a Pandemic Plan
If you haven’t already, it’s time for you to create a pandemic plan that covers preventative safety measures for you, your employees, and tenants to follow for guidance on what safety measures to adopt, refer to CDC’s Guidelines for Prevention of COVID 19.
Always refer to your local municipality for safety guidelines once you’ve created a plan of action to share with your employees and tenants.
Take Safety Precautions and Clean Frequently
With lives at stake, it’s essential for all, if possible, to stay home and inform your team and tenants to do the same. If this isn’t possible, you must respect social distancing guidelines and remain at least 6 feet away from others.
Multi-residential units, in particular, with high traffic areas, such as entranceways and elevators, require improved cleaning procedures to eliminate the risk of Covid-19. Furthermore, you can find a list of approved disinfectants that are effective against Covid-19. Moreover, to discourage gatherings in multi-residential buildings, shut down any common areas and facilities, such as seating areas and on-site gyms.
Related: HealthySpace Services
Stay in Touch
Opening up the lines of communication amongst staff and tenants has never been more critical for businesses. Keeping in touch with tenants shall enable you to forward any vital information, rules, and guidelines or changes taking place in your properties in response to Covid-19.
Equally, take time to answer concerns and queries from tenants, and remain open to solutions that could aid your business through the pandemic. By working together and supporting one another, tenants and landlords can pull through this difficult time.
Options for communication include:
- * Google hangout
- * Social Media
- * Telephone
Fix Emergency Repairs Only
CDC’s guidelines explain that urgent repairs may be tended to by landlords. However, there are precautions a landlord must take before entering a property to keep everyone safe.
These precautions include:
- * Wear protective clothing, including a face mask.
- * Keep a gap of 6 feet between you and any tenants.
- * If possible, ask tenants before entering the property to leave their home for a short while to repair the issue.
For an idea of what constitutes an emergency repair, here are some examples:
- * Broken appliances such as a stove, dryer or washing machine
- * A leak from the roof
- * Damp and mold
- * A Power cut
- * Broken water heater
- * A faulty key, or broken lock
- * Fire
For specific details, refer to your state’s guidelines surrounding what constitutes an essential repair and the sanitary instructions you must practice as these can vary.
Related: About HealthySpace
DIY Guidance for Tenants
Landlords are advised to create comprehensive guides for tenants to follow if a non-urgent issue occurs. Channels of effective communication include video calls using apps, such as Skype or Facetime, and creating how-to videos for tenants to watch and follow.
If one or more of your tenants don’t have access to the internet, it’s essential to stay in contact by telephone and communicate how they can fix non-urgent repairs.
Conduct Virtual Tours
Online resources enable landlords to conduct virtual tours of a property with video calling. Alternatively, you can record a video walk-through of a house and send it to interested customers to view.
Lease Renewals Online
Inviting tenants to visit the office is risky for all involved. Because of this, it’s essential to use the internet and send a new lease via email. In doing so, you can keep a healthy distance between you and tenants, and prevent the potential transmission of COVID-19.
Brush Up On New Eviction Rules
The CARES Act explains tenants living within federally backed housing may not be evicted for 120 days. Equally, President Trump has urged landlords not to evict tenants during the pandemic. To better understand the rules and regulations that govern your rights as a landlord to evict, please refer to your local state guidelines.
It’s essential to inform your tenants of help available from the government to maintain a living. For instance, the government shall give individuals $1200, alongside $500 for any child under 16 if their income is under $75,000. Equally, there are relief options and help available for landlords too.
Move Your Business Online
If you haven’t already, it’s time to move your business online. It will ensure you can keep your business running throughout the pandemic and initiate the daily processes paramount for your business to function. These include receiving and sending payments, administering and reviewing tenant applications, signing documents, and communicating relevant information, and updates to staff and tenants.
However, by moving private information online, you may also expose your business to potential online hackers and viruses. As a precaution, install adequate anti-virus software or hire a reputable IT company to look after your company’s information online.
Related: HealthySpace Blog
Offer Preventative and Diagnostic Services as an Amenity
Landlords should consider employing on-site health screeners to provide optional temperature checks, health questions, and PPE inspections. Tenants will respond favorably to the presence of this voluntary service to improve the health of people within the property. HealthySpace or other third party medical staffing companies can assist with this service. Landlord’s may also want to consider offering on-site COVID-19 testing on a recurring basis to tenants. HealthySpace provides this service at a nominal expense and the physical tests are generally covered by insurance providers.
Treat Others How You Wish To Be Treated
COVID-19 has affected everyone, including your tenants. From family members falling ill to losing a job or suffering reduced wages, these are troubled times. Therefore, it’s important to know we’re all in the same boat, and forbearance and understanding are needed to ensure everyone works together to get through this tough time.
The above property management tips shall enable landlords to gain a better perspective of what safety precautions to initiate to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 in their properties, between themselves, tenants, and employees. Furthermore, moving more business processes online, such as tours and applications, will ensure that it continues operating efficiently.
In times of crisis, you gain a better understanding of who you are as an individual and a landlord. Compassion towards others and your ability to calmly work through troubled times will ensure your business survives the pandemic and helps tenants.
Ready to get started with HealthySpace? Contact us today for a quote.