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It’s something I too dread happening, an expert, and things still go wrong! Putting a plan in place  could really save the day in the event of an emergency.


I cover this in much more detail my ‘How to Manage Your Property in 15 Minutes a Day Course’. However all these things are something you really need to be prepared for, and to deal with well. So to help you get started here are my top tips:

Breathe

If you find out that something has gone wrong, do not react immediately. This is so important! Take time to consider the situation, at least count to 10 or go for a 5 minute walk (unless someone is going to die in that time and you need to act immediately – everything else is fine with a pause). A fresh perspective will do wonders for how you solve the issue.

I also want to highlight something.

You can’t plan for everything and not every situation is going to go 100% right each time. Everyone makes mistakes, you, me, everybody. Don’t get angry, frustrated, annoyed, dejected. Don’t start shouting, playing the blame game, getting on your high horse.  Every circumstance is a chance to learn and grow as a property manager.

So start from where you are right there. Use your awesome skills and solve the problem from your heart and to the best of your abilities. Do the best you can do with the resources you have. Own the situation and care for those involved.

Trust me on this. If you can walk away from a situation and place your hand on your heart and know that your conscious is clear, you’ve done everything within your power that you can do to resolve and look after a situation, then you’ve done your job. NO MATTER WHO SAYS OTHERWISE.

There Has Been a Huge Problem – Your Property is ‘Destroyed’

Fire / Leak / partial building collapse – first thing you need to call out the relevant contractor / emergency services to stop the situation. Then assess whether the property is habitable. Don’t be stingy, ask yourself ‘would I be able to live here comfortably’. If not, then you need to find your tenant alternative accommodation if they need it.

Then call your insurer, give them the full details and follow their lead. They should be able to resolve the issue for you and hopefully cover the alternative accommodation!

So a contractor didn’t fix it first time…

This is the most common thing that goes down. There’s a problem, you call out a contractor, they do something but the problem still continues. You’ve got tenants screaming your ear off that you ‘lied’ / acted innapropriately and your head is spinning. First bide yourself some time, inform your tenants you will get back to them within X minutes and then speak to your contractor. Explain the situation and listen to the response. There may be a genuine problem or they have missed something. My rule is that everyone gets a chance to right their mistakes. After time two go looking for a new contractor and don’t pay the first – but inform them this is what you are doing! Explain to the tenant who is coming back and what they are going to do and then go and inspect to check it’s all fine.

Tip: You could drop off a box of chocolates to the tenant (or something similar) to apologise. Yes it may not have been your fault, but it can do wonders to smooth relations.

Environmental Health Are On Your Case

As unusual as this is, it could happen. I’ve experienced it due to tenants phoning them to try and cause complications. The only thing you should do is WORK WITH ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH. You receive a notice, call, and then back it up with an email. Do what you have to do to resolve any problems QUICKLY – time is of the essence.

Tip: Environmental Health Officers are people like you and I. So a normal calm conversation will work far better than you getting angry with them. Just be helpful and they will be helpful back.

(This also is the same principal with the fire brigade, police – any other officials!)

Your Tenant’s Not Paying Rent

DON’T IGNORE IT. You should know within 24 hours if your tenant hasn’t paid rent, so text or email your tenant. If you do not hear from them within 7 days then just drop a quick note to your solicitor. The sooner you get onto it, the easier it is to solve.

Tip: You can’t start possession proceedings until your tenant is 2 months in arrears and you have registered the deposit quickly, but your solicitor will be able to give advise on how to handle the situation throughout the process.

Your Tenant Has Caused Disrepair to the Property

If you’ve inspected and are gobsmacked at what you’ve seen, then write / email your tenant asking them to resolve the problem within X amount of time. Re-inspect (give your tenant notice) after the time period has elapsed and if the problem hasn’t been rectified then consult your solicitor.

Tip: Look at your tenancy agreement to make sure the problem isn’t your responsibility!

You Find Your Rental on Air BnB

Call your tenant out on it via phone then email / letter asking them to stop immediately. Again your solicitor is a good point of call here.


Again as I said above these are my best practice hints and tips. You need to plan for these situations to make sure that you can deal with them. That way, even if worst case scenario happens, you have a plan of action and things run a lot more smoothly!

 

NC