06 Apr Water Damage
From leaky plumbing to broken dish washers, water damage can quickly diminish the value of your rental properties and pose health hazards to your tenants. It can come from many places in a rental property. An upstairs tenant accidentally leaves a sink on, and the downstairs tenant has a flood. A pipe bursts in one of your units rendering a tenant’s apartment unusable. Water damage can be insidious and pervasive. And, left unrestored, it can quickly lead to debilitating mold and mildew, causing significant damage. In addition to compromising tenant property, water damage can destroy many things. And, the consequences of it can have a negative impact on your property, your business, and your tenants. For this reason, we offer you property management tips that focus on preventing water damage.
Water Damage: Facts
Water damage is the second most common insurance claim. A few inches of water from a flood can cause tens of thousands of dollars in damage. Not only can it lead to mold growth, it can also lead to structural damage to the roof or foundation, and even compromise tenant property. Consequently, important maintenance issues like a leaky roof or a broken water heater left unaddressed, pose liability and safety issues. Water damage can go undetected for a long time, but it’s important to catch any moisture before it has the potential to cause further damage.
The Scope Of the Problem
The consequences of water damage are varied. From mold growth to foundation damage, in addition to compromising the structural integrity of your rental property. It also poses some serious health risks to your tenants. According to California Civil Code section 1941, the landlord is responsible for providing tenants with habitable living conditions and repair any problem that makes the property uninhabitable, including water damage. It is, however, up to the tenant to report damages and repairs needed diligently.
What’s The Point?
While no one can predict exactly when a rental property may flood, it’s important to prepare as much as possible. Water leaks can be difficult to spot. That said, it is wise to ensure that all stakeholders, tenants, maintenance crew, and management staff understand the potential damage that water can cause. Ultimately, you want to ensure that all issues are reported immediately when discovered.
The manner and speed with which you approach correcting any issues can make all the difference in the world…
The Consequences Water Damage:
Regular Property Maintenance and Inspections
Tenants may not notice or tell you about water damage right away. Routine maintenance and regular inspections will help you to remedy water intrusions before they cause extensive damage. Water damage can go undetected for a long time, but it’s important to catch any moisture before it has the potential to cause further damage. With regular inspections, routine maintenance and a disaster plan, you’ll take strides in preventing water damage and remedying its destructive effects.
Accidents happen and not all flood damage can be prevented, but a thoughtful prevention plan should include three aspects. Tenant eduction, careful maintenance, and a cycle of inspections. That said, provide your tenants with information on recognizing signs of mold and mildew. While respecting tenants’ privacy, you can check individual kitchens and baths; common areas such as crawlspaces, attic areas and hallway walls; and exterior roofs, gutters and downspouts. And, pay attention to areas likely to suffer the greatest water damage, such as roofs, internal pipes, around appliances, and HVAC equipment.
Tips To Reduce The Risk of Water Damage
Your tenants are your first responders in a water damage emergency. Don’t assume that they know what to do in the event of a water-related crisis. A good solution to this problem is to include this information as part of your walk through. Additionally, make sure to monitor water usage. Unnoticed leaks can wreak havoc on your property, but are easy to spot on a utility bill. Additionally, have a proactive maintenance plan in place. Regular appliance maintenance lowers the risk that an appliance will break and leak or flood your unit.
Attention to water usage and tenant education in emergency leak scenarios reduces the chance that water leaks or damage will go unaddressed…
When In Doubt
If the pressure of managing your own rentals is keeping you from enjoying life. We can help. We manage residential properties including homes, condos, multiplexes such as duplex and triplexes, and even small apartment buildings. If you are interested in saving time, money, and the stress that comes along with managing your own rentals we have a management solution that is right for you. Let us manage your rental properties, so you can enjoy your life! Call us today at (858) 576-2176.