Emergency Preparedness Tips For Landlords
2020 is shaping up to be one of the toughest years in memory for landlords in Portland Oregon, and across the United States because of Coronavirus.
Even though cases in Portland have been low when compared to cities like New York and Los Angeles, most renters here have not been able to work due to the shelter in place order and this has created major economic hardships for both landlords and tenants.
Since the average tenant doesn’t have an emergency fund that will last them for at least 90 days, this means that tenants who are not working due to Coronavirus are now unable to pay their rents and have needed to reach out to their landlords to arrange plans for paying their rent until they can go back to work.
If anything, coronavirus has also reiterated the importance that landlords must have cash reserves or saved for the rental property that they can use to withstand an economic crisis like Coronavirus or possible major repairs that may be needed at their rental property in the future.
Besides having the ability to withstand economic crisis due to disasters like Coronavirus, it’s also a perfect time for landlords in Portland and across the United States to start thinking about having an emergency preparedness plan in place for their rental property.
How To Create An Emergency Preparedness Plan
The first thing a landlord should do when creating an emergency preparedness plan is to create a checklist of instructions for their tenants in regards to what they need to do at the rental property should there be a fire, flood, or natural disaster.
A landlord’s emergency preparedness instructions must include:
• A diagram for where all fire extinguishers are in the property or building.
• Instructions for shutting off the gas/water / electrical.
• Checklist of local emergency agencies in the area that should be called
• Evacuation plan for how to safely exit the property in the event of an emergency.
Specifically, the landlord’s emergency preparedness instructions should also provide the tenant with a diagram for where the water shut-off valve is located in the rental property including the location of the breakers and electrical panels should the power need to be shut off as well.
While covering the emergency preparedness plan with their tenants, landlords should also verify that their tenant has an active renter’s insurance policy because that policy will cover all of their items in the property should a disaster occur.
Besides creating an emergency preparedness plan for tenants, landlords should also create an emergency plan for themselves which contains things like insurance information for the property and information for handymen or contractors in the area that they can call to help with repairing the property following the emergency.
Ideally, a landlord’s emergency preparedness plan should be easily accessible in a binder that they can grab at a moment notice or it should be available on their phone so that they can have the information conveniently within reach when needed.
Make Sure You Understand The Area Risks
One of the most important things that every landlord must do before purchasing an investment property is to understand the risks for the area where the property is located.
Here is Portland, one of the biggest risks that the area has is the risk of flooding from the Willamette river which last had a major flood in 1996 but since then has been known to flood areas in the valley each year that we have major storms.
Besides flooding, the other risks that the Portland area faces during the year include damage from mudslides or even the occasional earthquake.
Thankfully, the Portland area doesn’t face the same risk of natural disasters as other states like tornados, hurricanes or wildfires but disasters in this area can happen so both landlords and tenants must be prepared in advance with having disaster preparedness plans.
The same rule applies when investing in a rental property in another state, an investor should also do their due diligence and investigate the risks for the area where the property is located so that they are well aware of what could happen in the area while they own an investment property there.
Property Management Saves Money and Time
Yes, having an emergency preparedness plan is important for landlords, the good news is that at Rent Portland Homes – Professionals, we have an emergency preparedness plan in place that follows FEMA standards which will enable us to serve our owner clients and tenants quickly in the event of an emergency.
Having a property manager in place will save landlords crucial time in the event of a natural disaster and also save them the hassle of managing their rental properties themselves over the year.
To learn more about the property management services we can offer you contact us today by calling (503) 447-7735 or click here to connect with us online.