How Should Landlords Deal With Emergencies?
If an emergency arises at your rental property in London you need to respond rapidly and deal with it effectively to minimise the impact on the property itself and your tenants. There are several emergency situations which may spring up, from flooding to fires, so the team here at Ashmore Residential has brought you some helpful information about which actions to take.
My Tenant Has Reported Flooding in A Rental Property
Your property may be flooded by rainwater entering the property from outside, perhaps through a damaged roof. However, more commonly, flooding is caused by an internal water escape or leak which may occur due to frozen pipes that crack as the ice melts, failed pipework joints, or even because a tenant allows the bath to overflow.
No matter the cause of the flood, your tenants should switch off the supply of water at the stopcock and call the appropriate emergency number which could be your agent, emergency contractors, or you yourself.
My Tenant Has Lost Their Keys
If your tenants lose their keys, they must take responsibility for the costs arising from their replacement. You should outline this in your tenancy agreement. Your agent or you yourself may be willing to let your tenants into the rental property if they have to access it immediately, but if your tenant discovers their keys are lost outside of office hours, they may need to telephone a locksmith and pay the costs themselves.
Ensure your tenant is aware of who to call in the event of this happening – if you have insurance to cover replacement locks and lost keys, there will be a 24-hour response line for them to contact. While your tenant may think only their key must be replaced, a lost key poses a potential security risk and may impact your insurance.
Therefore, tenants must replace all lost keys and security devices at their own expense. If the lost key means the locks must be changed, they must pay the locksmith’s fee, as well as the cost of the new lock and new keys for themselves, yourself, and anyone else who needs a key.
My Rental Property Has Suffered Fire Damage
It’s essential to make your tenants aware that, should they discover a fire of any size they must immediately telephone the fire services before informing you or your estate agent. Should any damage have occurred that you need to claim on your insurance for, you must get in touch as quickly as possible with your insurer.
Fire damage can make the property uninhabitable. Smoke damage alone poses health risks for tenants. Therefore, they must move out, but who should take responsibility for these associated costs?
In cases where the tenants were the cause of the fire, it’s possible to ask them to cover the costs of repairs. You also have no legal obligation to help them find somewhere else to live, although if your insurance policy covers costs for alternative accommodation, you should speak to your insurers about what you should do next.
In cases where the fire occurred due to your own negligence, you bear responsibility for the cost of repairs. Your insurance policy may also be invalidated so you must get in touch with them straight away. It’s possible you may also need to pay out for any damage incurred to your tenant in terms of their own property and their lost earnings. You may also have responsibility for finding them suitable alternative or temporary accommodation.
In cases of accidental fire, both your tenants and you yourself are responsible for replacing your own property and covering your own repairs.
How Do I Prepare For Emergencies In My Rental Property?
Of course, no landlord expects an emergency to arise in their rental property, but just in case, there are a few key steps you should take to prepare:
- Ensure you’ve given your tenants contact numbers to call in the event of an emergency.
- Emphasise the importance of your tenants taking action immediately in the event of an emergency.
- Ensure you’re properly covered with a fully comprehensive insurance policy for landlords.
When the team here at Ashmore Residential manage your property on your behalf we handle everything that relates to your property and your tenant in the event of an emergency. Call us today on 020 8366 9777 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.