How can you best handle the COVID-19 pandemic as a property owner?
The outbreak of the Coronavirus has affected businesses all over the States. Financial issues, changing regulations, and a constant influx of information is challenging for any venture.
As a property owner, you’ll have to quickly adjust to the new circumstances. Although your duties have always been demanding, this current situation calls for exceptional commitment and focus.
In this article, we will list the best practices for property owners during the COVID-19 outbreak. Following these guidelines will help to minimize the spread of the virus and protect your health and the health of your tenants.
1. Establish Strict Hygiene Protocols
Establishing and following strict hygiene protocols is necessary to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
As a property owner, you are likely to face repair and maintenance tasks. Since COVID-19 remains on most surfaces, completely disinfecting of your work areas and any other contact surfaces is vital for safety.
You should also be sure to have personal protective equipment (PPE). If you have any other people servicing the rental properties, make sure that they have all the necessary equipment to protect both themselves and your renters.
Here are some additional ways to ensure high standards of hygiene:
- Stock up on gloves. Whenever you conduct maintenance or enter the rental unit, make sure to wear gloves. Learn the correct way of donning and doffing your gloves. The goal here is to decrease the risk of cross-contamination. Be sure to educate any other people who help you maintain the rental properties.
- Wash your hands often. Watch your hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds every time you enter and exit the rental unit. Many people don’t realize that frequent handwashing is one of the best ways to stop the virus from spreading. Hand sanitizers are useful too, but they aren’t a suitable replacement for a handwashing routine.
- Cover your face with a cloth. Unless you’re infected or you’re a caregiver, you don’t need a medical face mask. That said, the latest guidelines by the CDC recommend covering your face with a cloth. This type of gear won’t protect you from COVID-19. However, the face coverings may prevent you from infecting other people in case you are a silent carrier.
- Disinfect your work area. Clean and disinfect all surfaces. When you respond to an emergency call or a maintenance request, sanitize countertops, light switches, tables, doorknobs, and any other high-risk contact surfaces.
2. Follow Credible Sources for Updates & Guidelines
There are many social media channels and various websites that are sharing information about COVID-19. In uncertain times, it’s more important than ever to avoid the spread of rumors and misinformation. Some companies and individuals are sharing false information for financial gain. All of us have the means to curb this behavior.
Rely on official sources only. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (the CDC) is a reliable and up to date source for information on the COVID-19 pandemic. You can go to their website or social media accounts for accurate information regarding COVID-19. You should also listen to the state and city health authorities.
When reading about the Coronavirus, be sure to check the source and the publishing dates. Then, it would be a good idea to share the information with your tenants.
3. Prevent Legal Issues
In light of the current pandemic, there are changes being made to laws and regulations. Some of these updates may concern you. It’s important to keep up with the changing legal landscape to ensure full compliance.
Laws and regulations on the local, state and federal level are changing daily. For this reason, you may have to review your lease agreements.
4. Set Up a Top-Class Communication Plan
Communication is the most important tool in the midst of a crisis. This pandemic is allowing you the opportunity to offer your renters support, transparency, and responsiveness. Show your tenants that you’re there for them during this national emergency.
Many of your renters will have concerns about their health and safety. Tell them that you’ll take every safety precaution upon entering their homes.
You may also want to consider emergencies. Explain to them that you will continue to respond quickly to any urgent needs such as flooding, fires, and similar events that threaten human lives and damage the property.
Finally, reassure your tenants that you will respond to their emails, phone calls, and messages. Difficult times raise doubt, which means that going over the basics is more than important.
5. Constantly Review & Adapt
No one knows the future timeline concerning the COVID-19 pandemic. As the events unfold, you need to be flexible and ready to adapt your plans in light of new circumstances.
Review your financial plans frequently. Consider multiple scenarios and make a plan for each potential outcome.
How Professional Property Management Can Help
Professional property managers can help you now more than ever. At East Bay Property Management and Consulting, we want to ensure you can continue your successful rental business, even in these challenging times.
With our help, you can enjoy peace of mind. You won’t need to worry about collecting rent, maintaining the properties or dealing with the laws and regulations. Our knowledgeable and experienced team will manage your Livermore, Dublin or other Californian units while applying the COVID-19 safety standards.
Get professional management services for your East Bay rental properties to enjoy zero-stress ownership today! Contact us now at (510) 996-3229 or (510) 996-3238.