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Maintenance emergencies are guaranteed when owning or renting a property. Our guest today is Trevor Steadman, Portfolio Manager for Mynd Property Management in Reno. Trevor is here to discuss how to handle emergencies as they occur, and what options a property owner has in such a scenario.
Steve Rozenberg: Hey, everyone. This is Steve Rozenberg with Mynd Property Management and I’m joined here today with Trevor Steadman who is the Portfolio Manager for the Reno Division of Mind Property Management. Trevor, thanks for joining me today.
Trevor Steadman: Thanks, Steve. Always a pleasure to be on your podcast.
Steve Rozenberg: Thanks. So what I want to ask you is, this is a big question and a big fear a lot of people have when it comes to owning a rental property, the “emergency,” right? You know, everyone fears, what do I do when someone calls me at 2am and the toilets backed up and it’s an emergency? Well, first of all, I’ve never had anybody call me at 2AM. But again, I think it’s important to understand, in Reno, in Nevada, there’s certain things that constitute an emergency and there’s certain things that are not. So, if I’m an investor, how would you suggest that I handle an emergency to begin with?
Trevor Steadman: Great question, and always a common question we have a lot of our investors. What determines what an emergency actually is? I think any landlord knows that the tenants have a whole laundry list of things that they consider the emergency category where we know that some of those items don’t belong in there. So, actually defining what an emergency is and setting that expectation with the resident, too, as to what the response time would be for typical things is also important.
Just to kind of start off the bat, my typical go to is fire, flood, heat and water issues. Those are always ones you’ve got to watch out for. It goes back to the integrity of the home, habitability of the actual dwelling, and making sure that you have vendors lined up to actually get to these items and not puts you in a legal issue, too. Residents have rights, the state is changing the atmosphere, the dynamic, and so, we have to make sure we’re in tune with what needs to be fixed and what the priority should be.
Steve Rozenberg: I think, also, what need to realize is, when you are an investor and you own a rental property, you are in the customer service business and you have a client and that client is the tenant and if the resident is not feeling like they’re being treated correctly, they have every right to leave.
Now, if you put them in a hazardous situation that maybe their family or something is in peril and you knowingly do not fix that situation or allow it to get worse, now it could get into some litigation and lawsuits and all those things that happen. But again, I think what’s important, and you said it very clearly in the beginning, you’ve got to understand, number one, what is an emergency and do you clearly define that with the resident to say this is considered an emergency, here’s the list. Here’s a list of things that are not. Don’t call me at 2am because your light bulb is not working. That is not an emergency.
I know, in certain areas, if you have a property and there are two bathrooms and one of the bathroom is not working, that is not emergency; however, if there’s only one bathroom and that bathroom stops working, now it becomes an emergency.
So again, you have to know that you have to understand, if it’s below a certain temperature, maybe you have to make sure that the heat is working. Above a certain temperature, maybe not. So these are things that you want to make sure you understand. It’s important that you do your homework, as an investor, to make sure you’re not putting yourself in a position.
Because you’re at the movies one night, and the tenant calls you with something and you get upset, you have to remember you’re running a business. And there are a lot of laws that protect both the owner, as well as the tenant, but you have to make sure that you understand those laws and you stay within the confines of those laws and you are not putting anybody in an unsafe or uninhabitable situation. Would you agree with that?
Trevor Steadman: That’s exactly it. And we see it every day when a work order service requests come through. We have to assess the priority on that and set the expectations of the resident and also keep our clients out of the courtroom. We see a lot of cases that go to litigation or go to civil justice court where it’s clear as day that the landlord was in the wrong for not taking care of something. And when you put it on paper, it looks a lot worse than the phone call when you’re at the movies. So, that’s a perfect example of things you have to hop on and you do have an obligation to take care of it.
Steve Rozenberg: Absolutely. And if you don’t have that ability, hire a management company. I mean, it doesn’t mean that you have to know these laws, but you want to hire and be around the people that do. So, let’s say they want to talk to you about managing that property, how do they get ahold of you, Trevor?
Trevor Steadman: Well, I do answer my phone at two in the morning so that’s perfectly fine with me. They can actually give me a call 775-335-0124 or shoot me an email. Trevor.email@example.com and we can answer the questions they have and maybe manage the rental property so they can enjoy their movie.
Steve Rozenberg: That’s great. And if you’d like to learn more about being an investor and be more involved, I would suggest you join our Facebook group, the Mastermynd Real Estate Investment Club. A lot of investors in there. They talk about these very things. We learn from each other. I’m in there. Trevor is in there. A lot of investors are in there. It’s all about learning and educating and helping each other. Mastermynd Real Estate Investment Club.
Or if you want to learn more about Mynd, in general, go to our website, mynd.co. M-Y-N-D.co. I’m Steve Rozenberg and this is Trevor Steadman. Thanks for watching, we’ll talk to you guys later. Bye-bye.
Maintenance emergencies can prove to be the most difficult aspect of owning and renting a property. The four major emergencies a tenant or owner will encounter are generally fire, flood, heat and water issues. Outlining this for a tenant can help an owner avoid any random, non-emergency 2am calls. Likewise, having a trustworthy team of vendors to answer the call when an actual emergency occurs is key to success in the Reno market, and in the investment market, overall.