Part of your responsibilities as a landlord is to make sure your property remains safe in the event of a hurricane or natural disaster. If your property is in Florida you will need to take extra care to prepare for hurricanes whereas in other parts of the country landlords reinforce properties for other natural disasters such as tornadoes. Landlords who maintain their properties will have an easier time retaining tenants and finding new ones. If you don’t have time to take care of the upkeep yourself you will want to hire a trusted property management company to ensure your investment property is in excellent condition heading into hurricane season.
Here are Four Ways to Prepare Your Property for Hurricane Season
Review Your Insurance Policies
In the ideal situation, your insurance will cover repairs to the property and replace anything that suffers damages beyond repair such as broken windows. You may consider looking into getting extended replacement cost coverage or a guaranteed replacement cost policy. Both policies are designed to cover you in the event of a major disaster.
Hurricane and flood insurance is also important to consider, especially if you are in a flood zone. Flood insurance is not covered by standard homeowners or renters insurance policies but is available through FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program. Hurricane deductibles only apply to damage caused by a hurricane, and typically vary from 1 percent to 5 percent of the insured value of a home.
Share Hurricane Safety Procedures with Tenants or Property Managers
As a landlord, it’s your responsibility to make sure your tenants or property manager are aware of safety procedures in the case of a hurricane. If you have tenants, make sure everyone is informed about storm-related preparations. Provide a hurricane checklist to help your tenants ensure their living space is secure against high winds. After the storm, check in with your tenants to make sure everyone is safe. You will want to make sure you connect with your property manager after they gather a property damage report and arrange to have an inspector check for damages that aren’t visible to the eye.
Prepare the Property Before a Hurricane
It’s a good idea to check the property at least once a year for any vulnerable trees that may break or fall and have them removed before the hurricane season. It’s your responsibility as the landlord to storm-guard your property and work to prevent potential hazards or injuries.
Document Everything with Photos
The quickest way to ensure the insurance companies will accurately appraise repairs is by filing photo documents ahead of time. If they know when you last replace windows, the roof, gutters, or other exterior fixtures it will be easier to know how to estimate the value of the damages.
At All Brevard Property Management, we understand it’s the details that set companies apart. We work with landlords to ensure that properties are in great shape before hurricane season so that they are safe for tenants. Contact us to learn more about our property management specialists.