Property Managers Checklist To Avoid Emergency Repair Calls During The Holiday

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The holiday season is just around the corner, it’s time for Christmas shopping, family reunions, island vacations, and expanding waistlines. As you’re engaged in preparing for the holiday season, the last thing you want to think about is work. But as a Property Manager, you can’t just go MIA on your Property Occupants.

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But on occasion and especially at the end of the year, your brain has left the building and you’re pretty exhausted from the year to focus on getting everything done. To help you, we have put together a Pre-Holiday Property Manager Checklist. So if you’re wondering you have got your bases covered, we are here to help.

There’s no better feeling than going on holiday with a substantial-finish to the year and knowing you’ve left minimal work for your employees to take care of

Pre-holiday checklist for Property Managers

  1. Ensure you have rescheduled all the routine inspections that will conflict with your or another PM’s annual leave. Early January tends to be challenging for colleagues to keep track of who is working on what days.

  2. Keeping a record for days is a good way to make sure you don’t miss anything. Save them in your office device, so it is completely and unambiguously clear to anyone who needs to look at your portfolio where things are lined up. If you’re using i4TMaintenance, you can easily leave these on your Property Occupants files and be assured that they will be taken care of by the assigned employee.

  3. Get all of the rental arrears completed. We know this is easier said than done, especially since most companies experience a surge in arrears before Christmas. However, if you can – call and get in touch with the Occupants.

  4. If you’re using i4T Maintenance, you can take advantage of the Rent Arrears Workflow. It’s sliced average days in arrears across all users. Set up automated reminders to keep your Property Occupants on track.

  5. Keep in mind, that when you return, you will need to receipt, reconcile and disburse payments by December 31st  and then complete that month before starting transactions in January.

  6. Ensure your Occupants have the information of who to get in touch with, in case of an emergency – your information, an alternate’s contacts, the information of Field Service Suppliers, Utility Providers (gas, water, electricity, telecommunications), State Emergency Service, etc. You can even communicate this by sending bulk emails.

  7. Make sure your Property Occupants are prepared for extreme weather conditions or sudden disasters. You can even share this fire preparedness checklist and storm preparedness checklist.

  8. Assign an employee in your office to handle any open service or IT tickets while you’re away.

  9. Have a meeting with your colleagues/employees to discuss who is working over the break. Ensure to provide all the information and resources they’ll need to handle your portfolio while you’re away.

  10. Set your out-of-office email auto-responder up.

  11. Thank the employee(s) in the office if they are working through the break. Give them some Christmas goodies.

  12. Clean your desk, shut down your computer completely, and turn off your monitors and any Bluetooth devices. Clean your food out of the fridge.

  13. Leave the office merrily and close the door on your way out. You’re on holiday!

Other Smart Ways To Avoid Emergency Repair Calls During The Holiday

Emergency and urgent repairs need to be addressed within legislated timeframes. As many service suppliers will be taking holidays, make sure you (and anyone representing you) have a list with several field supplier contacts in case an urgent repair is needed.

Another option to consider is providing a list of Field Service Suppliers (with backups) that they can contact in the event of an emergency such as a water leak, power failure, breakage, or weather-related incidents. Alternatively, you can consider providing some DIY tutorials to your occupants. Also let them know they will need to keep all the paperwork (invoice/receipt, causation report) in case you need to make an insurance claim.

While people are home for the holidays, Property Occupants can also take the time to look around the property and make a list of things that need to be repaired (not urgent). Let them know how to lodge their non-urgent repair requests and provide a timeframe for when you will be able to address them.

If your Property Occupants will be away, this might be a good time to attend to maintenance issues. Arrange for any intrusive repairs or upgrades (e.g. internal work or landscaping) to be made in their absence.

The festive season & summer holidays are the best times of the year for thieves

Home burglaries spike during December & January, so reminding occupants about security might save everyone from any disappointment.

Consider giving Property Occupants a Home Security Checklist which includes things like:

  • Lock up properly (it is common for people to leave windows and doors open to let the wind in, or for electrical wiring to be routed out through a window which prevents the window from being locked).
  • Setting alarms (ensure the security company has PM contact details), using sensor lights, and keeping entrances well-lit.
  • Not leaving keys ‘hidden’ around the premises.
  • Canceling deliveries if they are going away.
  • Not leave the packaging of new goodies such as electronics in plain sight (advertising to the light-fingered that there are new TVs, and any other devices at home).
  • Letting them know to immediately report any problems with fitted security devices such as window and door locks.
  • What to do if the rental has been damaged by theft (this is  a condition in the Landlord’s insurance to avoid additional losses so they must act to secure the premises)

It’s also a good idea to remind Property Occupants that they need their own renter’s contents insurance, as the landlord’s insurance does not cover any of their personal possessions.

If your Property Occupants are going away, it is advised to ask them to shut off the gas and water mains and unplug non-essential electrical appliances.

Hope for the best, plan for the rest – ensure you have appropriate insurance. Insurance is a financial safeguard for when things go wrong. Protecting the investment property from the unpredictable risks that come with owning and leasing a property makes sound business sense. But it is also important to make sure the property is protected with the right insurance.

Some landlords may rely on standard home and contents insurance, which may reimburse them for losses due to events like bad weather or theft. Specialized landlord insurance offers the cover needed to address occupant-related issues, although not just any landlord cover will do. 

There are different types of landlord insurance for each of the different types of letting scenarios. There are policies for houses that cover the building and contents, or cover for apartments that don’t insure the building structure (as this is covered by strata insurance). There are various policies for fixed-term leasing plans, and for short-term (including Airbnb).

The holiday season is a valid excuse to not be available 24/7 for your colleagues and Property Occupants. By being proactive in planning ahead, you can have peace of mind while on your much-deserved holiday. And that’s it. Once you’ve nailed your Pre-Holiday Checklist, you’re ready to say a happy goodbye to 2021.


How would you spend your 2020 holiday season? We’d love to know! Follow us on Facebook and share your ideas with your fellow Property Managers.

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