During the hot Tulsa summer, the last thing you will want to deal with as a rental property owner is a fire in your rental property. Regardless, Murphy’s Law dictates that whatever can go wrong, will go wrong, so it’s best to be prepared, just in case. Odds are, you probably have not figured out exactly what to do in the event of a fire in your rental property—aside from calling 911, of course. After the fire is put out, you will need to deal with the aftermath to get your rental property up and running again. Here is what you should worry about firstwhen dealing with rental property fires.
Investigate the Fire
Your first step is to play detective, so let’s hope that you read plenty of mystery novels as a kid. You will need to collect statements from everyone. Have tenants and their guests (if applicable) tell you exactly what happened. Ask them what caused the fire. Next, talk to the firefighters on scene. Ask them what they believe caused the fire. This is important to determining liability later on. When you are allowed to reenter the building, document all of the damage with photographs and a written inventory.
In most cases, renter’s insurance or the Red Cross will provide housing for your tenants if the damages to the rental property make it uninhabitable. Depending on your lease, however, you may shoulder the responsibility for finding and paying for tenant housing. Don’t worry, your insurance will likely pay you back for this later.
Contact Your Insurance Company Right Away
This is extremely important. Processing insurance claims take time, so it is vital that you contact your insurance company immediately. The faster you can file a claim, the faster you will get the insurance payout. This is important because that insurance money is what will allow you to restore any damages to your rental property. If you cannot get started on restoration, it will take even longer to get the rental property back in habitable condition so that you can rent it out again. The sooner you can restore your rental revenue, the better. You should also encourage your tenants to contact their insurance agents so that they can replace whatever belongings were damaged in the fire, or start the process if they are found to be liable for the fire.
Find Fire Restoration Companies
You should start looking for fire restoration companies that have been approved by your insurance company right away. This will allow you to begin the restoration process as soon as possible and consequently get your rental home back into the hands of tenants quickly. Before you hand over the keys again, however, make sure that you have the property inspected by the state to make sure that it is safe and sound.
You will need to determine who was liable for the fire. If the fire was caused by faulty wiring or some other problem with the property, you will be responsible. If the tenant accidentally knocked over a candle or was smoking in the apartment against the lease agreement, they will be responsible. You will not be responsible for your tenant’s property regardless of what caused the fire.
If you need help handling all of the fire aftermaths, a property management company can help you deal with it all. Keyrenter Tulsa would love to help you with your daily management tasks, so you can focus on whatever is most important to you. Give us a call today and find out what we can do for you.