Running a vacation rental business requires full-time attention. As a landlord, you should always watch out your properties while dealing with boosting your business and increasing your bookings. You know how negatively a damaged property can affect your profits; therefore, it is essential to identify the risk, prevent possible damages, and control or minimise the property damages before turning to a disaster.
One of the best prevention strategies is to detect known sources that lead to damaged properties. Knowing the main causes of possible damages to a house helps you prepare and stay alarmed for forthcoming events. It also helps you to find your property’s weaknesses and solve them before getting late.
5 Common Causes of Property Damage
There are many natural and unnatural reasons behind a damaged property. Knowing them makes a property owner aware of possible dangers and think through strategies to control the risk and minimise the damage.
1. Natural events
The events that often happen in nature are not something that we can control. But becoming ready for them can prevent disaster and decrease the damage cost.
Wind: It’s one of the most common causes that lead to 24% of seriously damaged properties. A windstorm can harm the roof, move and throw objects around the house. The movement of chairs and tables in the yard or backyard can crash the window glasses and damage outside walls. Wind can also make gutter blockage by throwing the trash and leaves.
Heavy Rain: Rain may not seem like a serious problem, but water pools appearing after the shower is a property destroyer. It usually happens when the roof isn’t in good condition (e.g. old roof covering and inappropriate slope), and gutters are clogged and worn.
Fire is the most expensive (25%), and most disruptive damage could happen for a property. A small human mistake, electricity-related cracks, and gas pipe leaking may produce fire and end with a thoroughly damaged property.
3. Water Leaking
Water leaking inside the house is more destructive than outside-related water. It usually starts with no sign and does huge property damages if not stopped. Sink and toilet cracks, and damaged rubber hose of the washing machine lead to water leaking and related damages.
Burglary (entering someone’s house without permission) is another cause of property damage that usually happens in insecure and vulnerable dwellings that are easy targets for thieves. Based on reports, theft is the reason for around 6% of property damages.
5. Tenants’ Behaviour
As a vacation rental owner, you know not all guests are sweet and careful, and you have faced neglected guests who left your property with some small or big wrecks. High guests turnovers with carrying some luggage, having inside parties, and inappropriate use of appliances are harmful to the property.
5 Strategies to Minimise Damaged Properties
There is always a way to escape the danger, prevent the detriment, or at least decrease the associated costs. Here are some suggested strategies you may find useful in keeping your property safe and sound.
1. Property Safety and Security Systems
As a property owner, it is your responsibility to provide a safe and secure stay for your guests. Equipping your accommodation with high-tech security systems not only brings satisfaction for guests but also prevents possible damages to your property.
Implementing security cameras outside the building and inside corridors decreases burglary risks as it is not easy to escape cameras. Moreover, in the case of any rubbery or guest-related problems, you can simply track the camera records, identify the wrongdoer, and take fast action to decrease the damage.
No need to mention that having smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors is a must for every property. Besides providing a safe place for tenants, fire alarms can vastly protect your property or minimise the damage before firefighters’ arrival and getting any help. Keeping a fire extinguisher and a fire blanket, especially inside the kitchen, is highly recommended to negate a small fire before leading to damaged property.
The world of technology is endless and has more options to protect homes from possible dangers. Automated water leak detectors are useful systems that monitor the common source of leakings, such as pipes in sinks, water heaters, washing machines, and others. This smart system is intended to warn landlords at the time of leakage, and automatically shuts off the water supply to prevent waste of water and related damages.
2. Property Maintenance
Prevention is always a wise strategy that solves a problem before happening. Property maintenance is a preventive strategy that means checking the building routinely if any small issues are overlooked. To have better control over your property, having an organised workflow is crucial to efficient tasks following. Regarding that, it is vital to prioritise essential tasks and categorise them as weekly, monthly, and annual. Making a detailed maintenance checklist is helpful, especially when you want your staff and cleaners to carefully follow the instructions.
3. Security Deposit
Vacation rental owners have implemented security deposits to compensate for the guest-related losses regarding property damage or last-minute booking cancellation. However, it acts as a warning for guests about extra charges if they don’t meet the landlords’ expectations. Therefore, the security deposit guarantees a rental against possible damages sourced in tenants’ destructive behaviours. We recommend you prepare a complete and clear guideline for tenants and make sure that they accept all your policies before entering your property.
4. Emergency Response
Once a small issue happens, immediate attention can prevent a bigger disaster. Emergencies, such as electrical storms and plumbing issues if managed early, will be thoroughly solved without spending too much time and money. For your peace of mind, you may offer a 24-hour service on-call to respond to your guests’ issues that might happen at any time of the day. Introducing a call centre keeps you connected with your tenants and assures you that everything is under control.
5. Property Insurance
With all strategies taken to prevent and minimise the damage, sometimes it is impossible to avoid the danger. You must have thought of those rainy days and be ready to afloat over the storm. As such, it is crucial to obtain appropriate insurance that renders full coverage for repairs to your damaged property. So, if you haven’t insured your vacation rental, check for different property insurance types, choose what meets your need best, and go for it as soon as possible.
All in all, taking care of your properties must always be on top of mind. You should consider your rental location and get prepared for local climate changes, such as windy seasons. Predict other types of property damages and make a clear plan to cope with the unwanted situation at the moment. You may also gather a housekeeping team or hire a property management company that helps you manage the risk and take instant actions once needed.