Questions to Ask When Selecting an HVAC Service for Rental Properties
When you’re managing multiple rental properties, you'll inevitably have maintenance items that need to be taken care of. Some of these tasks will require the expertise of an HVAC technician or plumber. Here are some questions that will help you identify the best HVAC and plumbing service for you to use when tenants call with problems that need addressing.
What Services Do You Offer?
First, you'll want to find a company that offers heat, air conditioning and plumbing services. This will make the logistics of maintaining your properties a little easier, as you'll only have one company to call regardless of whether there's a problem with a furnace, heat pump, air conditioning unit, hot water heater or plumbing fixture.
Not all HVAC service companies offer plumbing services, and not all plumbers are qualified to do HVAC work, and so finding a company that provides both services might be difficult, but it’s absolutely worth it.
What Areas Do You Service?
Second, you'll need a company that services all of the areas where you have properties. When a tenant calls with a problem, you don't want to worry about which of company services that particular address. By selecting a company that services all the properties you have, you'll be able to make a single phone call, saving time and stress.
Landlords who have only one or two properties shouldn't have a problem finding an HVAC and plumbing service provider who has a sufficient coverage area. Landlords who have lots of properties may have to look specifically for a larger company that has many service areas.
What Is Your Average Response Time?
Third, make sure whatever company you choose has a fast average response time. When tenants call with problems, they're going to want the issues fixed quickly. You don't want to have a tenant waiting a long time while a service company is getting to the property.
In some cases, response time is more than a mere convenience. Certain issues, like a loss of heat in the winter or a lack of water any time of year, may have financial consequences. If a tenant isn't able to stay in their rented unit because a vital issue isn't fixed quickly enough, they might be forced to temporarily find other lodgings — and they could try to withhold rent.
While there isn't a set standard that qualifies as a fast response time, a company that regularly responds to call in under an hour is preferable. One that typically gets to properties within the same day is even better.
Are There Emergency Service Fees?
Fourth, make sure you know what you'll have to pay for service calls that occur after business hours. Many companies charge extra for emergency calls and after-hours and weekend surcharges can quickly consume your rental income. Hopefully, you’ll find a company that won't charge any additional fees for off-hours charges.
It may be difficult to find an HVAC and plumbing company that meets all of the above criteria and doesn't upcharge for non-business-hours calls. Such companies do exist, though. Taking the time to find one could save you a lot of money over the course of your landlord career.
Is Your Company Insured?
Finally, confirm that the company you decide to use is fully insured. At the very least, the company should have a general liability policy and workers’ compensation policy. A general liability policy will cover many types of injuries and damage that the company's employees might cause. Workers’ compensation will cover injuries the employees sustain.
If you need a company that offers heating, air conditioning and plumbing services for rental properties, contact us at (800) 260-7187.