The weather in Florida can be pretty intense. There is extreme heat, tropical rain, and powerful winds to consider, and in the greater Tampa Bay area, we’re close to the Gulf of Mexico, which makes us even more vulnerable to tropical storms and hurricanes. Everyone living in Florida wants to be prepared for hurricane season, and as a landlord, you want to make sure you have a plan for your rental property.
Property Management Helps with Preparation
There are many advantages to having a professional property management company on your side, but hurricane season is a particularly good time to call upon the expertise and the resourcefulness of your property managers. As an owner, you’ll have less to worry about when hurricane season rolls around because you’ll have professionals taking care of managing your tenant and your home during any potential storms. This is especially important for out-of-state owners who cannot be present to board up windows or hang storm shutters.
Talk to your property manager about their plan for communicating with you and your tenants during storms. You’ll want to make sure they have all of your insurance information in case there is a claim, and you’ll also want to know if your tenants are staying in the home or evacuating.
Preparing your Property and your Tenants
Many newer homes in Florida are equipped with hurricane windows and shutters that can provide extra security during hurricane-force winds. Make sure those are working and installed properly in the days before the storm arrives. Sandbag your home, especially if you’re in an area that’s prone to flooding. You’ll want to make sure your tenant is all set with flashlights, bottled water, and instructions on how to get in touch with you or your property manager if something catastrophic happens. Make sure trees are trimmed and outside items such as patio furniture and plants are secured or brought inside.
Review your insurance information so you’ll know who to contact and how to get help if a tree falls through your roof or the bottom floor of your home floods. You’ll want to check your car insurance as well as your landlord insurance so you understand the claims and communication process.
Take Care of Maintenance Ahead of Time
If there’s any deferred maintenance at your property that needs your attention, this is the time to take care of it. Those small repairs that you may have been putting off need to be fixed before the weather gets bad, otherwise you’ll put your property at greater risk for damage. Do a brief inspection of the home with your tenant and take care of anything you can before hurricane season arrives. This will not only keep your property better protected, it will also let your tenants know that you care about their well-being and the condition of your home.
If there is a hurricane or a bad storm, check out the damage at your property as soon as it is safe to do so. You and your tenants may be without power for a while, and navigating the roads might be challenging. Safety must come first, and then you can worry about your investment.
We have a lot of experience managing properties in Florida, where the weather is usually predictable (sunny and hot), but can sometimes take a bad turn. Contact us at A+ Realty Management if you need any help preparing your home for extreme weather.