It’s the dog days of summer with the sun at its zenith and temperatures are hot enough to fry an egg on the hood of your car. The phone rings, it’s one of your single-family home tenants calling to tell you’re their air conditioning has stopped working. Calls like this are just one of the joys of being a property manager and to make things worse, getting an A/C tech to come out and make the necessary repairs at this time of year are slim to none.
You Can’t Tell Your Tenants No!
The one thing you cannot do is tell your tenants that they are going to have to deal with this until sometime in the future when you can finally get someone to come out and fix their air conditioning. This is a sure way to find yourself looking for new tenants. While the laws in California consider air conditioning to be an amenity rather than a necessity, try telling your tenants this when the temperature outside hits the high 80s to mid-90s or higher.
What you can do, however, is make sure you are prepared for just such an emergency. It really doesn’t take much. All you really need to do is have a few extra box fans on hand to ease their suffering until you can find a service technician who can come out and make the necessary repairs. This might at least help to keep your tenants cooled off as it lets them know you are at least trying to be helpful. Who knows something as simple as this might show how much you care and lead to their renewing the lease instead of moving out.
Go the Extra Mile
When the temperatures outside are in the 90s, chances are good that box fans are only going to be moving hot air around. While this may be better than nothing, there is a much better choice. Depending on how long it is going to take to get a repairman to come out or if parts need to be ordered to repair the central air conditioning system, consider window air conditioning units. Window air conditioners are not overly expensive and can make an acceptable alternative when the central unit goes out.
By temporality installing one or more window units, your tenants can still keep their home cooled down, making them comfortable and happy. This kind of “goodwill” can go a long way towards showing your tenants just how much you care about them and value them as tenants. Happy tenants go on to refer friends and sign new leases, which is good for business. The good news is that once the repairs have been made, you can put the window air conditioners in storage and save them for the next time one of your tenants has a problem with their A/C you are ready to step in and help keep them cooled down until the necessary repairs are made.