Covid-19 has become a Global Pandemic with many Americans worrying about close contact in their communities. As a property owner or manager, it is your responsibility to make sure your property is a safe living space, which means taking the correct steps to prevent the spread of Covid-19. Managing a multi-Family community during this pandemic can be stressful, here are 8 ways to make sure you are taking enough action to keep your tenants safe.
1. Increase your cleaning schedule
Being a property owner means making sure your tenants living area is kept clean and tidy. By increasing the cleaning rate for those items that are used more frequently, this can help reduce the spread of Covid-19. This may mean longer schedules or hiring extra hands to help clean elevators, mailboxes, handles, rails, storage areas that are likely being used or touched by tenants often.
2. Don't allow residents to gather
When living close to many in a multi-family complex, you tend to meet a lot of people. Preventing tenants from gathering or having places to meet within your property can help prevent the spread of germs. This can include pools, playgrounds, gyms or any nonessential that may be a gathering spot. Consider temporarily closing your property amenities during this time.
3. Provide hand sanitizer and soap for tenants
Having sanitizer readily available can be essential in stopping the spread of germs. Stocking up on extra items such as soap can help keep tenants from having to go out. Make sure to stock bathrooms that are available for use. Pressing elevator buttons and using a mailbox is almost unavoidable, so setting up sanitizer nears these areas can be beneficial. Managers of apartment buildings should consider providing masks and gloves to staff during their working hours, due to the high risk of exposure.
4. Limit Guests
Many tenants who live on your property, may have regular visitors. Having a rule set in place for nonessential visitors can help keep tenants safe and healthy. Setting this rule may be hard, but reminding tenants the fewer visitors the better, and less virus exposure will happen within the property.
5. Be Reasonable with Tenants
Many tenants may experience financial hardships during this pandemic. Tenants may ask for longer grace periods or rent reductions. Showing your residents that you can be understanding and offering to work out a financial plan, may increase loyalty and boost renewals or referrals in the future.
6. Keep Security Updated and Working
Tenants will feel much safer knowing their property manager is keeping security updated and working. By checking your cameras, your access control, gates, alarms, and lights, your tenants will see the effort you are giving to protect them. This can be beneficial if property damages occur during this time. Also, future tenants will take note that you did everything possible to keep everyone safe. Adding extra security such as alarm systems in your leasing office may also reduce break-ins. Try not to reduce or shorten on-site staffing hours, as this may increase the risk of break-ins.
Like any healthy relationship, communication is key. Help keep your community updated on new rules or guidelines being set in place, due to COVID-19 and related legislation, with the use of flyers or emails. Update residents even if no new information has been received. Your tenants will appreciate you going the extra mile to make sure they have awareness of the situation, and what actions you as the property manager are taking to ensure safety.
8. Reach Out to Local Resources
Contact your local police department to see if they are offering to make personal visits in your multi-family community, for added security. Some departments have a specific multi-housing division dedicated to community safety.