In the Tampa Bay area, we are in the middle of hurricane season. Generally, it runs from June 1 to November 30, and tropical activity tends to peak in late August and early September. Tampa landlords will surely remember Hurricane Irma, a huge storm that covered the state of Florida last summer. It’s important to be prepared for hurricanes and tropical storms when you have a Tampa rental property. Your home needs to withstand heavy rains, flooding, and wind. You can also expect lightening, hail, and sometimes tornado activity.
Tampa Property Management: Preparing in Advance for Hurricanes
It’s important to be in contact with your tenants and your property manager when a hurricane is approaching. People will be quick to stockpile water, candles, batteries and other supplies. Find out if your tenants are staying in place or evacuating. If they are staying in the home, advise them to gather supplies in case they lose power or access to water for a few days.
If your property has hurricane shutters, make sure the tenants know how to install them, or find a way for you or your property manager to take care of putting them in place. If you plan to board up windows, make sure you have the materials in place.
Landlord and Tenant Responsibilities During Hurricanes
Your tenant’s safety should be your paramount concern. As a landlord, make sure you have taken care of all deferred maintenance before a storm hits. This can make the difference between your property having a little bit of damage and a lot of damage. Windows should be caulked and sealed, and your roof should be free of debris and tree limbs. Secure or bring in patio furniture.
Prepare for the worst. It’s always better to do a little extra work that later turns out to be unnecessary than to be ill-prepared and caught by surprise. Communication is critical. Stay in constant contact with your property manager and your tenants.
After the Hurricane: Insurance Preparation and Documentation
Have your insurance information easily accessible. Don’t assume that wind and flood coverage is included in your property insurance. Check your policy, and make sure you know how to file a claim after the storm passes if you have any damage. Tampa tenants should have their own renter’s insurance which will cover their personal property in the event it’s damaged or lost during a hurricane.
Tampa investors know that hurricanes and tropical storms come with the territory when they buy property in Florida. As long as you’re prepared and your property is well-maintained, you should have no problem weathering the storm.
For more information on how to protect your Tampa rental property, please contact us at Rent It Network.