If you're looking to take advantage of the flourishing short-term rental market in your area, you must adjust your property management approach to meet the unique demands of short-term rentals. When it comes to roofing services, making some key adjustments can help you meet your roofing needs.
Develop a Relationship
Developing a relationship with a roofing contractor (preferably before you experience any roofing challenges) will ensure that you have a trusted professional on your side to quickly address any roofing challenges your short-term rental might experience. When you begin the process of developing a relationship with a roofing professional, be sure to explain your short-term rental strategy and needs. Because you might not be on the property very often, particularly if your unit is constantly rented, this presents a number of challenges for managing your property. You might consider including the roofer's phone number in the information you leave for your short-term renters. Additionally, you can provide your roofing professional with a spare key to your property and/or keyless access to the property. You should iron out ahead of time what types of repairs the roofing professional can address without requesting permission.
Having your roofing professional on-call should also be discussed. If a short-term tenant sees a leak in the ceiling, you may want to have them call the roof professional before they call you. This is particularly important if you manage your property remotely.
Annual Inspection and Upkeep
Maintaining short-term rental properties poses challenges because any repairs that need to be made can jeopardize the viability of the property for renting. Thus, proactive inspections and upkeep should be scheduled, but on a flexible timeline. For instance, you can establish early December as the time you want your roof inspected every year. Your roofing contractor can inspect and/or perform any repairs on a date that the property is vacant. Flexibly scheduling these inspections and repairs will ensure that you are proactively managing your short-term rental property or properties.
The following are aspects of your roof that should be inspected annually:
- Flashing: Flashing is the metal sections that form the valleys on your roof where water naturally drains. These metal sections can often warp, which can crack the sealant designed to make them waterproof.
- Gutters: Gutters not only help your roof drain water, but they also move water away from the base of your property. Having them cleaned and/or straightened every year will ensure that water drains from your property appropriately.
- Chimneys and vents: Similar to flashing, chimneys and vents are often areas where water can pool, which can allow water to compromise your roof's base layers.
- Shingles: Making sure that your shingles are flat, flush, and in good repair should be confirmed on an annual basis. Your roofing pro should replace any shingles that show any signs of significant wear.
If you're forced to make major renovations or repairs, you should establish specific timetables with your roofing professional. Because the property will likely need to be vacated during a major roofing repair, you can insert language into the contract you sign that reduces the total bill you'll pay if the roofer exceeds their timeline. Although inserting this language might scare off some roofing professionals, you can often leverage one roofing contractor against their competitors by stipulating this clause in the contract. The language you insert doesn't need to be fancy; it should clearly indicate the time and date that project is scheduled to start and the specific time and date that it will end. If the contractor doesn't meet these deadlines, you can effectively charge them for renting the property while they complete the project.