Like all of California, Palm Springs is taking the drought seriously. Penalties for water waste are likely to skyrocket and could put a serious damper on potential investment returns, even this coming year. But Palm Springs and surrounding communities are doing their best, and doing their best for all the people in California currently facing crisis conditions even despite potentially higher costs.
These are five things you can and should do, as a landlord or property owner, to make sure water waste is minimized in your property and before things get any worse.
1) Anticipate Leaks and Be Ready to Fix Them
Leaks are going to happen. Make it super easy for tenants to tell you, and have somebody ready to respond. This is consideration number one because it needs to be discussed, openly and firmly whenever you move someone in. Professional concern and interest needs to pervade and envelope the entire issue so that your tenants are comfortable enough to recognize the urgency and to respond accordingly.
2) Remind Tenants that Costs Are Passed On
That should include penalties for water infractions or overuse, but also for expenses related to damage from water or humidity. Palm Springs is a dry place so even a slow leak can quickly cause mold or mildew. Discuss it with tenants in a non-invasive and purely professional way.
3) Print Your Policies
Print and hand out guidelines to existing tenants and have the same materials ready for tenants when they sign. With new tenants or existing tenants, your printed policies should detail reporting procedures and tips for saving water in the home.
4) Retrofit Between Tenants
You may have existing tenants who will be happy to have a new one-gallon-per-flush efficient toilet. But between tenants, retrofitting is almost an absolute necessity now. Low-flow showerheads and faucet aerators are too. And while you’re in there, a thorough inspection for leaks is mandatory.
5) Revisit the Tenant Laundry
That has a depressing ring to it, but if you’re running any kind of common or shared tenant laundry equipment, then spell out recommendations for the use of all machines, and establish minimum load sizes to prevent waste. Again, it’s a good time to remind tenants that we’re all in this together and that costs for over-usage could result in rent increases down the road. For tenants running their own equipment, it’s still worth mentioning that clothes washers and dishwashing machines should be run with an eye for efficiency and for cutting waste.
Keep your water-bill as low as possible is good for your tenants and for your bottom line. We work with a variety of HOAs, building managers and tenant organizations to keep water waste to a minimum and to keep the properties we manage running efficiently and to keep the water running only when it’s needed. We’d be happy to discuss improving your unit’s efficiency and getting more out of your investment at the same time.