A number of our calls are from tenants or managers where a tenant has a complaint about their indoor air. Air Allergen can inspect those units and provide information as to whether there is a problem, and if so, how to remediate the problem so that it does not recur. Air Allergen’s inspector is sensitive to helping solve the problem rather than inflaming the situation.
Prior to having complaints, rental owners and managers could benefit significantly from random sampling. Random sampling is valuable in at least four ways; (1) providing stopgaps to reduce the risk of claims extending backward; (2) finding problems while the cost is still modest; (3), keeping occupants satisfied to reduce vacancy and turnover; and (4), supporting risk management by mitigating claims forward.
Random sampling to identify problems so they can be fixed as quickly as possible will not only help owners and managers reduce the cost of addressing an existing problem, but it will allow the rental owners and managers to proactively apply the information gathered to other similar units or areas to prevent future losses.
An example of how random sampling can be helpful in heading off problems and keeping tenants happy is an apartment complex that learns through random sampling that the filters they are using in their HVAC systems are inadequate to capture mold spores and microfibers. The owner uses the information to upgrade the filters in all units. The tenants feel better and are more likely to remain as long term tenants.
In most cases, the remedy for tenants who believe their unit is unhealthy is to move. This creates an unnecessary expense to the apartment owners and managers for vacancies and the cost to re-lease the apartment. The cost of having past tenants complaining to others about the experience is potentially more damaging.
A marketing approach to help build occupancy and keep tenants satisfied is to be able to say “We have a program in place to identify and address any problems if and when they are identified.” Sampling is clearly a value-added service that can provide an additional, immediate, and potentially significant as well as a layer of protection from unwarranted legal problems and disgruntled tenants.