RI Home Watch FAQ
What is a home watch service?
RI Home Watch FAQ – RI Home Watch Services is for absentee homeowners, homeowners with a vacation property, or homeowners who must leave the property unattended for any extended length of time, which requires a periodic visual visit and review of your home and property to discover and report obvious issues that can arise while you are away.
Why would I need a home watch service?
It may be easier to explain this by asking the question ‘Why wouldn’t you want one?’ So many things can happen to your home in your absence: break-ins, water leaks, electrical problems, frozen or broken pipes, animal infestation, mold and storms to name a few. Preventive measures such as proactive maintenance should prevent many situations from arising. Even if you have a trusted neighbor or relative nearby, having a insured professional acting on your behalf is a much better and more effective option.
Are you a Property Management company or Inspector? Do we manage rental properties?
We do not provide the services of a traditional property management company or home inspector. Both of those are licensed and or registered trades individually and are regulated by the State of Rhode Island Department of Regulation. We act only on the behalf of the owner in a assistance capacity and the owner makes decisions on their property and upkeep; we do not pay bills, manage funds, collect rent, advertise for rent or award contracts on behalf of the owner, or Inspect the home as defined by the state.
What is the recommended schedule of home review visits?
How long does it take a water leak to cause significant and expensive damage? A small amount of water can quickly grow and produce a large amount of mold and mildew which is costly to clean! The sooner they are discovered, the less the amount of damage.
The average is weekly home visits and most property owners follow that schedule. Bi-weekly is another option, but 14 days can be a long time if there is an issue and if you are willing to accept the risk. There are some vacation customers who ask to have daily visits for a week.
What if I have an issue at my home/property?
The home watch professionals’ experience and judgment will allow them to handle any situation with a calculated response. If the situation is an emergency, it will be handled in the fastest, safest and most cost-effective way. In a non-emergency situation, you will be contacted to discuss and implement a course of action.
If I need someone to make the repairs?
We know that you want your repairs made by someone who truly knows the trade and is licensed and insured properly in that trade. For that reason, we evaluate the complexity of the repair and discuss it with you. RI Home Watch has preferred business partners, who have the proper training, licensing and insurance, and most importantly the skills, to conduct work ranging from simple repairs to large complex repair. We will assist you in hiring a trusted professional contractor with expertise in the area you need. We can meet the vendor into your property to make the repairs and then return to lock up. If you prefer, we will stay at your property while the vendor makes the repairs and then apprise you of the status – see Pricing for Key holding services.
How long is RI Home Watch in my home and how do I know you were there?
Review visits can take on average between 20 minutes to over an hour depending on the services you have contracted, how frequently we visit the home, and the size of the home. We utilize a time-stamp included on each electronic report using QRIDit sent to you and if installed, you can check certain alarm system logs and/or security cameras to verify the home review. But this should never be a problem, our mission is to be reliable and honest, period. But we understand there are other less honest people our there, so if it provides you with more piece of mind, optionally you can request your visit be reported with our GPS stamp to show we were physically at your location.
How long is RI Home Watch contract for?
RI Home Watch believes in offering the most flexible arrangement possible to help with the management of your property. We do not offer long term contracts, but priced-per-visit service agreements, billed bi-weekly and on some occasions, monthly. We request a 7-day notice if you are canceling the agreement or a single visit. This flexibility allows us to continue servicing your property as well as avoiding over billing.
How does RI Home Watch manage my keys and information?
We consider your security and your property’s security as our highest priority. Keys are stored in a fireproof when not being used to access the property. RI Home Watch reviewers who will enter your home will have been thoroughly screened, background checked and trained. Third, and most important, we never drive up to your home with a marked vehicle to give away that your home is empty and is being watched by a home watch company! Some other companies do this and we feel it is a huge security risk and advertises that your home is empty!! We don’t even wear logo shirts when visiting your property. However, we do carry a badge in our vehicle, which has our photo and name, which can be matched to our profile on our website, as well as our business cards for professional confirmation.
Who typically hires RI Home Watch and why do they use your services?
While most RI Home Watch clients own vacation homes that they occupy periodically throughout the year, we also take care of homes for seasonal residents (aka Snowbirds), vacation apartments or condos, professional or business travelers, deployed military personnel, new homeowners who will move in at a later date, home sellers who need to move prior to the sale of their home, and owners of vacation rental properties (VRBO, RBO). We also offer one-time property audits using our Home Review software and checklist, in the event the property owner decides to have a professional review of the properties current state. We do not handle the direct rental of any property nor act as property managers.
Is RI Home Watch insured and bonded? How do I know my information and property are secure?
RI Home Watch is fully insured and bonded for your protection. There are other companies that claim they are insured — ask to see their policy to make sure. You’ll find out why they might be less expensive! What will they do if your property is damaged or your information/keys are compromised? Without insurance you’ll be on the hook, not them. Your information is stored in the highest security data environments possible, plus your keys are stored in a large safe when not physically with us. Your protection is of the highest priority.
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