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When renting a property, the major obligations are typically burdened by the landlords. From the moment the home is marketed as a rental property, the owner is already obliged to make sure that the home meets the standards of a livable home and see to it that the property is in no way uninhabitable. This isn’t only to attract tenants but also to avoid future expenses when the tenant starts to complain about damages and discomforts.
Ensuring home quality before accepting tenants is a very important step each landlord should take. Yes, you may need to spend some cash, but these expenses can be a one time thing if you do things right. Besides, it isn’t just about the money. One more reason why you should avoid damages is that it can cost you so much time and difficulty. It’s more difficult to repair damages when someone is living in the home, compared to fixing everything while the home is still vacant.
However, emergency repairs are still inevitable. They can be brought to a minimum, but they are always inevitable. What you can do as a landlord, is to prepare for such incidents and come into terms with your tenants as to what they can do in such times. They do have to call you immediately if an emergency repair needs to be done. If you’re not available, they should already be informed on who to call in case you are far from the area. This could directly be a repairman, or a person who you trust to manage your business in your absence. If none from your party is available to take care of the situation, the tenant may be able to call for help on their own, pay the service with their own money, and ask you to reimburse the amount.
Here are some of the most common maintenance issues that you should prepare to encounter as a landlord:
Damages that need urgent action are considered emergencies. These may not always be critical, but these are typically dangerous enough that if no action is done within hours, a bigger problem can arise. Examples of emergency damages include: water leak, toilet blockage, ceiling leaks, gas leaks, electrical issues, storm damage, loss of power, loss of water supply, and faults in home structure that can injure people. As a landlord, you should know how to handle these things, either by fixing it first hand, or having someone who is on-call for such repair emergencies.
GUTTERS AND DRAINS
Issues that come from drains and gutters are a little less alarming and aren’t always categorized as emergencies. You may think that these problems are solely handled by the landlord, but in actuality, it still depends on what the cause of the problem is. If the drain blocks out due to natural reasons, then it is the landlord’s responsibility to have it fixed and pay for it. But if the issue was somewhat caused by the tenant, it is no longer the landlord’s problem to pay for it. The landlord can help out, but it is the tenant’s responsibility to spend for it.
AVOIDING FIRE DAMAGE
Landlords should install smoke detectors on the property and make sure that they are all working fine. Regular testing is necessary to make sure that the smoke alarms are still in good condition. Failure to install smoke detectors can lead you to being blamed in case a big fire occurs. This is just a small step but neglecting it can put you into too much trouble. Not only can you take the blame in the event of a fire, you are also putting your property at risk.
If the property is located in a rural area, or if your home includes a garden, then pests can be a problem. In urban locations, household pests can also infestate the home. This is why you should check the property’s cleanliness before you market it to renters. If you spot pests in surrounding area, this should be mentioned to the tenants and in the report that you give them before you turn the house over to them.
The expenses needed to control pest infestation when it occurs is usually paid by the landlord, unless of course the infestation is caused by the tenant’s lack of cleanliness. Indoor pests like termites are usually the landlord’s problems, while flies, roaches, and other hygiene related pests can be blamed to the home dwellers.
The tenant is expected to be responsible for looking after the lawn, including the mowing and weeding. However, this should be mentioned in the tenant-landlord agreement to avoid conflicts. Other plants that are already in the property that need major maintenance may no longer be part of the tenant’s obligations. Nonetheless, these things should be specified in the agreement so as to avoid arguments in the future.
Being a landlord means being responsible for your property’s maintenance. Just like in every other business, your customer’s satisfaction is your priority. You wouldn’t want them to feel uncomfortable and end up leaving your place. If you want good business, you need to comply to the standards of tenants. It’s not exactly unfair, as you are also protected as a landlord. You won’t be held liable for damages that aren’t brought about by natural causes. However, you will always be the person they will call for when unforeseen property expenses arise. This is why most landlords opt to get a landlord’s insurance. Although insurances aren’t compulsory, people opt to get them for a reason. As for the landlords, if you want to be protected from unexpected costs, you might as well get yourself a landlord’s insurance.
As a whole, if you want to encounter less problems regarding your property’s maintenance, it is also important to maintain a good relationship with your tenant, to the point where they respect you, enough for them to level up their care for your property. Nonetheless, you also need to be prepared for whatever there is that needs your urgent attention. As a landlord, you will be your tenant’s go-to person in cases of emergencies. – iLetProperties