What Exactly is The Landlord Responsible for When it Comes to Property Maintenance?
A landlord and a tenant have their respective responsibilities when it comes to repairs and maintenance. If you want to keep an understanding and unproblematic relationship with your tenant you need to meet the requirements of your end of the contract.
As a property owner, you must take care of the real estate and keep it in perfect condition before the tenants move in. However, it might seem unfair to have to repair the damages that the renters caused by negligence which could have been avoided.
You have responsibilities when it comes to property maintenance even after the tenants have inhabited the place. Still, you need to be able to sort out exactly what your duty is so you don’t face any legal consequences or lose the tenants.
What Should The Landlord Fix?
In case the walls and the flooring are falling apart, it is your responsibility to deal with the issue. The property owner must handle the maintenance problems with sinks, washbasins, drains, toilets, and foundations.
The property owner is responsible for mending the exterior of the house as well. If the roof or a gutter is damaged you have to repair it. Moreover, you must make sure that the safety regulations are all met and that the tenants’ health is not in danger in any way.
As a landlord, you are responsible for dealing with any gas appliances and ventilation. You need to make sure that every safety term is met and regulated on your property unless you want to end up with a lawsuit on your hands.
You can handle the safety issues by making sure that there are no serious problems on the property with dampness or mold. There should be no issue with insects or rats living in your walls. The water supply should be safe.
The way to ensure that these issues are not present is to conduct an annual inspection of your property. If you find it tough to keep the tenants secure, or can’t find professionals to properly handle the property inspections, you can always hire a property management company to give you reports on the condition of the rental real estate.
Whether you use the internet of things or old-fashioned keys to lock the property, the tenants should be the only ones other than you with access. Therefore, if you have new tenants moving in, it’s mandatory in most states to change the locks.
Some property owners use smart locks for their properties. In this case, you must make sure that all of the data is secure and that hacking the system is impossible. You must protect the privacy of your tenants.
Water, Heat, Electricity
Although you might have a deal with the tenants according to which they are responsible for paying the bills, making sure that water, heating, and electricity are accessible is your obligation.
The landlord must make sure that the tenants can have the basic comfort for living in any season. Meaning that you need to give the tenants access to heating in winter and ensure that they can have air conditioning in summer.
In the case of the heating or ventilation systems getting damaged, you are responsible for the repairs as a landlord. Remember to review the tenant-landlord contract and laws to fix the issue in the required time.
The Time Frame
According to these Las Vegas property managers, in most cases, the landlords only have 24 hours to deal with serious and threatening issues. If there are problems such as gas leaking or ventilation problems, you must make repairing these damages a priority.
However, if the issues presented are not as urgent and only cause slight inconvenience, you can communicate with the tenant and negotiate the time frame. The most sufficient time should be 48 hours, however, you could take more time if the tenant agrees to it.
If you live in a different state or are traveling while the maintenance problem occurs, fixing these issues could become unmanageable in the given time frame. Therefore, it’s best if you hire a property manager to always be present in the area to handle the problems in your place.
The tenants are required to let you know about these issues as soon as possible. In the case of the landlord being unaware of the safety problems that arose unexpectedly, the tenants can not complain about the issues not being dealt with in time.
Although the majority of maintenance issues are a property owner’s responsibility, the tenants need to take some accountability as well. There are instances where the major maintenance issues and damages are caused by the tenant’s negligence.
During such occurrences, the tenants should be responsible for paying the repair prices and fixing the issues.
The majority of maintenance issues are your responsibility as a landlord. Investing in properties sounds like a walk in the park to some, but those who are involved in the business, know that landlords have a lot of duties and obligations.
The easiest way to handle the problems and still earn a passive income is to hire a property manager to professionally handle the maintenance problems. However, whether you hire a professional or not, you are the one responsible for the major issues. Therefore, make sure to conduct a thorough inspection of the property annually.