Property maintenance for rental properties includes seasonal & routine maintenance, emergency maintenance and regular maintenance associated with owning a home and protecting your property.
Landlords are legally required to keep their rental property in a habitable condition for their renters. In most cases, this means fixing appliances when they break, replacing roofs, repairing damaged structural features, managing pest invasions, and eliminating mold or other toxins.
Efficient management of property maintenance is important if one wants to successfully rent out their properties, as well as maintain ones which would attract potential buyers or renters. Here are five simple tips for landlords on how to take proper care of rental property.
Provide Running Water
Every tenant deserves to have access to running water. This includes access to a functioning toilet, shower and sink. A working water heater must also be in place so that the tenant has the ability to get hot water.
Follow All Building Codes
Landlords have a responsibility to provide a safe and healthy environment for their tenants. There are specific building codes in place which dictate how landlords must create and maintain this safe and healthy environment. Requirements include placement of smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, plumbing work and electrical work, structural integrity of the property, mold issues, lead paint issues, asbestos issues, and pest management.
Landlords must make reasonable repairs to ensure that the property is in habitable condition. However, if the damage has been done by the tenant, it is acceptable to charge the tenant for the repairs.
Make Sure All Vital Services Are Working
A landlord has the responsibility of making sure all plumbing, heating, electrical, gas and supplied appliances are in working order. If the tenant pays the utility bills, then they deserve uninterrupted access to such supplies.
Maintain Communal Areas of the Property
Communal areas must be kept safe, clean and well-lit. Stairs must have stable banisters, and floors which are tripping hazards must be fixed. However, tenants also have a substantial responsibility in keeping the property undamaged. After all, they should not damage someone else’s property.
Clean and Sanitary Conditions
Tenants are usually required to properly dispose of their garbage, as excessive trash in the apartment could create a health issue. A tenant needs to keep the unit clean and in sanitary conditions to prevent pest infestations and breathing issues.
The tenant must ensure that the emergency exits are free and usable. The tenant must not remove batteries from or otherwise tamper with smoke or carbon monoxide detectors.
Tenants must keep all plumbing fixtures clean and dry as rust, soap scum buildup, mold or excessive dirt could ruin them. All of these fixtures must also only be used for their intended purpose. For example, trash cannot be flushed down the toilet and cooking grease should not be put down the shower drain.
Landlord Supplied Appliances
Similarly, tenants must keep all landlord supplied appliances in reasonably clean condition. They should prevent grease build up on and around stoves or rotting, spilled food damaging the refrigerator. Again, these appliances must only be used for their intended purposes. For example, the tenant should not use the dishwasher to wash their tennis shoes.
Not Damage the Property
This includes the inside of the tenant’s unit, as well as all common areas of the property. Normal wear and tear on the unit is expected, but damage, such as a cracked countertop should not be acceptable.
Overall, managing rental property is not difficult work, but one has to be consistent. Tenants, and especially landlords, must work in harmony to benefit both parties.