Your rental property will eventually need maintenance, even if it’s brand new and even if it’s in excellent condition. Many tenants will be confused about what they’re responsible for maintaining and what you’re responsible for, as the property owner and landlord. Make sure all of the expectations and responsibilities are clearly spelled out in the lease agreement. And, make sure you’re prepared to cover things like emergency and routine maintenance as well as general wear and tear.
Emergency and Routine Maintenance
Emergency maintenance and repairs are necessary immediately after damage is caused. Perhaps a major storm knocked over a tree, which shattered a window. That window would need to be repaired and cleaned up right away. A leaking water heater or a lack of air conditioning in the summer are also emergencies. These call for immediate action because ignoring the problem could threaten the safety of the property and your tenant.
Regular maintenance might be a running toilet or a garbage disposal that won’t work. While you still need to respond with a sense of urgency in order to keep the tenant happy and to protect your property, no immediate habitability standards are in peril.
Understanding Wear and Tear
Owners are responsible for general wear and tear. Your property will become worn over time, no matter who is living in it. That’s a natural occurrence that your tenant can’t do much to avoid. For example, outside paint is eventually going to wear from sun and rain. You’ll notice most of the wear on your property during turnovers.
Who Pays for Maintenance?
Owners are responsible for paying to keep the home in a safe, habitable, and functioning condition. You’ll need to repair plumbing and you’ll need to replace appliances. It is the responsibility of the tenant to pay for the repairs that result in damage. When tenants or their guests break something or neglect something and it needs maintenance, you can charge them for that work.
Good communication with your tenants will ensure the property is well-cared for and maintained. You don’t want your tenants to be worried about reporting maintenance. Make sure they know you want to hear about it as soon as work is needed.
Coordinating Costs of Repairs
When a tenant is responsible for damage caused to the property, you’ll be able to charge the security deposit at the end of the lease. Otherwise, you’ll need to have your own maintenance budget in place to handle the repairs that come up. Keep in mind that working with a professional El Paso property management company can keep your maintenance costs down and ensure your property is maintained and its condition protected. We work with licensed and bonded contractors who give us preferred pricing due to the volume of work we provide them.
If you have any questions about maintenance and what you should include in your lease so your tenants are aware of what they’re responsible for, contact us at Century 21 Haggerty Property Management. We’d be happy to help.