Having rental properties can be a great way to supplement your income. While many people jump into real estate investing, many soon find out that it comes along with a lot of responsibilities. We’re going to cover four main things that you’ll be liable for as a residential rental property owner.
Broken Appliances Listed in the Lease
When an appliance stops working or isn’t working properly, you may be wondering whether or not it’s your responsibility to fix it. The truth is that you must fix broken appliances if they’re included in your lease agreement. Most landlords include refrigerators, freezers, dishwashers, microwaves, washers, and dryers as part of their unit’s amenities. If these are mentioned in the lease agreement as part of the unit, then the landlord is responsible for fixing them. As a side note, you’ll need to replace the appliance with one of equal or better value.
Water Heater Replacement
Everyone who talks about rental responsibilities always seems to mention getting a call from a tenant at 2 AM telling them that the hot water is not working. While water heaters tend to last a good 10 years, they do break down without warning. When this happens, you need to get emergency water heater repair to fix the issue or replace the broken unit. Part of making a rental habitable is having warm, running water.
No landlord wants to get the call about a pest infestation at their property. However, it does happen. You need to be prepared to handle the expense of treating the location. Pest infestations are considered a health hazard for the tenants. Every landlord is legally responsible for offering a rental unit that is reasonably healthy for the tenant. This includes ridding the property of cockroaches, bed bugs, silverfish, and any other pests that might be there, especially before new tenants move in.
Landlords are liable for meeting all safety codes that are set by the local ordinances. This typically includes things like a smoke detector, carbon monoxide detector, and having handrails on stairways. You can check with your local code office to determine what safety requirements you’ll need to meet in your area. Part of being a legal landlord is to provide tenants with a unit that is considered safe by the code office.
While being a landlord does provide some nice income opportunities, it’s not all rainbows and sunshine. Landlords have many responsibilities when it comes to their units, including the ones above. It’s imperative that you know what your responsibilities are so that you can act swiftly and avoid any legal chaos.