Understanding which repairs are your responsibility as a landlord and which can be handled by the tenant can be tricky. You are obligated to ensure that the property is habitable. One sign that you should be the one to take care of it is when addressing an issue themselves could cause a safety issue for your tenant. Below are three problems that are better left to you to handle.
Plumbing issues should be addressed by the landlord. A serious plumbing problem can render a home unlivable. If it’s a minor issue such as a clogged toilet or a bit of hair in the shower drain, the tenant should be responsible for it. You don’t need a tenant calling at 3am so you can clear a clogged drain. In some cases, one can learn how to address certain plumbing issues yourself, but know when you need to call a plumber.
Nevada state law says that tenants are responsible for pest control after the first 30 days of their tenancy. However, a rodent infestation can be a substantial problem for your rental property. Exterminating rodents is critical, as they can threaten your property itself. They destroy furniture, chew through electrical wire and ultimately cause damage in the structure of the home. Rodent removal is important. Don’t leave it up to your tenant to get rid of them. If they’re not exterminated properly, you may be reported to local health or building authorities. Do, however, work with your tenant to make sure the property isn’t enticing to these critters. You may also hold the tenant responsible for the cost of pest control, especially if it is clear the tenant is keeping the home in a condition to attract the problem.
You should always address roof damage (or any structural issues). The potential for injury while working on the roof is high. If your tenant falls, you could have a serious liability issue on your hands. If your tenant is complaining about leaks, thank them for bringing it to your attention and tell them you will address it, and then follow through! To take a more preventative approach, inspect the roof at least once a year. Use a roof inspection checklist if you need help knowing what you should be looking for.
Understand Your Responsibilities
Some problems are best left to the landlord. It is possible that some of these issues could have been caused by your tenant. Even if that’s the case, letting your tenant address them could be a risk to their safety. Doing it incorrectly could devalue your property and cause you to make costly repairs. Discuss with your tenant what you expect them to do to help prevent potential problems. If they call you with one of these issues, make sure you’re the one to make sure it’s fixed.
Additionally, it is never a good idea to allow a tenant to do repairs on a rental property in lieu of rent. Always hire properly licensed vendors to do the work! If a tenant does a repair improperly, you can still be held liable because you hired them (letting them do repairs in exchange for rent is hiring them). Keep a tenant as a tenant, and hire licensed professionals for repairs.
It can be challenging dealing with problems like repairs and maintenance when you’re renting a property. Let us help! Check out our services and see which package is right for you.