As a landlord, you have a legal obligation to keep your rental property or properties habitable. This means making timely repairs and conducting regular maintenance to keep the rental property or properties in tip top shape.
The definition of a habitable property is one that “has adequate heating, water, electricity, cleanliness, and is structurally sound.”
If you fail to repair any problems after receiving a request from your tenant, several things can happen:
1. Your tenant can elect to withhold rent until the problem is properly dealt with.
2. If the repairs are not done in a timely manner, your tenant can opt to hire an outside contractor to make the necessary repairs. The cost of these repairs will be deducted from the rent.
3. If the problem in question violates and state or local building or health codes, your tenant can opt to report you to the local authorities. This could result in a work order, heavy fines, or other penalties.
4. If the problem in question is not repaired in a timely manner and affects the livability of the rental property, your tenant could opt out of his/her lease without warning.
Rental Property Maintenance Tips
1. Heating and plumbing problems should be dealt with as soon as possible, typically within 24 hours after the issue was reported.
2. All other problems should be dealt with within 48 hours after the issue was reported.
3. Remember, as a landlord you should always give advanced notice (24-48 hours) to your tenants before entering the rental property. You are not permitted to show up unannounced unless there is an emergency, like a fire or flood.
4. Rental property rules differ from state to state and from city to city. So be sure to consult local codes regarding rental properties in your state and city. You can find this information at your local building or housing authority.
Potomac Valley Management: Your Landover Property Management Firm, specializing in the Maintenance of your Rental Properties
At PVMGT, we provide complete maintenance services 24-hour, seven days a week. This means we are available whenever you need us. If a pipe bursts at midnight, we are here. If your HVAC unit stops working at 3am, we are here. Just pick up the phone and give us a call. We take great pride in providing full service property management, from management and leasing to marketing, tenant placement, rehabilitation, and maintenance.
Potomac Valley Management’s goal is to protect the value of your investment by helping to maintain the property to your standards.
Hopefully you have found these Quick Tips & Best Practices useful. If you have any questions, please contact Potomac Valley Management by calling 1.877.390.4090 or visit PVMGT.com today!
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