Today, we are talking about one of a landlord’s favorite things to deal with – maintenance.
There are five specific things you have to consider when it comes to taking care of maintenance on your rental home:
The property owner is responsible for keeping the house in good repair. If you neglect to do the maintenance and repair work, you’re liable for the damages to the property and the problems your tenants encounter. You have to keep the property habitable when tenants are living there.
In Georgia, if you leave anything behind in the house, you are responsible for repairing it. That includes the washing machine downstairs, the ladder in the garage and the lawn mower that’s outside. If you leave it on the property, you’re responsible for it. We recommend that if you don’t want to fix or replace something, you don’t leave it behind.
You cannot delegate responsibility to the tenant, not even in your lease. You cannot put in the lease that the tenant is responsible for co-pays any time maintenance work is needed. It would be nice to have your tenant pay for the first $75 of repair work or require that tenant to pay a warranty fee when the warranty company shows up to fix something. But in Georgia, it’s illegal. You also cannot include a disclaimer in your lease that holds the tenant responsible for replacing broken appliances.
You are liable for any injuries that occur when your tenant fixes something on your property. If someone falls off a deck or a ladder, that can come back to you, the landlord. This is why you might want to reconsider allowing tenants to clean gutters, fix windows or change light bulbs 60 feet off the ground.
If your home was built before 1978, we suggest you have the paint inspected for lead because contractors certified in lead based paint will need to work on your house if lead is present. There are really stiff fines if you don’t follow this law, so be aware of it and be careful.
Hopefully this information is helpful when you’re dealing with maintenance on your rental property. If you need any help, please contact us at Solutions Realty Network.