If you’re someone who has ventured into the world of real estate investing or making passive income through renting out your sole property, you’ll find that it can be quite financially rewarding. However, it can also be a bit challenging. One area where people can get a bit confused is the responsibilities of a landlord. Here are some of your obligations to think about when planning to become a landlord:
Maintain a habitable house
As a landlord, one of the first things you should realize about your responsibilities is that the house you’re renting out has to be habitable. This may mean different things in different cities and states, but knowing what is livable for another person should be common sense.
Offering a home that isn’t up-to-standard for livability could be destructive to your reputation and against the law in some places. Just as you do background screening for tenants, tenants may also do checkups on landlords, such as a credit check for landlords or researching their rental history. So, if you want to ensure a good experience while renting out your house, take your time to do any needed repairs for an optimal living situation for your tenants.
Make sure you include your responsibilities in the lease
It’s critical to clearly define your responsibilities in your lease so that you don’t end up having to do anything that is more the responsibility of your tenants than yours. While integral maintenance issues are the responsibility of a landlord and are naturally occurring over time, sometimes tenants can cause damage and think it’s your responsibility to pay for it.
However, if you clearly define the type of maintenance and repair issues you will take care of in your lease, it makes it easier for you to draw the line on what you are and are not responsible for, so your tenants know when they need to take care of any repairs.
Roof or sewage leaks
Whether there’s some storm damage on the roof or you simply need to replace some roofing shingles, if there’s roof damage to your home, that’s typically your responsibility as a landlord. While a newer home may not have a lot of issues with the roof or plumbing, older homes may need some TLC now and then to ensure the home remains habitable for your tenants.
Plumbing issues can be standard in homes that are a bit older and may need extensive plumbing repairs to avoid future problems. If you have time between tenants moving in and out of your property, take some time to do these repairs so that everything is A-okay for the next tenant.
Rodents and bug infestations
Could you imagine living in a home with rodents or bugs galore? Yeah, your tenants probably can’t imagine that either. But what if it happens while they’re living in your home? That’s going to be your problem to fix.
Unless your tenants keep your property in disarray and draw hordes of cockroaches to your doors, some rodent and insect problems have more to do with the location of your property than their living conditions. If your tenants are doing a good job upkeep of your property, you may need to hire a pest control company to help you resolve the issue.
Faulty electrical issues
If anything is going on with wiring and electrical components in your home, you’ll want to do those repairs ASAP. This isn’t only something that could be frustrating for tenants, but it could also be dangerous. If you want to avoid any issues with the wiring and electrical aspects of your home, take care of things before tenants move into your home.
As a landlord, you want to make sure to stay on top of repairs and maintenance so that your tenants have a great place to live and so your home stays beautiful for a long time to come. Also, make sure you have homeowners insurance and a signed lease with your tenants so that you can protect your assets. Also, consider requiring tenant insurance as well.