As a Woodstock rental property owner, you are responsible for maintaining your investment property. Your accountabilities include ensuring it’s a safe and habitable home where everything inside the property works as it should.
When there’s a problem with plumbing, electric systems, appliances, or heating and cooling, you’ll need to respond even if the tenant has caused some kind of damage. That does not mean the tenant could not be held responsible for the cost of the repair.
While most of the maintenance responsibilities fall to you as the owner, there are certain things you can expect your tenant to do.
Routine Air Filter Changes
To keep your HVAC system running effectively and efficiently, you’ll need to have the air filters changed regularly. Depending on the age of your system and its type, this may be a monthly task or something that you need your tenants to do every two or three months.
Make sure your tenants understand that this is their responsibility. Some owners will provide the filters for their tenants and then charge them as part of the rent. Others will expect their tenants to go out and purchase the correct size and install the filters. Whatever you decide, make sure the requirement is in the lease agreement, and be sure your tenants understand the importance of following this protocol.
Light Bulbs and Batteries
You can also expect your tenants to change light bulbs and batteries. These are easy functions that are neither expensive nor time-consuming. Owners aren’t living in the properties, so they’re not going to know when the bulbs need to be replaced or the garage remotes are running low on battery power. Again - include this in your lease agreement.
Reporting Maintenance Issues
Tenants should be required to report maintenance needs and repair issues right away. This will protect the condition and value of your property and ensure that the needs of your residents are met quickly. A good landlord and tenant relationship is important. You want your tenants to let you know when something needs to be repaired or replaced. You don’t want them to worry about retaliation or rental increases. Let them know that you expect to hear about repairs as they’re needed to prevent deferred and unreported maintenance issues, which are always more expensive. Also, failure to report an issue could be deemed as tenant neglect.
Landscaping and Pool Care
Landscaping and lawn maintenance may be a shared responsibility depending on your property and your preferences. If you’re renting out a unit in a multi-family building or you have a duplex, you may want to take care of the landscaping yourself.
In a single-family property, you can expect your tenant to mow the lawn or hire a service to do it. If you’re particular about how your property is landscaped, you may be better off hiring the professionals yourself and then rolling the cost into the monthly rent.
You could also hire a professional service to maintain and clean your pool if you have one. You don’t necessarily want the tenants handling pool chemicals, but since they are enjoying the pool, they should be responsible for contributing to its care and maintenance.
These are just a few of the ways that owners and tenants can work together to keep your investment property well-maintained. If you have any questions about how to structure this in your lease agreement, please contact us at Clients 1st Property Management. We are experts in property management, and we’re happy to share our resources and knowledge with you.