Rumors, myths and misinformation can make rental property maintenance issues confusing for both owner and renter. Who should do repairs? What falls under the responsibility of the tenant? How should an owner decide between replacing or repairing? Considering these and other issues can make for a much better relationship between management and client.
Myth Number One: Do-it-Yourself Repairs Always Save Money
You might be able to handle the rental property repair job yourself, but that doesn’t mean that you necessarily should. How much is your time worth? Do you really have the total expertise for the repair? Even if you’ve got the time, know-how and energy to take care of the repair yourself, sometimes it makes financial sense to let a dedicated professional handle the job.
Myth Number Two: Tenants are Responsible for Maintenance and Repairs.
Except in certain cases such as battery and light bulb replacement, maintenance and repairs are the physical and financial responsibility of the landlord. You want the work done right, and you want to have a trusting relationship with the tenant. This protects your property as well as the security of the renter.
Myth Number Three: Repairing Makes More Sense than Replacing.
Before you fix something in a frenzy or rush to replace it, you should consider the age and condition of the appliance or structure, the expected lifetime, previous fixes, and safety concerns. Once again, this is the best way to protect your investment and your property.
Myth Number Four: The Security Deposit is the Last Month’s Rent
While many landlords ask for a security deposit that equals a month’s rent, that does not mean those funds are earmarked for the last month’s rent. Unless the leasing contract says otherwise, this deposit is specifically for damage beyond normal wear-and-tear. Tenants should pay their monthly rent right up to the time that they move, expecting the return of their deposit if they have responsibly cared for the property.
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