April 10, 2019

Can you Make your Tenant Responsible for Repairs and Maintenance?

First and foremost you need to know your tenant very well before handing over repairs to them. Some may save you money, but others may end up costing you more in the long run. Maybe your tenant is a trustworthy, hardworking, divorced father that pays his rent on time and is handy and/or employed in a maintenance position. This would be a no brainer, and could be a good thing for both of you.

However, another type of tenant may end up costing you more money, if they don’t know how to fix things they say they can fix. They may not care about doing a good job, or they may say they will make the repairs but never do it.

Don’t Expect More Out of Your Tenant Than You Should

Tenancy Agreement

Under Federal, State and Local Habitability Laws you have certain responsibilities as a landlord. If items were worn out before the tenant moved in, you cannot expect them to make repairs.

You also want to keep a good relationship with your tenant, especially a good one. You both need to be honest with each other about who is responsible for the repair and in some cases, maybe both are responsible and can strike a compromise, such as 50/50.

Protect Yourself and Your Investment

It is important to look at the type of insurance coverage that you have before you turn your tenant loose on making repairs. If your insurance coverage is not that good and your tenant would happen to injure themselves during the repair, then you could be liable for their injury and care.

It sounds like a good way to save some money, but many landlords would rather just charge a higher rent and take care of the repairs themselves. However, if you have good insurance coverage and the ideal, trustworthy and handy-man tenant, then turning over the repairs may work out in your favor.

If you don't know where to start, we created a Make-Ready Checklist to help get your property ready for your next tenant. Just click the free download below!

Download Checklist

Topics: tenant relations, Home Improvement, maintenance