You know what they say – what can break will break. The same applies to your rental property. Over time, your rental property will show signs of wear and tear. These tell you that it’s time to repair your property. Whether it’s a broken smoke detector or a leaky pipe, your property won’t be in tiptop shape 24/7 – not unless you take care of it, of course.
As a landlord, it’s your duty to stay on top of property repairs, as it’s your responsibility to provide your tenants with a property that’s free from any problems. Below, we’ll be breaking down some of the most common maintenance problems you can encounter in a rental property.
#1 Broken Smoke Detectors
It is critical to put smoke detectors in your property. Not only can they save lives, but they can save property, too. As a landlord, you need to put properly functional smoke detectors in your rental property, particularly in fire-prone areas like kitchens. And because smoke travels slowly, it’s advisable to add smoke detectors on every floor. The sooner your tenants are alerted of a fire, the sooner they can save themselves. You’ll also be able to save yourself from liability – one of every landlord’s worst nightmares is litigation.
It’s best to swap out the batteries every year, and to replace the entire alarm every ten years. Tell your tenants to notify you immediately if they notice that the alarm “chirps” from time to time.
Pro Tip: Ask your property management company to check the smoke alarms during their regular property inspection. Your tenants can sue you if you fail to install a smoke alarm, or if the smoke alarm is faulty.
#2 Roof Damage
The roof is one of the most critical components of your home – after all, it’s what protects your tenants from the elements. The bad news is that your roof can get damaged due to strong winds, which the state of Florida is notorious for. When it’s damaged, it can trigger a wide range of issues such as rotting, blown-out shingles, and so on. These problems need to be dealt with right away – if ignored, they can “snowball” into bigger problems that can cost you thousands of dollars.
Rather than replacing your entire roof, have your roof examined by a professional. The moment you spot something wrong with your roof (suppose you notice that the shingles are blowing in the wind), be sure to get it repaired immediately. Roof damage can cause more damage – for instance, blown-off shingles will allow water to seep into the roof, causing mold growth.
#3 Broken Water Heater
No tenant wants to take a cold shower. Whenever your water heater breaks down, you’re sure to hear about it the moment your tenant discovers the problem. Whatever you do, do not ignore the problem, as it’s best to nip it in the bud before it can escalate into a costly replacement. Fortunately, fixing the water heater is a no-brainer – sometimes, it simply involves relighting the pilot light.
Although this is a problem you can fix yourself, it would be a good idea to get it checked by a professional plumber. It’s also advisable to have it maintained every year to remove any sediment that has accumulated at the bottom.
#4 Broken HVAC
Your rental property’s heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system enables your tenants to live more comfortably. But your tenants may find themselves in an uncomfortable situation if the HVAC system is broken. Because it’s made of multiple components that can deteriorate over time, it’s crucial to have your HVAC cleaned, inspected, etc. at least once a year. If you don’t, your tenants may be frustrated, particularly when temperatures rise in the summer and drop in the winter.
It’s worth noting that even if you conduct regular HVAC maintenance, something can still go wrong – and you’ll need to deal with it ASAP. Several states obligate landlords to repair HVACs as soon as possible (within 24 hours). If they can’t repair the HVAC in time, their tenant can sue them.
Pro Tip: If you’re a long-distance landlord and you’re finding it hard to maintain your HVAC, it would be a good idea to partner with a property management firm. That way, you’ll always have someone who’ll be on-site until the problems are dealt with. They will also have a vetted vendor network whom they can call at a moment’s notice to deal with HVAC concerns.
#5 Damage Due to Mold
Mold seems like a minor problem, but it has the potential to turn into a serious issue. Mold is commonly produced by moisture from leaks, so it’s best to check leaks the moment you notice them. If left unchecked, the mold might “grow” and damage your property’s walls, ceiling, roof, etc. and put its structural stability at risk. Furthermore, mold can trigger a range of health concerns among your tenants, particularly if someone has existing health conditions such as asthma.
You’ll know if there’s mold damage in your home if there’s a musty smell or if the walls start to get discolored. The best way to mitigate mold damage is to have it removed immediately and to thoroughly and regularly inspect the property.
#6 Clogged Garbage Disposal
A garbage disposal can be a headache because your tenants can dispose of things that shouldn’t be disposed of through the garbage disposal. That’s why it’s important to teach your tenants how to operate it the proper way.
But it’s not always your tenant’s fault. Over time, the garbage disposal’s blades will be corroded and its motor will burn out – both of these can cause the garbage disposal to malfunction. In this case, it is recommended to contact a professional to replace any necessary components.
This list only scratches the surface. There are tons of other repair issues s that you can encounter in your rental property. That’s why you need to consider partnering with an expert property management company such as Luxury Property Care. With us by your side, you won’t have to worry whenever your property needs repairs, replacements, and more. That’s because we have a vetted vendor network whom we can count on to conduct repairs for a fraction of the typical cost. Not only will we help you save, but we’ll ensure your property is always in tiptop shape.
Call (561) 944 – 2992 to discuss your property needs with one of our professional property management agents today. You can also complete our contact form for more information on our South Florida property management services.