No matter how much effort and preparation goes into caring for a rental property, accidents sometimes happen and damage does occur. When damage occurs, it is important to have a clear understanding of any damage policies that are in place to protect both the landlord and the tenant.
It can be difficult, in some situations, to know who is responsible for damages. Some damage is clearly the responsibility of the landlord while some may fall to the tenant. Here are a few tips and ideas to consider next time your property is damaged.
Understanding Wear and Tear
Most lease agreements have a provision for normal wear and tear in a rental property to account for a reasonable amount of deterioration that may take place under normal living conditions. The definition of “normal wear and tear” can be a subject for debate, but for the most part it includes things like faded paint, broken wall switches or worn out carpet or tile. These types of repairs are not necessarily considered damage and are typically covered by the landlord.
In some cases, damage goes beyond normal wear and tear. For example, heavy carpet staining, broken windows, holes in the wall or unapproved changes to the structure of the property can all be considered damage that tenants are responsible for.
Did Your Tenant Contact You?
When damage does occur, your tenant’s willingness to communicate with you is a good indication of whether or not it is their responsibility or not. If your tenant attempts to hide damage or fails to alert you when it happens, there’s a greater chance that the damage was not only caused by the tenant, but should also be paid for by the tenant.
There are some damages that will occur that are much more serious and cannot be covered by a tenant. Damage caused by extreme weather, for example, is typically not something the tenant can control.
If damage occurs and is clearly the responsibility of the tenant, be sure to communicate clearly with the tenant regarding repairs, including costs. It is better to address the subject of payment early on so that there is no second guessing down the road.
Some landlords find it easier to pay for the repairs themselves, then present the invoice of the repair charges to the tenant giving them the option to pay be a certain date or have that amount taken out of their security deposit.
RPM East Valley Can Help
One of the great advantages of working with a property management company is that we can take care of situations like this for you. Not only will we handle the repair for you in a timely fashion, but we’ll also take care of collecting the payment for such repairs from the tenant. Another benefit of using our turnkey property management services is that we have a preferred vendor list full of trusted vendors who are able to perform maintenance and repair work at a discounted price.
To learn more about what we can do for you, call us at 480-719-1243.