Monitoring and maintaining the condition of your property can be time-consuming. Things break and disasters happen at the most inopportune times.
It can be time-consuming to deal with repairs, maintenance, and improvements. You must assess issues, research vendors, schedule service, and verify quality.
Landlord Mistake #2 is about taking shortcuts.
We’ve encountered landlords who abdicate property responsibility by allowing their tenants to take charge of repairs, maintenance, and improvements. While this might seem mutually convenient, it rarely ends well.
Here are a few scenarios to consider:
Scenario 1: Your tenant asks to paint walls to “brighten up the place.”
This seems harmless enough, after all, you’ve been planning to do this but just haven’t found the time or money. Maybe the tenant even offered to purchase their own paint…tempting…
Why is this a bad idea?
Most tenants are not professional painters, which can result in sloppy work. YOU pay the price for their lack of skill.
There is potential for property damage. Paint spills are hard to clean and may lead to more costly repairs. Who is responsible?
Your tenant’s color choice may not have wide appeal, so you have to repaint before marketing the property after they vacate…it can be really hard to cover red walls with beige paint…
There is potential for injury. What happens if your tenant falls off of a ladder while painting?
If the property needs to be painted, invest the time and money into doing it right. Painting may be a gesture that inspires loyalty, but YOU should be in charge every step of the way.
Scenario 2: The sink in the kitchen is leaking and your tenant offers to repair it.
A leak is not a habitability issue or an emergency, but it can impact your tenant’s utility bill and their sanity (drip…drip…drip)!
Why shouldn’t they fix it? It’s probably a simple repair, right?
Maybe. But it’s risky to allow your tenant to make any repair, large or small. It is always possible that the well-meaning repair attempt will lead to greater property damage. This leaky faucet repair involves water, which makes it a liability.
If your tenant needs a new light bulb, let them change it. If the grass needs mowed, they should mow it. However, you should manage all repairs that impact the safety, habitability, and functionality of the property.
Scenario 3: Your tenant, a self-proclaimed handyman, wants to negotiate reduced rent in exchange for making repairs.
If you don’t like managing repairs and maintenance, this might seem like a good deal. But this arrangement muddies the waters of the landlord-tenant relationship. It also reduces your control over the condition of your own property.
In a standard relationship, the tenant submits a repair request and the landlord evaluates, chooses the service vendor, and manages the repair process. You risk being cut out of the loop when you give your tenant permission to make repairs. You forfeit the ability to evaluate, prioritize, price shop, and ensure quality.
It can be tempting to take shortcuts that will save you time (and, you think, money). But these kinds of shortcuts take you down a winding unpredictable trail that puts you and your property in jeopardy.
Don’t risk taking shortcuts!
If you’re not interested in assessing and managing repairs, maintenance, and improvements for your property, let us do it for you. This is one of the many tasks we can take off of your plate.
You can reach me at (203) 909-6333 or reply to this article to find out more. We’d love to add you to our family of happy clients!