One of the responsibilities of a Landlord is to make sure that their tenants are living in a property where everything is in good working condition. This can include maintenance on such things as appliances, furnace, air conditioning to name a few. But, there is a fine line regarding what is considered urgent and what is not, and this is sometimes a point of contention between landlords and tenants.
Emergencies are considered those that impact the tenant’s health or safety or put the building or property at risk.
A good idea is to have a written procedure for emergencies which is easy to understand and accessible. It should specify exactly what is considered urgent and should include all emergency contacts and after-hours contact numbers. This should be part of the walk-through process before a tenant takes up residence.
The Landlord can also consider providing the tenant with a list of reputable and qualified vendors/tradesmen in case these urgent services are needed, and the Landlord is not immediately available. However, there should also be a written agreement covering reimbursements to the tenant. For instance, a tenant can pay for repairs and seek reimbursement from the Landlord up to $500.00. Any amount over that must have the Landlord’s approval. Alternatively, the Landlord can be billed directly so the tenant does not have to pay out of pocket.
Again, there must be a clear understanding between both parties as to what repairs are considered basic and what repairs are urgent. The following is a list of some items that are categorized as an emergency:
- Gas Leaks
- Burst pipes/water leaks/flooding
- Clogged toilets/sewage system backing up
- No electricity/water
- Broken refrigerator
- Electrical faults, for example, a short circuit in the wiring
- Defective lock
- A broken furnace or air conditioner
If the property is maintained regularly then it will be easier to forecast needed repairs before they turn into an emergency.
It is a great advantage when a Landlord hires a Property Management Company to look after their property as it takes away the headache and hassle of dealing with such issues as this responsibility is offloaded to the property management company. For apartment buildings, a Superintendent is usually stationed at the building and available 24/7 to handle such matters.
If you need help with managing your property, then look to ACCL Property Management to take the headache away so you can enjoy your investment property with peace of mind.