Today we are talking about tenant repairs and landlord repairs and how to establish who is responsible for what.
The most important thing to have is a strong lease that addresses the responsibilities of the tenant. The lease should say who takes care of the landscaping, the pool and general repairs. If there are certain things the tenant is responsible for, put those in the lease so there can be no dispute during the tenancy or after they move out.
Health and Habitability Issues
You can charge the tenant a co-pay if the tenant calls for minor repair items that should be their responsibility. They can be responsible for paying for a portion of the cost. However, there are certain things you cannot charge the tenant for. Any health and safety items are strictly the owner‘s responsibility, pursuant to Arizona landlord tenant law. Those things include problems with the air conditioning, heating, hot water heaters, stove and oven and ready water to the property. These are all owner responsibilities.
Wear and Tear
Normal wear and tear is also the landlord’s responsibility. This wear and tear is defined as normal use of the property. It might include scuffs on the baseboards, fingerprints on the walls, small nail holes in the walls where pictures were hung, a dead plant on the outside where freezing might have happened, and high traffic lanes that have worn out parts of the carpet. These things are normal use of the property. However, any indication of hard or abusive use of the property will be charged to the tenant.
Remember that every home also has an economic life span when it comes to major appliances. Hot water heaters, air conditioning units and refrigerators all have a lifecycle. If they’re beyond their economic life, you cannot charge tenants for replacements or repairs unless the tenants maliciously damaged those items.
Liability and Insurance
Do some things to ensure your insurance isn’t jeopardized. Don’t let a tenant climb a tree to cut limbs or prune the tree. Some pool repairs are beyond a tenant’s qualifications. Don’t let tenants on the roof or near the air conditioner. These are things you don’t want to do because you’re putting your tenant and your own financial security at risk.
It’s imperative that the landlord and tenant cooperate to keep the property in good shape. Property that’s in good condition will increase your rent and keep the tenant happy and in the property longer. If you have any questions about this, please contact us at Paramount Property Management and Realty.