Tip of the Month - December 2008
Source: Profitably Managing your Rental Properties
R. Dodge Woodson-John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
The interior of
your rental units is where most touring maintenance will be
required. This is where your Tenants live and where most problems
occur. Plumbing or electrical system problems are only the
beginning; appliances, walls, ceilings, floors, doors, and other
components of the rental unit all need your attention.
Plumbing problems are probably
the most frequent cause of panicked calls from a Tenant to a
Landlord. If you plan to manage your own property, be prepared
for problems ranging from dripping faucets to flooding toilets.
Since some of the calls will be emergencies, either be prepared to play
plumber yourself or have a regular plumber you can depend on.
Plumbers can be an independent lot. They are
expensive and usually busy, so plan ahead. Establish a
relationship with a dependable plumber before you need one. If
you wait until you need a plumber to find one, you may not be able
to. Plumbing emergencies know no boundaries. They may occur
in the middle of the night or on a weekend. If you need a plumber
after normal business hours, you cane expect a hefty bill.
If you have numerous rental units, you may not have
as much trouble finding and keeping a plumber. When you give them
steady business, plumbers respond to your calls. One way to hedge
your odds is to learn basic plumbing principles. If you are not
handy, find and keep a good plumber within easy reach.
Most Landlords have lease provisions that hold the
Tenant responsible for plumbing problems he/she creates; just as he/she
is responsible for repairs and damages if he/her child breaks a
window. By including the proper language in your lease, you can
reduce your out-of-pocket expenses on plumbing calls.
The routine maintenance of a unit’s plumbing,
however, is your responsibility. If the toilet’s flush
valve is bad, causing the toilet to run constantly, repair or replace
it. If you are paying the water bill, you will see a noticeable
increase in it from the wasted water. The same is true for
dripping faucets. It is a good idea to inspect a unit’s
plumbing at least twice a year. Tenants may not care if their
bathtub faucet is dripping, but your water bill will force you to pay
the price for the drip. Include a clause in your lease to allow
you to inspect the interior plumbing on a regular basis.
TIP FROM CROSSETT REAL ESTATE
Because water is a natural
resource and we are now becoming more aware of wasted resources, we
remove all exterior faucets. Experience has shown us that leaking
and/or unattended exterior faucets are severe risks in non-owner
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This web page was updated on 12/02/2008.