Understanding Landlord Property Maintenance Responsibilities
Have you recently purchased a rental property? Are you unsure of what you are responsible for as a landlord? Many individuals who purchase a rental property focus on the income they will be able to generate in the future. However, there are many responsibilities that landlords must take on, one of which is property maintenance.
All rental properties, whether it is a home, townhouse, condo or apartment comes with a “warranty of habitability.” Under California law, if a rental property has problems considered to be unacceptable, the landlord is obligated to fix them. Additionally, this law is implied and still exists even if it is not mentioned in the lease or if the landlord specifically states he or she has no such obligation.
Although there is no specific legal definition as to what makes a property uninhabitable, the California Department of Consumer Affairs states as a landlord you must follow the general guidelines of a rental property. The property must have:
- Functioning heat and air-conditioning
- Running water both hot and cold
- Safe and reliable electrical wiring that is up to code
- No trace of vermin or rodents
Recommended Routine Maintenance to Ensure Positive Tenant Relations
As far as maintenance and repairs are concerned, you are not required to make any changes unless they break the habitability standard, local building codes or California landlord-tenant laws. However, it is recommended that you routinely check in on your tenants and be sure no maintenance is needed. This routine check offers two benefits for landlords:
- First, if any small maintenance problems are observed, you can take care of them immediately before they worsen and become more costly to fix in the future.
- Second, by checking in, you create positive tenant relations. By showing your tenants you care about them and their wellbeing, the more likely they are going to be respectful of your property and alert you when there is a problem.
To ensure that you are protecting your property investment, consider hiring a property management company in San Diego such as Harland Property Management. We offer preservation and maintenance services including quarterly property inspections, bi-weekly property checks, landscape maintenance and a 24/7 tenant emergency call line for service requests. Our solid relationships with reliable, licensed and insured contractors provide you with peace of mind knowing your property is being taken care of by professionals. Call 858-367-0343 to learn more about our services and how we can save you from maintenance headaches.