A landlord is accountable to keep their tenants as well as the entire community satisfied. Making sure that they take care of the property that is rented plays a major impact in keeping everyone satisfied. Respecting health and safety guidelines and conducting regular maintenance and paying off bills on time and keeping the appropriate insurance are all part of the landlord’s responsibilities. Find out seven ways landlords can safeguard their property.
Responsibility to Follow Safety Codes
As an owner, it is your obligation to comply with the state, and local safety regulations and federal codes applicable to your premises. These codes are likely to differ in the state the rental property is located in. The responsibilities are listed at the state level in the laws of the state however, your locality might have its own rules, so make sure you are aware of local laws.
A few examples of the safety codes include:
- You should be aware of the number of carbon monoxide and smoke detectors needed per floor/apartment and if they need to be wired hard.
- You should be aware of the risks of using lead paint in your home. You should be aware of ways to rid your home of lead paint dangers in accordance with the EPA’s guidelines and be certified to do it or employ an authorized professional.
- It is essential to be aware of the ways to rid yourself of the mold that is in your home and especially toxic mold. The EPA provides some guidelines regarding how to deal with mold.
- You must be aware of the rules for banisters as well as the proper lighting for stairwells.
- You need to be aware of whether there is a limit to the number of guests per bedroom or a certain amount of people per square foot.
- It is up to you whether you need to use paint that is fire-resistant in areas like staircases.
- If you have to install security window guards on the second floor, you must do so.
- Learn about the laws pertaining to weather. In regions where snow is likely numerous cities have safety rules that require walkways to be shoveled and salted within a specified amount of time before the end of the snowstorm, for instance, 2 hours following the time when snowfall has finished.
Maintain the Proper Insurance
As an owner of a property, it’s the best option to ensure you have the right amount of insurance for your property. If you’re a homeowner and have an obligation to pay for a mortgage on your property, the lender may need you to get specific types of insurance. They are there to guard against the property being damaged, like flooding, fires, or even slip and fall claims.
Before you do that, make sure to verify the home’s policy of insurance. A lot of homeowner’s insurance policies do NOT cover the rental of a property. If they do not, you should at a minimum get basic landlord insurance that includes insurance on the structure that you lease out.
Basic insurance and contents will cover your personal belongings inside the building, like the appliances or equipment. The insurance will not cover the tenant’s possessions. Tenants must obtain an insurance policy for renters to protect their belongings as well as their liability.
Other kinds of insurance you should be aware of include
- Water Coverage
- Fire Coverage
- Flood Coverage
- Coverage for Natural Disasters
- Insurance to Cover Lawsuits and Legal Fees
- Insurance to Cover Lost Rental Income Due to Situations Like Fires or Natural Disasters.
Additionally, you might be interested in obtaining an umbrella-type insurance plan that is an additional insurance policy that covers liability. It will protect you from lawsuits that might not be covered under your other insurance policies, for example, lawsuits for slander, libel, or lawsuits. It also can ensure that you are protected if you have exceeded the coverage limit of any other policy.
If you’ve taken out a mortgage for your home or an individual loan to purchase the property You are accountable to repay the loan in accordance with the agreed time frame you set for payment. If your mortgage payment is longer than 30 days overdue, it could affect your credit rating of yours. If you are continually late on your mortgage repayments, you could be at risk of foreclosure.
Responsibility to Pay Taxes
If you are the owner-occupier of the house you are renting out, or have an independent rent-to-own property, it is accountable for making payments of property taxes back to the government. Also, you will need to pay tax on the revenue that you earn from renting.
As a landlord or property owner, you have numerous tax deductions that you can benefit from. These include interest paid on mortgage loans or credit cards used to pay for the property depreciation, insurance premiums repair costs, as well as property taxes.
In most cases, tenants are accountable for their own utility bills. This is true for many single-family and condos. But, if you’re an owner of a property and are responsible for paying for the utilities for your home no matter if it’s just one or all of them you have to ensure you pay them. Inability to pay the utility bill means that your tenants will not have access to heat, water, or electricity. This could be to be a breach of lease since you’re not providing the services you’ve agreed to provide. You could be liable for legal enforcement.
Landlords Must Perform Property Maintenance
As a landlord, you’re responsible for an obligation to carry out regularly scheduled maintenance for your house.
It comprises the following preventative services:
- Regularly killing.
- Make sure that all smoke detectors, as well as carbon monoxide detectors, are in operation.
This also comprises regular maintenance on a weekly basis:
- Like sweeping the common areas
- Cleaning gutters and cleaning up rain,
- Recycling trash,
- Sorting out recycling and garbage in accordance with your town’s collection schedule.
It is not enough to only do routine maintenance. However, also make repairs to your home. This can include small repairs like fixing doors that are falling off of their hinges, or clearing the drains of showers. There are also major repairs, such as replacing a roof or rewiring electrical. If you’re not a professional in areas like electricity or plumbing you should employ a licensed professional who will ensure that the work is completed correctly and in accordance with the regulations.