Thursday, July 27, 2017

Renting Out? Read Our Important Maintenance Basics

October 8, 2015 by  
Filed under Blog

Many landlords try to do their own work, sometimes with results that aren’t so great. You may have the best of intentions, but unlessjohn silva, the fix-it professionals, copper pipes you have training in what you’re trying to repair, you could run into trouble. You could even cause building code violations without realizing it. It’s one thing to do your own home repairs, but if you have a tenant, and it’s not up to code, you could be in serious legal trouble. The best solution is to hire a handyman or for larger jobs, a licensed contractor. 

If you’ve decided that being a landlord is for you, there are some basic things you need to take care of before you get started. 

Check local laws and codes.
There are Nolo Press books that cover tenant’s rights which lay out everything you need to do as a landlord. When are you allowed to go inside? How early in the morning can the gardeners start work? Is the property Americans with Disabilities Act john silva, the fix-it professionals, keys(ADA) compliant? Once you know the laws and codes and how they apply to your rental property, you’ll know what work needs to be done.

Make sure everything is secure.
We’ve had friends who have rented out a room in their house, and then had personal items stolen while they weren’t home. The renter simply walked into their unlocked bedroom, and it was goodbye jewelry. All bedrooms, and possibly some storage areas, should have their own locking doors for everyone’s safety and security. There are special lock sets that allow you to have one master key to all rooms, while the tenant has a different key that only works on their bedroom door. 

If you’re renting out a whole house, the tenants must be able to securely lock all exterior doors and windows. This is the law. You may be okay with a sliding glass door that doesn’t close properly in your own home, but you can’t rent a house that can’t be locked up. Make sure that every possible entry point can be locked or secured from possible burglars or vandalism. 

Everything must be safe to use.
You can’t ignore that fussy light switch, the rotten boards in the porch, or the pilot light that keeps going out in the stove. You really can’t ignore those non-ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlets in the bathroom or kitchen. If you have a pool, you really, really can’t ignore the lack of a child-proof fence around it — it’s been California state law since 2007. It’s a good idea to have a professional come in and do a safety audit tour to identify changes that must be made to make your rental property safe and legal for your tenants.

john silva, the fix-it professionals, home inspectionIt’s a good thing I happened to be next door to help the tenants with a plumbing leak … and that it wasn’t 2:00 am! The tenant did not know how to stop the flow of water, nor did he know how to shut off the water main to the house. The landlords were not available and the water was causing damage already. Fortunately, they knew I was a handyman and I was able to assist in stopping the flow of water into their home. The real solution is to have a handyman on retainer if you’re a landlord, just in case of a sudden emergency, and for any maintenance needs.

Next time, we’ll share more about rental properties and talk about some of the special maintenance challenges you can encounter with them. 

The Fix-It Professionals are here to help solve your problems! We can do a walk-through with you to identify any issues that might need fixing before you rent out a room, or an entire house. And, of course, you can hire us on retainer for those ongoing repair needs and emergencies. Just give us a call. 

Read on for our latest special.   

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