As the new landlord of a California residential property, you still have a lot to learn. For instance, when does a tenant bear financial responsibility for repairs?
Apartments.com differentiates landlord and tenant maintenance responsibilities. Understand how to resolve this aspect of common landlord-tenant disputes.
When tenants pay for repairs
When a tenant bears responsibility for damaging a rental unit, she or he also bears responsibility for paying for necessary repairs. Examples include smoke stains and smells, pet damage, blown-out lightbulbs and worsening issues the tenant failed to bring to your attention within a reasonable time.
Besides cultivating leases that protect you from irresponsible tenants and defining what repairs tenants pay for, you may take additional steps to safeguard your investment in your rental property. For instance, let tenants know they should come to you immediately about repairs, damage and other inconveniences. Taking swift action may keep an issue from worsening.
When landlords pay for repairs
You must also understand when you bear responsibility for repairs. Essentially, landlords take care of maintenance and repairs resulting from standard wear and tear, age and safety hazards. Examples include visible mold, plumbing problems, electrical issues, broken locks when the tenant does not bear fault and heating repairs.
If you do not take action on the above repairs, tenants have the right to withhold rent or hit you with a lawsuit. Look into state regulations to determine how long you have to make repairs. Taking prompt action may reassure tenants and turn them into long-term residents.
Proper knowledge helps avoid landlord-tenant disagreements. Bear the above information in mind during your time as a property owner.