Common Property Problems In Rentals: How To Avoid Them?

  • By: Peter Parker
  • Time to read: 5 min.

Ensuring that the rental property is well-maintained and free from maintenance issues is the key to being a successful landlord. Tenants love to stay for longer durations in a comfortable and clean house

Wear and tear is inevitable, whether it be the house, furniture, mechanical systems, or other fittings. 

Landlords often spend huge amounts on service contractor fees and buying spare parts to replace faulty fittings and systems. 

Identifying common property problems is crucial to saving time and money. Moreover, every country has specific responsibilities for landlords to keep the rental property in a habitable and safe condition. 

Ensuring that the rental property is free from property repairs and maintenance issues is vital to avoiding penalties and legal costs.  

If you are planning to be a landlord or a new landlord, here are some common property problems in rental homes and how to avoid them. 

Common property problems in rentals:

1. Faulty door and window locks:

Providing a safe and secure home to the tenant is the primary duty of the landlord. Before renting out the house, ensure that all the locks are proper and have the right keys. 

If the locks are faulty, get them fixed. If the keys are missing, contact the locksmith and get the keys made. It is advisable to change the locks before renting out the property to a new tenant. 

2. Leaking taps, faucets, and other plumbing issues:

Plumbing leaks are one of the most common property problems in rental homes. It is not uncommon to receive calls from tenants complaining about a leaking tap or toilet. 

To avoid these problems, it is essential to install high-quality plumbing fixtures such as washers, hoses, PVC pipes, taps, faucets, sinks, etc. 

To avoid expensive plumbing repairs, you have to get all the plumbing fixtures inspected by a qualified and experienced plumber at regular intervals and get the necessary repairs done.

3. Malfunctioning HVAC systems:

HVAC systems are one of the crucial mechanical systems in a property. They are essential to maintain a comfortable temperature for the inhabitants. 

Repairs to the HVAC system are one of the most common property problems for landlords. Some of the HVAC issues include leaking refrigerant, problems with the thermostat, compressor malfunctioning, and dirty air filters. 

HVAC repairs are very expensive and need immediate attention. To ensure that your HVAC system functions smoothly, it is significant to hire a professional HVAC maintenance contractor to inspect and repair the systems regularly.

You must also instruct the tenants to clean the air filters regularly to keep the system clean. 

4. Breakdown of appliances:

It is not mandatory for landlords to provide appliances in rental homes. However, most landlords provide appliances such as dishwashers, washers, dryers, and refrigerators to be competitive and attract tenants. 

As the appliances become old, they tend to malfunction and break down. Proper maintenance is the key to ensuring that these appliances last for a longer duration. 

To avoid appliance breakdown complaints,  inspect all the appliances every time new tenants move in. Repair or replace any faulty appliances to avoid disputes with the tenants. Also, provide guidelines on how to take care of the appliances to the tenants. 

5. Clogged toilets and sinks:

With regular use, sinks and toilets tend to get clogged. Some tenants irresponsibly throw garbage, food scraps, and other items in the sinks blocking the pipes and clogging the sink. 

Sinks and toilets can be unclogged easily by using commercial drain cleaners or with a plunger, but sometimes they might need the intervention of a plumber. 

6. Pest infestation:

Termites, bed bugs, ants, roaches, rodents, and other pests can sneak into the property in numerous ways such as from the doors, windows, siding, kitchen drains, garbage vents, etc. 

Lack of cleanliness is one of the reasons for pest infestation. Pests not only damage the property but also affect the health of the residents by causing allergies and spreading diseases. 

It is essential to clean the house regularly to keep it clean and identify any pest infestation. If you notice any signs of infestation, don’t waste time and contact an exterminator right away. 

7. Problems with electrical wiring 

Home electrical fires can endanger the lives of your tenants and damage the property. They account for 51000 fires every year and $1.3 billion in damage. 

As a landlord, it is your duty to ensure the property is safe from electrical fires. To safeguard your house and tenants from electrical fires, you can invest in ground-fault current interrupter outlets, tamper-resistant receptacles, and arc-fault circuit interrupters. 

Additionally, it is important to educate the tenants on electrical safety and ask them to report any incidents such as sparking appliances, flickering lights, etc. 

8. Malfunctioning or faulty smoke detectors:

Smoke detectors are vital in protecting your property and tenants from fire. They provide early warning and give you time to minimize the damage to the property and lives. It is the landlord’s responsibility to ensure that the smoke detectors are functioning well. 

The National Fire Protection Association recommends that the batteries be tested monthly and the smoke detectors must be replaced every 10 years. 

You must also instruct the tenants not to block the smoke detectors and pay attention to the beeping or chirping noises from the equipment that indicate a change of batteries is required. 

9. Damaged roof:

The roof is the most critical part of the building after the foundation. Leaking or damaged roofs can make the house inhabitable and dangerous. 

The roof can be damaged due to regular wear and tear, harsh weather conditions, poor workmanship, or the growth of fungus. If the roof tiles are not repaired, water can seep in and damage the house. 

Small steps such as inspecting the roof at regular intervals will help to detect any problems and address them before they escalate into major repairs that need costly repairs or replacement. 

10. Structural damages:

The structure of a house includes the foundation, support beams, and frame. Any structural damage to the house can threaten the safety of the tenants. 

Some of the common structural problems are water infiltration into the structure, cracks and separation in the walls, damage caused by pests, and weak structure due to the issue of inferior quality materials. 

Regular inspection of the foundation, support beams, walls, and tiles is essential to spot structural damage and undertake necessary repairs. 

It is easy to avoid most of these problems with regular property inspection. Tenant education and awareness also play a crucial role in identifying and resolving property maintenance issues. 

Some of the problems such as clogged sinks and toilets, replacing the batteries of the smoke detectors, changing the locks, etc can be done by you, while others like inspecting and repairing the HVAC systems, electrical wiring, and faulty appliances need the services of an expert.

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