If you’re a new landlord, you may be focused on preparing the property for potential tenants, along with marketing these spaces to them. Once tenants, are secured however, what is your responsibility to them? It’s important to understand your obligations as a landlord so not only protect your property investment, but also the relationships with your tenants.
Here at Insurance by Castle, we want more than anything to keep landlords and tenants happy, which is why we have put together this list of the most important responsibilities that landlords have to their tenants:
#1 Keep Up with Safety Codes
While every city, state, and even neighborhood can have different codes, it is a landlord’s responsibility to maintain a building up to those codes. This includes regulations regarding lead paint, mold remediation, occupancy standards, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and even snow removal in parts of the county where that’s a concern. Your tenants have a right to safety, and it’s the landlord’s job to maintain that safety.
#2 Maintain the Property
The exterior of your building should follow the aesthetic standards of the city in which it resides. This means making sure the snow is shoveled in the winter, the grass is mowed in the spring and summer, and the property remains clear of unsightly weeds and garbage. Also, if you’ve got a parking lot, make sure to maintain it, as well.
#3 Perform Repairs in a Timely Manner
It seems to be a long-running joke that landlords ignore calls from tenants for various repairs, but the good ones take care of these things in a timely manner because ignoring them can be disastrous for a building. Plumbing and electrical issues are paramount, but leaf-filled gutters, peeling paint, and leaky roofs are big problems in their own right.
#4 Maintain Your Insurance
Landlord insurance is paramount to owning a building with tenants living in it. While commercial rental insurance is a great place to start, Insurance by Castle also offers umbrella policies to cover the myriad liabilities that rest outside of your control. Require renter’s insurance from your tenants, but also make sure you’ve got the proper protections on the building as a whole.
#5 Pay Your Mortgage & Utilities
Your tenants will pay their rent with an understanding that they’ve got a place to live. That means you as a landlord must pay the mortgage to ensure that happens. Also, if you run a building where utilities are included, make sure you pay all the utility bills each month. Nothing is worse than having the lights unexpectedly get shut off.
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If you can do each of these things successfully, you will maintain a happy environment for tenants, not only now but in the future when current residents move out and new ones move in. Keep your reputation among renters pristine by taking care of everything necessary to keep a building running smoothly. If you need any help with the insurance side of things, never hesitate to reach out to someone here at Insurance by Castle. We’re always happy to help!