Being a landlord is probably one of the best ways to make a living, but rest assured that it sounds easier than it is. Apart from collecting rent (which is the good part), landlords have a lot of work concerning their properties including legislated safety responsibilities.
To make a property habitable and safe, the owner is responsible for the maintenance of plumbing, sewer, gas, and electrical systems. The most common problems that landlords and tenants face during the lease period are necessary electrical repairs. Although it happens frequently, it still seems to be unclear to both sides – whose responsibility this is and who gets to pay for the repair.
Every property should be safe for living and all the electrical appliances in good condition. A properly working electrical system is a vital part of any property, starting with electrical outlets to appliances and light fixtures. If there is any problem with electrical outlets within the first few weeks after renting, it is an owner’s responsibility to fix it.
Tenant is responsible for any damage that occurs due to the improper use of appliances or overloading outlets. Electrical outlets broken by foreign objects, water or other kind of carelessness can cause severe damage to outlet, wall and electrical wiring. If there is an electrical break caused by poor handling and negligence, the tenant is responsible for electrical repair.
Almost every rental property has three usual appliances: fridge, stove (and oven) and washing machine. Renting a place with appliances assumes that, as a landlord, you will keep them in good working order. Unless there is a clause in a contract that addresses the issue differently, the good working order of the appliances is another responsibility that falls on landlords. However, owners are not responsible for appliances that tenants bring to the property.
Depending on the damage, it is best to act within a reasonable time frame. A broken electrical outlet shouldn’t be much of a problem, nor is it an emergency as it does not affect habitability in general. Still, if there is a large scale problem with an electrical system that leaves tenants without electricity for hours, emergency service should be called as soon as possible.
Prevent this Kind of Situations
Once there is a need for repair, make sure to contact the registered electrical contractor to perform the electrical work. However, maintenance is not only about emergency but regular safety check-ups too. The landlords should build a network of reliable suppliers. Take advice from electricians who suggests hiring a locally preferred electrician for all types of electrical work, including yearly safety checks.
What Not to Do
Keep in mind that it is highly dangerous and illegal to perform electrical work yourself, or hiring unqualified people to do the work. Also, do not let the tenants carry out any repairs on your property since you will not be able to control the quality of the work or the materials. Make sure to arrange repairs yourself and get reimbursed by the tenant (if it is the tenant’s responsibility).
Though unpleasant, these things happen, and more often than not they can cause needless arguments with tenants. To make sure that both sides are clear about their duties, take time to make a detailed contract with strictly defined responsibilities for both sides in case of breakdowns. Although breakdowns are inevitable, possible misunderstandings are something that should be taken care of even before they happen. However, keep in mind that the key to a successful tenancy is keeping your tenants on good terms.
Author Bio: Hannah Thomas is an expert in business innovation and management with a love for writing. She is always eager to learn new things and to share the knowledge she acquired along the way.
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