Are you a Landlord with a leaky roof on one of your rental properties? Or maybe you’re a tenant who’s tired of strategically placing pots around your home to catch the leaks? Here’s the facts about your rights as a tenant, and your options as a Landlord, when it comes to roofs!
Today’s blog post is a guest post from Central Florida Property Management, one of the fastest growing Orlando property management companies in the Metro-Orlando area. If you are a landlord or a tenant for a rental property enjoy these tips for a leaky roof.
Communication is the Key
Imagine being a tenant of a rental property who is dealing with a leaking roof. Your personal property is at risk, you’re worried the leak will worsen while you’re away, and the weather forecast looks bleak. The tenant might feel like their problem is being ignored, but hopefully that’s not the case. Many Landlords, especially those who have rental properties in Orlando and Central Florida but live in other cities or states, may not even realize there’s a problem!
The communication between the tenant and the Landlord is often handled by the property management company, and your first step to solving your leaking roof is to ensure the lines of communication are crystal clear. It’s beneficial to take advantage of online access portals for property management purposes, if possible, because they allow both tenants and Landlords to submit and track tenant requests.
When it comes to the rental property you’re living in, many people (even your Landlord!) may tell you that the property owner isn’t responsible for any repairs that aren’t outlined in the lease. Fortunately, that’s just not the case.
Florida’s Statutes specifically state that Landlords do have an obligation to maintain the premises at all times during tenancy, including adhering to the local, state, and federal laws and guidelines of applicable building, housing, and health codes. Florida law goes on to state that, in the event that there are no applicable building, housing, or health codes, Landlords are obligated to “…maintain the roofs, windows, doors, floors, steps, porches, exterior walls, foundations, and all other structural components in good repair and capable of resisting normal forces and loads…” The exact condition of a leaking roof may be open to opinions and interpretation, but it’s doubtful that anyone would consider it “in good repair”.
Contact your property management company and report the leak immediately when you first notice it. Be as detailed as possible about the location of the leak, and anything that has happened recently to the roof of the property that might have caused the leak. Try to work with the property management company to resolve the issue as quickly as possible.
As a Landlord, hearing that one of your rental properties needs repair is probably the last thing you want to hear, but you’re responsible for ensuring that any tenants living in a residence you own is maintained and complies with all applicable building codes, housing codes, and health codes. If your tenant has reported a leaking roof to you, hopefully you’re doing everything in your power to get it fixed! You’ve probably been planning ahead for rental property expenses like this, but if not, now is the time to start!
The first thing you should do is send out a reliable and reputable local roofer to take a look at the property’s roof. Once they are able to see and assess the situation, they’ll be able to provide you with the options for repairing or replacing the roof, depending on the severity of the leak and the condition of the roof. In most cases, roof leaks can be repaired quickly and without major expense.
One of the most effective strategies for keeping tenants long term is responding quickly to requests for maintenance and repairs, so if you don’t want to incur the cost of acquiring a new tenant, it pays to act quickly!
Repair or Replace?
If you’re given the option to either repair or replace the roof, it’s important that you thoroughly consider the options. There are tax implications and options for property renovations and repairs, so you want to make sure that you’re taking advantage of the tax law when you can, especially with major purchases such as roof replacement. Financial reporting from a property manager and CPA, such as Steve Simpson at Central Florida Property Management, may be useful to you.
You shouldn’t have to spend your personal time managing your property’s repairs and maintenance issues. Working with an Orlando property manager or company can help free up your own personal time, while still allowing you to enjoy all the benefits of your investment properties. In fact, working with a top-notch property manager can even save you money on repairs and renovations. For more information on all the advantages of working with a property manager, contact Central Florida Property Management today!