Top 3 Tenant Complaints
Renting out a property you own is an excellent way to bring in revenue. And that profitable investment can make your life much more enjoyable. But becoming a landlord also comes with certain responsibilities, both towards your property and your tenant. The easiest way to deal with those responsibilities, of course, is to delegate them to a professional firm like Property Management Toronto. That way, you can be sure that everything from finding an ideal tenant to dealing with maintenance issues will be taken care of.
But if you prefer dealing with your tenant yourself, you do have to assume responsibility for maintaining your property and for making major repairs. However, it’s important to remember that your tenant also has responsibilities, including keeping the property in good order and making minor repairs themselves. You shouldn’t be called out for every minor thing that might go wrong in a property.
For example, the top three complaints from tenants to their landlords are not things that you should have to deal with. They’re minor problems that the tenant should be able to handle themselves. Those complaints are: the dryer isn’t working properly; the toilet is backing up; and a light bulb is burnt out.
While the solution to any of these problems might seem obvious, here are some tips on how to respond to queries from your tenant. Given that you certainly checked how well all of these items were working before renting the unit, the problem is almost certainly minor. Bear in mind, of course, that if the problem does turn out to be more serious, or is indicative of a more serious problem with plumbing or wiring, then you do have a responsibility to repair the problem.
Most likely, however, the simple and obvious suggestion to your tenant is the right one. If the dryer isn’t drying at full efficiency, for example, it’s probably something simple. The most common issue is that nobody is clearing the lint trap on a regular basis. The lint trap should be cleared after every load to ensure full efficiency. Alternatively, inserting too large a load into the dryer will result in less than ideal drying. And some clothes, especially thicker ones, simply require more than one cycle.
A toilet backing up is more serious and more unpleasant. But generally, it too is fairly simple to deal with and is not an indication of a larger plumbing problem. Often, the problem is caused by overloading the toilet, or by trying to flush things that shouldn’t be flushed. A plunger, available at just about any grocery or hardware store, is likely to solve the problem. Another simple suggestion you can make to your tenant is to use dish soap to unclog the toilet. Pour about half a cup of dish soap into the toilet bowl and let it sit for about half an hour. The soap will make its way to the clog, and because it’s designed to deal with grease, will start to dissipate the clog. After half an hour, slowly pour a large container of hot water into the toilet. The combination of the hot water and the dish soap should remove most clogs. It may, however, be necessary to repeat the steps once or twice. Of course, if the clog persists, it may be necessary to call a plumber. But unless the problem is caused by an actual plumbing defect, it’s up to the tenant to make that call and foot the expense.
Although providing a list of tradespeople that you trust is never a bad idea. A light bulb burning out is not your responsibility, either. A light bulb is considered a consumable, meaning that the tenant is responsible for replacing the bulb. If you get such a question from your tenant, simply advise them to purchase the a bulb with the same wattage as was in the light fixture previously.
You do have responsibilities as a landlord. However, you are not responsible for every minor repair to your property. Outlining the tenant’s responsibilities when it comes to repairs at the time they move in can help avoid any future conflicts. Maintaining a property is a shared endeavour between landlord and tenant. If your tenant knows that you will promptly address any major or structural repairs, they’ll feel happier about making the minor repairs themselves. And a harmonious relationship can be established.