Can tenants be asked to pay for repairs?

Property Management Blog

Every real estate investor buying rental income properties knows he must deal with frequent repairs and maintenance. All things not just show signs of wear and tear with use and passage of time but they also break down at times. Things break and require repair either because of misuse or negligence on the part of tenants. No matter how much a landlord tries to give entry to good quality tenants, he cannot escape the problem of repairs in his properties. All landlords are mentally prepared for repairs, but some repairs prove to be a big financial burden than others. Is it possible for landlords to share this burden with their tenants? Let us find out more on this topic.

It is possible to make tenants pay for repairs

If you want a short answer to this question, it is yes. It is possible for landlords to ask their tenants to pay for all kinds of repairs, even those that haven’t resulted because of their misuse or fault. This can happen only when the landlord includes a clause to this effect in the lease agreement that the tenant signs. If the tenant signs such an agreement, the tenant is liable to pay for repairs. A tenant paying for repairs is quite common these days in commercial properties.

However, a landlord can include the clause of tenant paying for repairs even in residential property provided there is no prohibition imposed by local laws. Even if there is a law prohibiting landlord from charging their tenants for repairs, it is common these days to see tenants agreeing to pay for repairs costing less than $100.

Landlords find it difficult to ask for money

However, not many landlords appear to be enthusiastic about such a clause. Even if a tenant agrees to such a clause and signs the lease agreement, landlord finds it difficult to recover the money for repairs costing less than $100. In fact, inserting such a clause in the lease agreement is easy but it costs landlords much more in the long run.

Many landlords in residential property markets across the country have found that making their tenants pay for repairs is not an easy job. Traditionally, landlords have been entrusted with repair jobs in residential properties. They are also held responsible for the maintenance of their properties. Because of this prevailing sentiment, tenants have found that they have choices in terms of properties. If they do not agree to the clause of paying for repairs, they can easily find another property to get accommodation. There are many landlords who do not ask them to sign such an agreement. It also depends upon the demand for rental units in a housing market. If the demand is very high, landlords can have their say but it becomes difficult in housing markets with low demand for rentals. Many landlords who are initially excited about the prospects of their tenants paying for repairs get this clause removed from the lease agreement when they see that large numbers of applicants are hesitant to sign the lease.

Many landlords who get their tenants to sign the lease agreement containing clause for repairs are not able to get the money for repairs. All these landlords later find that they must frequently carry out inspections of their properties to ask their tenants to pay for repairs.

In conclusion, it can be said that it is possible for landlords to make their tenants sign the lease agreement that requires them to pay for repairs. However, benefits of this policy are not high enough to appear alluring for most landlords.

If you’d like to talk more about property management, or you need help with Everest Property Management, please contact us at Everest Realty.

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