Can Landlords Charge Renters for Repairs if They Do the House Repairs Themselves?

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In this chapter, I will discuss charging for house repairs. Even if, you as a landlord decide to do the repairs yourself.

House repairs can often be a great expense so it is reasonable to charge renters if their conduct has caused damage to the property.

Your job as a landlord is to make sure the house is habitable. This is one of the legal rights of renters. Part of that work is to make sure electricity is safe to use.

And climate control is provided depending on your state. So how do you make sure you are covering your maintenance bills to repair the house and being fair to your renters?

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A key aspect is having a clear lease agreement. Clear contractual terms will make your renters and yourself happy over the long term. Some things to remember to add to a lease agreement is how appliance repair and flooring costs will be covered.

Given that damage to these appliances is outside of the realm of normal wear and tear, these should be on your lease as things which the renter can be charged for repairing or replacing. It is also important if to note if there are common areas which multiple residences share to make sure there are agreements for how to cover damages to common areas such as pools, tennis courts, and other amenities. 

See also: Property Management Agreement Unfurnished Properties 

It is also important to require that your renters have renters’ insurance. Renters’ insurance is not expensive for most renters. And it covers a variety of damages which are not able to be covered under normal leases. Renters’ insurance depends on the size of the space the renter is leasing and the amount of coverage they wish to have.

How much is renters’ insurance?

Usually, you can get a sufficient renters’ insurance policy for $20-$30 per month. The difference in the size of urban areas and the risk of property damage might make this number adjust.

Rural and safer areas will make the price decrease. Either way, it is a reasonable request to make of your renters.

See also: Tenant Insurance

When you write repair charges into the lease, it is helpful if you pay competitive rates to other contractors in your area. Renters do not like being gouged for house repairs by having to use your services. It is also important for you to create itemized statements for your renters when repairs occur. Renters fear being taken advantage of for being renters, so it is important to itemized house repairs and material costs to be fair to the renter.

House repairs and maintenance are challenging work on any property and expensive. The ideal situation for a renter and landlord is to have strong contractual agreements and for the landlord to have prompt customer service when house repairs and maintenance are needed. These tips will help you navigate the relationship between your renters and yourself to be happy and profitable.

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