For Gastonia property management services or a landlord, it is considered a best practice to repair any issues in rental units at the earliest. This will help you avoid complaints from tenants. Problems that are serious like plumbing issues or a breakdown in the heating system need to be dealt with immediately, within 24 hours at the most. Landlords and Gastonia property management firms are entrusted with certain maintenance responsibilities that need to be fulfilled.
State and local laws specify exactly which services need to be provided and maintained in a rental unit to ensure that it meets basic habitability standards. These basic requirements are the provision and maintenance of:
- Adequate waterproofing
- Water and electric supply
- Sound structure
- Clean and sanitary premises
Other than these basic requirements, landlords may also be held responsible for ensuring that the minimum requirements for lighting, electrical wiring and ventilation that are set by housing codes are also met. Some additional requirements put forward by housing codes may include:
ü Installation of smoke detectors
ü Basic security measures like lock and key
ü Health and fire safety requirements
If you are unsure about the exact codes that you need to follow, it is a wise and suitable idea to approach the health or fire department to get the right information on requirements and violations.
Consequences of Violating Maintenance Responsibilities
When a tenant faces a maintenance issue in a rental unit, it is within his/her right to ask his/her landlord or Gastonia property management services to conduct required maintenance. When such necessary repairs are left undone, tenants have been given some rights by the state.
Rent Hold Out
Tenants could refrain from paying the full rent amount until the repair work is done. Depending on the laws of the state, they may be required to place the amount in an escrow account. They may also choose to pay less rent, or get a professional to repair the problem area and deduct the payment amount from the rent. By calling the local building inspector, a tenant can force the hand because the inspector can and most likely will order the landlord to make repairs immediately.
More severe options include moving out of the house, irrespective of the lease status and suing the landlord for refund of rent and/or emotional distress caused by the landlord’s inability to take action and the substandard living conditions.
A fantastic rule of thumb for the landlord and Gastonia property management services is that major repairs should be taken care of in 24 hours, and minor repairs in 48 hours at the most.