Can routine maintenance reduce liabilities for rental properties?

Owning a rental means you assume some liability for injuries or property damage that happen on your property. Performing routine maintenance on your property can reduce your liability and protect you against costly lawsuits.

Create a checklist of areas that require your attention and use vigilance in checking your property for any hazards that could endanger your tenants.

Regular inspections

Maintaining your property has many benefits including that it remains visually appealing and enjoyable for your tenants. Adequate property maintenance can also reduce the risk of injury for your tenants and help you identify danger before it is too late. According to American Family Insurance, perform semi-annual inspections on your property.

Depending on the layout of your property, you should also regularly inspect playgrounds, recreational facilities and the pool if you have one. Installing a security system on your rental property can encourage responsible behavior from your tenants. It can also provide evidence of what really happened if one of your tenants reports an injury and blames poor maintenance on their accident.

Tenant feedback

Staying in contact with your tenants can also reduce your liability. They can inform you of issues including broken pipes, defective appliances and other problems that could potentially cause injury. In your contract, encourage tenants to report their concerns in a timely manner so you can address issues before they worsen.

If you use a property management company, inform them of your expectations for reporting and addressing issues that arise on your property. Document all routine maintenance so you can coordinate follow up maintenance in an appropriate period of time.