Owning an apartment complex can be a very rewarding business venture. Once the place is filled with tenants, you have a steady stream of income coming in. As lucrative as this may seem, property owners in Tennessee have a duty to their tenants. They are bound by law to provide them with dwellings that habitable and reasonably safe from harm and hazards. To do this, landlords must stay on top of any repairs their properties need. No matter the size of your property, now is a good time for you to start screening for apartment contractors.
Building Problems Equal Liability Issues
Repair issues can pop up at any time. The more tenants you have, the more likely you’ll need to have repair work done. Now it is important for you to understand the kind of repairs you’ll are technically liable for. Everything that goes wrong with your apartments is not necessarily something you should be concerned about. Just the major issues that can render their place unfit for them to live.
For example, if a pipe bursts in a one of your apartment, that is something you need to get repaired ASAP. However, if a shelf that a tenant installed on a wall in their unit breaks and falls, that is their responsibility to fix, not yours. Hallways, stairs, parking lots, fire exits, windows, doors and other common areas in your buildings should be compliant with building codes and regulations at all times. Uneven surfaces, broken steps, wet floors, misplaced and buckled carpets are all major liability issues for you.
Selection of Apartment Contractors
You should know which apartment contractors you can trust to work with you to keep your property structurally safe and sound. Not all general contractors are equal in their services, skills, and qualifications. Not all contractors have apartment building experience under their belts either. Since tenant injury and premises liability issue can be rather expensive to deal with and could potentially put you out of business, you should be extra careful about the apartment contractors you decide to hire. If they don’t have the highest caliber of skill, experience, and credentials possible, you are gambling with the future of your rental business.
Staying Informed About Building Problems
Even if you are an out of state property owner, there are ways you can stay on top of any repair issues your apartment building has before they result in tenant accidents, injuries, and potential lawsuits.
- Encourage your tenants to speak and report any problems they notice and concerns they have.
- Make yourself accessible. You don’t necessarily have to give out your personal phone number, although it would help. But you could direct the calls to an answering service or machine that you check at least two times a day. This may seem a bit excessive, but some apartment building problems like break-ins, plumbing problems and fires should be dealt with immediately.
- Employ a good property manager. They can act as your representative when you are not available. Tenants can inform them of any problems that occur. The manager should post signs and notify all residents of any potential hazards they may face.
Even if you don’t want to inform your residents of any building problems, it is a good idea for you to do so. This can help prevent accidents, injuries and absolve you of liability in lawsuits. Once you’ve found apartment contractors that you can trust to handle your repair issues, you should continue to work with them for as long as you own the building.
For more advice on how to handle apartment building repair issues or in selecting a good apartment contractor, contact us at Construct All USA at (615) 220-8661.