Tenant ‘Improvements’: When Residents Make Things Worse

The best residents for any rental home are those who care for the property as if it were their own. But sometimes, residents feel the need to customize a rental home a bit too much. Residents who make improvements to the rental by themselves, or make repairs when things break or get damaged. Whether motivated by personal satisfaction, artistic aesthetics, or a fear of paying for repairs. Residents who take improvements and repairs into their own hands are usually doing so without the proper knowledge of the repair scope or the permission or knowledge of their landlord.Woman trying to fix ceiling fan.

The problem with residents making improvements or repairs themselves is that there is no guarantee that your residents know what they are doing. If that is the case, and they have little or no experience with home remodeling and maintenance, any improvements they attempt to make could  make things worse. Certain permanent “improvements” go well beyond the ordinary. Particularly if things are damaged, residents may be tempted to try and “fix” it themselves.

While it’s true ignoring or repairing small items may not matter, when it comes to the plumbing or electrical systems, windows, doors, or other structural features, neglecting to report damage or residents trying to patch things up themselves could lead to expensive repairs later on. For example, if a resident tries to replace a faucet or cracks an exposed pipe, a leak could start underneath, out of sight. Even a small leak may create the perfect environment for moisture to become trapped and for rot to develop in the walls or lower levels of the home. Over time, the flooring, walls, cabinets, and more could sustain serious water damage, leading to costly repairs.Man frustrated with fixing air conditioner.

Damaged exterior doors and windows also pose a serious risk to both residents and your property. If a window or door is broken or improperly installed, the security of the home is seriously compromised. The home’s interior is also left exposed to the elements, and may cause additional damage. Damage may include interior walls, sills, and floors.

For this reason, it is important to encourage residents not to make improvements themselves. Tenants should be encouraged to report any damage as soon as it occurs. If they understand damage will be handled professionally, they’ll be more likely to report additional incidents in the future. At Real Property Management, we excel at handling resident improvements and reports of damage in just this way. We manage resident expectations and take care of all necessary repairs in a timely fashion.

Real Property Management,  the nation’s leading property manager for over 30 years has developed intelligent solutions for thousands of individual property owners, investors, tenants and Realtors.

Matt Pelton

Matt’s an Ohio licensed Realtor with 20+ years experience in residential and investment real estate sales, leasing, property management. Matt offers  pre-purchase consultations and BPO’s for investors and lending institutions. Matt currently works as the Sales Manger at Real Property Management. You can contact Matt at 866.500.6200, via email ([email protected]) or Instagram and twitter .

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