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Tenant “Improvements”: When Residents Make Things Worse

As a landlord you desire . But sometimes, residents may feel the need to customize a rental home a bit too much. Residents may want to make tenant improvements to the rental home by themselves, or try to make repairs themselves when things break or get damaged. Whether they are 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 professional skills or adequate knowledge of the project’s scope. Also many tenants do these repairs with out the landlord’s knowledge or permission.

This can cause multiple problems that eventually fall on the shoulders of the landlord. The problem with residents making tenant 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. Particularly if things are broken or are damaged, residents may be tempted to try and cover it up by either “fixing” it themselves or simply hiding the problem and not bringing it up out of fear for repercussions.

It is true that in smaller cases home tenant improvements or repairs can be overlooked and done without professional skills. However when it comes for structural or the plumbing or electrical systems, windows, doors, or other structural features, a tenant needs to bring this concern to the landlord. When a tenant neglects to report damage or residents and tries to patch things up themselves this leads 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 creates 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 an unhealthy living situation, costly overhauls of new materials, or even structural damage.

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 to interior walls, sills, and floors.

For this reason, it is important to encourage residents to communicate damages to the landlord so they can be documented and addressed by professional. However this communication goes both ways, it means the landlord establishing an open line of communication on any issues with the property and being available to respond in a timely manor so the issues can be addressed.  When tenants are reassured that when they report damages damage they will be handled calmly and professionally, then  they will be more likely to report any additional incidents in the future. At Real Property Management, we excel at handling tenant improvements and reports of damage in just this way. We manage resident expectations and take care of all necessary repairs in a timely fashion. Would you like to learn more about Real Property Management’s services? Please contact us for more information.

We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.