Prevent water damage on your property with these tips that can help you save a lot of money on repair costs. Every year in America, water damage causes property damage worth billions of dollars. Water damage is caused in a variety of ways, from leaky roofs to burst pipes, and even severe rainstorms and hurricanes.
As a landlord, you are responsible for ensuring your property adheres to the basic health, safety, and building codes warns Onsite Property Management Services. As such, it’s your responsibility to inspect your property regularly to ensure it is up to code.
If water damage results from your carelessness or negligence, you could find yourself in legal issues. Which may mean, among other things, to compensate your tenant for their damaged belongings.
In today’s blog, you are going to learn what you can do as a landlord to prevent water damage in your rental property.
1. Know whether your insurance policy covers water damage.
Generally speaking, landlord insurance cover will cover water damage. However, it usually depends on how the water damage occurred in the first place. If it happened from something ‘sudden and accidental’, then your insurance policy will definitely cover it.
A good example of a sudden and accidental event is a burst water pipe. Also, flood would usually be covered too.
That said, don’t expect compensation from something that occurred due to your failure to fix maintenance problems. A good example is water damage that results from an appliance that has been dripping for months.
If you aren’t sure what is and isn’t covered by your policy, please check your policy documents for details.
2. Require your tenants to carry Renter’s Insurance to Help Prevent Water Damage Bills that are Outrageous.
An increasing number of landlords are requiring it as part of the leasing process. And for good reason.
As the name suggests, renter’s insurance is designed with the needs of renters in mind. It will, basically, help defray the costs of water damage resulting in your tenant’s negligence.
If your tenant, for instance, forgets to turn off the tub and it overflows causing damage to their property, their policy (renter’s insurance) will cover the damage. This will mean fewer out-of-pocket costs for you.
3. Let your tenants know what they are responsible for in regards to maintenance.
You aren’t the only one with responsibilities. Your tenant, too, is responsible when it comes to keeping your rental unit reasonably maintained. Such responsibilities, according to state and local laws, include:
- Notifying the landlord of dangerous and defective property conditions
- Fixing things that they break or damage
- Using HVAC, sanitary, plumbing, electrical, and other facilities and systems properly
- Keeping plumbing fixtures as clean as their condition permits
- Disposing rubbish, garbage, and other waste in a safe and clean manner
- Keeping their unit as clean and as safe as possible
In addition, in times of prolonged periods of extreme cold, you could ask your tenant to take proper steps to keep the pipes in good shape. For example, let faucets drip to help prevent bursting by relieving pressure caused by frozen pipes.
4. Encourage good communication with your tenants.
A good tenant is your best bet against water leaks. If you communicate with them effectively and generally have a good relationship with them, then your tenant will be more likely to alert you about any minor issues that may crop up.
Ask them to notify you immediately if they notice things like a surge in their water bill or a leaky faucet.
5. Keep your gutters in tiptop condition.
The gutters are an important component of your roofing system. Their job is to direct rainwater away so it doesn’t flood your property.
If clogged up, they could stop working and that could lead to a myriad of issues. Including, foundation issues as well as ice damming during the cold winters.
According to experts, gutters should be cleaned at least twice every year. Ideally, in late fall and early spring. Things that can clog gutters include leaves, sticks, twigs, and other debris.
6. Inspect the components of your roof for damage.
Beyond broken pipes and flooding, a damaged or leaky roof is the most common cause of water damage. Broadly speaking, most asphalt roofs last anywhere between 15 and 20 years – and your roof can leak before this if it is damaged by some kind of debris, such as a falling branch or tree.
Preferably, form a habit of checking your roof once every year. Alternatively, hire a professional to do it for you. Most of the time, everything will look just fine. However, if an issue crops up, you will be able to take action quickly preventing further damage.
7. Inspect the plumbing and appliances yearly.
Inspect your appliances and fixtures – such as showers, toilets, dishwashers, washing machines, and refrigerators regularly. Even a seemingly minor issue, like a leaking water line that’s connected to your dishwasher, can easily become serious and will cost big bucks to fix.
Taking the time to inspect the systems and structures of your rental investment could save you thousands of dollars in repair costs. If you don’t have the time or the skills to do it yourself, please consider hiring professional services.