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When You Should Compensate Your Tenants

Wexford Woman Calling Landlord about Roof Leakage ProblemMost often, tenants are the ones paying for the right to live in your Wexford rental property. Yet there are a few moments when a property owner may need to compensate a tenant. When certain issues arise, you may catch yourself in the unusual situation of paying your tenants, instead of the other way around. If you want to know more about it, it is vital to learn what type of circumstances may result in tenant compensation and when and where you should offer it.

The question of tenant compensation stems almost entirely from landlord/tenant laws. As a property owner, it is your responsibility to ensure that your rental house is in a habitable condition. Generally, this implies that your rental home is clean and free of pests. It is also important that your roof keeps the house dry and that the appliances and other elements work the way they are supposed to.

One of the most common reasons for a property owner to compensate a tenant is because of repairs. In some scenarios, a property owner will be unable to make necessary repairs promptly. Either you are out of town or otherwise unavailable, if something breaks down and causes your tenants to lose the quiet enjoyment of the rental house, you have to fix it. If you can’t, your tenant may go ahead and have the repairs done within the confines of state law. It’s best if the tenant has your permission first, but even if they don’t, the chances are that you’ll need to reimburse your tenant for the cost of repairs if they follow the state requirements.

Occasionally, compensation comes up in disagreements regarding the condition and functionality of appliances. Failing to take responsibility for broken appliances is seemingly the most common reason a property owner winds up getting sued by their tenants. The explanation for this is because the situation is more complex than it at first appears. Landlords sometimes argue that a broken dishwasher does not make the entire property uninhabitable. Whereas a broken oven or refrigerator is seen to be an even bigger issue and tenants may argue that the home is uninhabitable. If you have provided appliances with the rental house, one of them suddenly breaks, and you can’t replace it right away, your tenant will be justified in repairing the machine and deducting the amount from the rent; as indicated in your state’s landlord/tenant law. This is especially correct if your lease documents assign responsibility for the appliances to you as the property owner.

Even though these are most familiar, there are still many reasons you may need to compensate a tenant. Moreover, if you are in a situation where payment is required, it is advisable to document everything carefully and then issue the funds promptly. If you are pro-rating a rent payment, don’t forget to record it and to notify your tenant in writing. If you want to send payment to your tenant directly, use a method that offers a paper trail, such as a business check.

Although landlord/tenant laws do vary from place to place, remaining on top of tenant compensation is a significant portion of maintaining good tenant relations. As a Wexford property owner, you will need a thorough understanding of the landlord/tenant laws that govern compensation to ensure that you are in full compliance. Real Property Management Three Rivers can help you prepare a lease to cover these issues or even manage your property entirely properly. Contact us today to get started.

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