Habitability needs to be a big concern for landlords in Santa Cruz because there are legal requirements that must be complied with. Landlords know they are legally required to provide a safe and habitable property, but it can sometimes be difficult to understand what that means. When certain maintenance issues are brought to your attention, you need to take immediate action. You cannot leave your property unmaintained when it poses a threat to your tenants.
Today, we’re talking about what you can do to ensure you aren’t violating any habitability standards.
Some Typical Habitability Issues
As professional Santa Cruz property managers, we see some of the most common habitability issues in the properties we manage every day. Some typical maintenance issues are:
- Water heater leaks
- Heater and furnace issues
- Toilets that run or don’t flush
- Stoves and appliances that don’t work
- Electrical issues throughout the home
- Broken windows
- Front door locks not working
Making Timely Repairs at Your Property
You need to recognize the urgency of these types of maintenance issues. If you don’t take immediate action, your tenants will become unhappy and probably begin complaining.
At Portola Property Management, our experienced team will never let habitability issues wait. We have a 72-hour process that allowing us to respond to those emergencies right away. We are always aware of the legal responsibilities with habitability problems. Owners need to handle these things immediately as well. Your tenant needs heat and your tenant needs hot water. They cannot live in your property securely if windows are broken or locks aren’t working.
Consider the Benefits of Professional Property Management
Professional property managers can help you avoid habitability issues from becoming legal issues. When you work with a great property management company, they will coordinate repairs with your tenants and make sure the property is kept to habitable standards.
Owners who are self-managing often have time constraints or they can’t find a vendor willing to respond right away. As property managers, we have those vendor relationships in place already, and time isn’t a problem – this is what we do every day. It’s a lot easier to keep your rental property in excellent condition when you have a good property manager maintaining it.
If you don’t resolve habitability issues like the ones we listed within 72 hours, you will have some serious legal risk. Your tenants will be understandably upset. They will likely move out of the property, refuse to pay your rent, and even threaten to file a legal action against you.
We are responsive to all the repair requests we receive from tenants. We act with special urgency when those maintenance issues directly impact the habitability laws. As soon as we get a repair request from your tenant, either through their online portal or through a phone call, we send someone out to evaluate the problem. Then, we come up with a plan to fix it. This keeps you in legal compliance, keeps your tenants happy, and protects your property. We’ll discuss expenses and plans with our owners.
If you have any additional questions about habitability standards or how we respond to maintenance needs, please feel free to contact us at Portola Property Management.