June 16, 2024

Protecting Tenants and Avoiding Legal Liabilities: Key Maintenance Responsibilities for Rental Units

2 min read
Improved Rental Health

When it comes to rental units, both single-family homes and multifamily buildings, owners are required by law to provide basic maintenance services for heating and plumbing systems. This includes ensuring that there is clean running water and that the structure is sound and does not pose any unreasonable safety risks. Neglecting any of these areas can lead to legal liability for owners and landlords, obstacles for property managers, and severe health issues for tenants.

Monica Gilroy, a real estate lawyer and founding principal of The Gilroy Firm in Atlanta, emphasizes the importance of taking care of these maintenance responsibilities. She recently discussed ways to reduce risks associated with lead-based paint and mold with property managers. The Environmental Protection Agency proposed an update to the rule in July, requiring property managers to hire certified professionals to deal with repair, renovation, and remediation involving lead-based paint. If implemented, property managers may need to obtain certification for dealing with lead-based paint repair and remediation.

Gilroy suggests that property management firms could have one person become certified to ensure compliance. However, she stresses that prompt action is crucial when tenants report mold in their living space or the building. Property managers must review any test results the tenant may have obtained and develop a checklist and written procedures in response to mold reports. Additionally, they should provide clear instructions to tenants on what steps they should take if they suspect they have encountered mold.

The information provided in this content was adapted from a webinar titled “How to Avoid Legal Liabilities When Dealing with Property Owners and Investors,” which was moderated by Rental Beast, the National Association of REALTORS®’ recommended software provider in the rental industry.

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