This is a great example of what can happen when an absentee owner is not vigilant. As a professional property management company, we inspect our homes every three months to assure our owners that their homes are not in disrepair. Tenants who expect this are more likely to call at the first sign of trouble.
Beware of the Tenants that Never Complain
Tenants that never complain- sounds like every landlord's dream, right?!
Don't get me wrong. I don't wish the complainers on anyone. Any landlord who has had a high maintenance tenant knows the frustration of getting those phone call about every little thing. However, the other extreme isn't much better.
Let me tell you about my tenants, "Joe" and "Kathy". They are very nice people, pay their rent on time every month, and I never hear from them. It's hard to get into the house for a yearly inspection for a number of reasons, so I got lazy about the appointments. I figured it wasn't a big deal. I figured they would let me know if anything needed attention. I figured wrong.
Last month, we had a few big storms come through Pennsylvania. A few days into the last storm, Kathy calls me frantically explaining that her bedroom ceiling had fallen down. She thought a tree had fallen on the house. Of course, I was very alarmed by this and went out immediately.
It was still raining hard by the time I got there, but there was no tree on or near the house. I climbed the roof and found 2 missing shingles near the ridge. I made a temporary fix until my roofer could get out. That still left me with a big ceiling project. The water damage had spread into an adjoining bedroom and it was going to take several sheets of drywall to replace the damaged sections.
This big project could have been a much smaller project if they had let us know earlier about the water issue. A ceiling doesn't normally fall down overnight. After some questioning, I found out that it had leaked for several weeks, but they didn't want to bother us with it since it was so minor. Yikes.
I reassured them that it was OK to let us know these things because we want to maintain the home. Suspicious that there might be other issues, I asked her what else was wrong with the home. Well, they hadn't been able to use the bathroom sink in a few months because the faucet was leaking onto the floor. Also, everytime they do laundry or run the dishwasher, the waste water backs into the basement. Double...triple yikes.
Learn from my mistake and insist on a yearly inspection!
Keller Williams Realty Elite Partners
* 352-650-1029 *
Serving Florida’s Nature Coast * Hernando, Pasco & Citrus Counties