According to the Georgia Landlord Tenant Handbook landlords are required to keep their rental units in a safe and habitable condition. Most of us have heard horror stories of unsafe rental properties. Hazards like faulty electrical wiring, mold, and rodent infestations are a landlord and tenants worst nightmare. As a rental property owner you should be aware of potential hazards at your property, both for your tenant’s safety and your own protection from liability. Our Atlanta property management company can help you keep your investment secure through regular inspections, efficient repairs, and expert knowledge of housing codes.
Atlanta Housing Codes
Why are housing codes and requirements important to know? As a rental property owner you could be liable for damages if you are made aware of unsafe living conditions and do nothing to address the problem. Local, state, and federal housing codes are in place to keep renters safe and healthy in their home. Knowing what constitutes unsafe living conditions will help you react quickly and efficiently to your tenant’s maintenance requests. In Atlanta, property owners must maintain the structural integrity of the rental unit, keep utilities in working order, and ensure their tenants have safe access to their unit. If your tenant submits a request in writing stating that an aspect of your rental property is unsafe it is your responsibility to fix it in a timely manner. Failure to do so could result in you being held liable if your tenant is injured.
Property owners are not responsible to fix any defects noted during move-in, as long as the defects do not make the home unsafe. For problems that arise during a tenant’s lease, your tenant is responsible for submitting a maintenance request as soon as possible. At Specialized Property Management Atlanta we make maintenance requests simple through our online tenant portal. In addition, our property managers are available 24/7 for emergency calls. After you or your property manager are made aware of the maintenance issue you must respond within a reasonable time. The Georgia Landlord Tenant Handbook states that a “reasonable time is determined by the seriousness of the condition and the nature of the repair.” For example, a busted pipe that is flooding the home will require a faster response time than an interior door handle that has come loose. No matter how serious the request, your best course of action is to respond immediately. Slow response to maintenance requests is one of the major factors in tenant turnover.
In our decades of experience in property management we have dealt with countless requests from tenants. So what does responsive, efficient property management look like on a day-to-day basis? If your tenant submits a maintenance request to you or your Atlanta property management company stating the front door is defective and will not stay closed or lock, you should respond and fix the door the same day. If you wait a week to visit the property and fix the door, and in the meantime the tenant is harmed as a result of the defective door, you could be held liable for the injuries. This is because you were made aware of the issue, but did not respond in a timely manner to ensure the habitability of your property.
Not every aspect of rental home maintenance is the property owner’s responsibility, but it is important to know what is. Property codes are varied around Georgia, so if you own rental property in multiple cities, chances are there are different requirements for each property. Our team of experts has worked in Atlanta and the surrounding areas for decades. We know the ins and outs of local, state, and federal housing codes and will help you keep your property safe and habitable.
How Specialized Property Management Atlanta Keeps Your Home Up to Code
Making your home rent ready is the first step to ensuring a safe and habitable space for your tenants. Before you put your rental property on the market your home should be completely ready for a new tenant to move in. During our make ready process we will identify all potential hazards inside and outside of the rental property. Hazards include buckled carpets, loose railing on stairs and balconies, and hot electrical outlets among other things. We will also ensure your home is up to code and includes required safety features such as smoke alarms, fire extinguishers, and easily accessible entrances.
In addition, we perform regular property inspections during a tenant’s lease. Inspections are done to ensure the property remains up to code, and address any maintenance issues. For example, a small leak under the sink may go unnoticed by your tenant, but given long enough will result in water damage and mold. Our property management experts know how to identify safety problems before they turn into safety emergencies. Routine maintenance, such as AC and heating system check ups, extend the life of your home’s systems and save you money in the long term.
Sometimes tenant behavior can put your rental property at risk. For instance, if your tenant has unplugged all the smoke alarms in the house both person and property are at risk. During routine inspections our Atlanta property management team will address risky tenant behavior and clearly express expectations and responsibilities. Our team also checks for lease compliance and will note issues such as unauthorized pets or roommates. Oftentimes lease compliance issues are a simple matter of miscommunication. However, left unchecked these issues can turn into serious hazards at your rental property.
Making Your Home a Safe and Happy Place to Live
Meeting health and safety requirements is just one way to make your rental property stand out in the Atlanta rental market. Adding a few extra, inexpensive safety features can result in fewer vacancy days, help your tenant feel secure in his or her rental home, and lead to less turnover.
Every home should be rekeyed between tenants, and we always take this step during our make ready process. These days keypad entry locks for front doors and garage doors are popular, secure, and easy to use. If you choose to install these on your rental property make sure you or your Specialized Property Management Atlanta team change the codes between tenants just as you would change the door lock.
Some tenants feel more secure in a home with a security system, however most security systems require a monthly fee. As a property owner you are not required to provide a security system or keep a system in working order. If your tenant wants to add a security system they should contact you or your property manager to discuss the details, and be prepared to pay the monthly fee. Some landlords will offer to pay for the start-up costs of a security system, then leave the monthly fee up to the tenant.
Outdoor flood lights are another easy and inexpensive way to make sure your rental home feels safe and secure for your tenant. Most hardware stores and online markets have a variety of flood lights to choose from. Motion-detecting outdoor lights are also easy to find and install.
How Specialized Atlanta Makes Running Rental Property Easier
Knowing the ins and outs of property code can be tricky. That is why our team of specialized experts is on hand to help. When you choose to work with our property managers you benefit from the hard earned knowledge and years of experience we have.
In addition, we make your life easier by taking care of day-to-day tasks so you don’t have to. Our comprehensive Atlanta property management services include:
- Communicating with tenants about rent payment, maintenance issues, and more.
- Providing clear instructions regarding what maintenance a tenant is expected to perform, and what tasks the property owner is responsible for.
- Performing routine inspections and maintenance so your home is safe and secure.
- Maintaining a list of trusted, licenced vendors so you know who to call when you need help.
- Overseeing efficient make ready procedures so your home is prepared for a new tenant as soon as possible.
- Responding quickly to emergency calls as well as non-emergency maintenance requests.
Your rental property should be a safe and happy place for every tenant who lives there. With our help your home will be up to code, free of hazards, and well maintained.
Our property managers can also help you decide which upgrades will give you the best return on investment. Our knowledge of the local rental market provides insight into what renters are looking for in a home, and which safety features will be worth the out of pocket expense.
Contact Specialized Property Management Atlanta Today
Are you ready to start making more on your real estate investment? With our comprehensive property management services you can avoid common landlord mistakes that will put your property at risk. Whether you are a first time investment property owner, or you are simply tired of dealing with the headache of self management, we are here for you. To request a quote for professional rental property management call (404) 596-8454.