Even with the very best of Tenants every rental property will require ongoing maintenance and repairs. Internal fixtures of the property can often wear out and outside fixtures can be easily damaged by the elements. While this is no fault of the Tenants, a Landlord is required by law to have the broken items repaired or replaced. Unexpected repair bills for an Owner can be extremely frustrating and stressful as often there are very little funds left for repairs and maintenance, but the truth is that failing to take action could cost you much more.
In extreme cases a Tenant may choose to issue the Landlord a 14 Day Notice to Remedy, failure for the remedial works to be undertaken could result in not only the Tenancy Tribunal ordering the Landlord to carry out the necessary repairs but also awarding a fine of up to $3,000 which is payable from the Landlord to the Tenant. While these types of outcomes are normally reserved for the slum Landlords who tend to be repeat offenders, these situations can quickly escalate with Tenants if not handled properly and you don’t want to be one of the unlucky few who ends up in front of a ‘anti Landlord’ Adjudicator. If the repairs are particularly difficult or expensive, sometimes a better solution is to offer the Tenant a small rent reduction as compensation for the item that can no longer be used.
In addition to the risk of having a Tenant take action against you, there is also the long term and less obvious effects of not adequately maintaining your property. As the property deteriorates over time so does the achievable rent and quality of Tenant. Showing a Tenant that you care about your property being in good working order sets an immediate expectation that you expect the same level of respect from them. It is also worth noting that in situations where a Tenant has damaged your property and you have been guilty of not undertaking repairs that you should of, then any claim you make against them to recoup the damages, you may find that Tenant counter claims you for failing to make repairs.
Your rental property is an investment and by keeping your investment well maintained you will reap better returns by getting higher rent, less vacancy and good Tenants who keep your properties value and return on investment high.