Fix it or pay the price

Posted on Saturday, December 4 2010

Unlawful Acts: A new list of “unlawful acts” with specific fines has been added. Landlords may be fined up to $3,000 if they fail to provide the property in a reasonably clean state or fail to carry out maintenance or building and health and safety requirements.

Recent changes as shown above to the RTA will now mean landlords can no longer ignore maintenance issues in rental properties or provide unclean environments for tenants to live in.

So is this the end of the “slum landlord” the investor who rakes every cent out of his tenants in rent but who refuses to fix anything that is broken and ignores simple health and safety issue such as rotten decks and stair railings and cracked windows ? I truly hope so and I also would not want to be the first case where the new legislation is tested as you can be sure you will be made an example of!

Property investment is a business and all businesses have costs so within your business there should be an annual allowance for maintenance an upkeep of your properties. It’s very easy to budget for any large expenses that are going to come up and hands on landlords should have no problems staying on top of residential property maintenance if done annually. Tenants have a right to live in clean , safe and habitable homes where they generally pay good money every week.

It’s certainly going to mean more cost to landlords however a good maintenance plan will reduce those hefty bills year on year and help keep the value of your investments stable in this economy so there is light at the end of the tunnel. If you use a property manager have you visited your rentals lately ? Will they meet this new criteria or will you be the first to be held accountable?

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