You probably know that you have to collect rent and keep up with your clients. You probably also know that you have to keep up with maintenance. But is there anything else you have to do? As a landlord you should always read a copy of Washington’s RCW Title 59 to find out about what you are required to do as a landlord. Before you do, here is a quick guide to what you or your Sammamish property management company hired by you is required to do for your tenants.
Provide Garbage Disposal
If you thought that you could just rent out units and leave garbage disposal to the city then you are unfortunately wrong. Washington law stipulates that you have to provide adequate garbage disposal for all of your tenants. This usually means working out dumpster rental and pickup with the city council if you have multiple tenants or a large number of units. The City of Sammamish provides online information so that you can rent and schedule large-scale trash disposal for your apartments and condominiums.
Bug & Rodent Control
Did you know that it’s your responsibility to control any pests on your property? While you might not know it, the city does. If one of your tenants complains of pests, then you do have to take care of them. Usually the fastest way to take care of a large infestation is by fumigating, but this can be costly. There are multiple pest exterminators in the Seattle area, but you should consider looking around to see if there are other options first if you do have pests.
If your tenants do not rent it then it is your responsibility to keep clean. For most property owners, that means keeping building exteriors, lobbies, hallways, and exterior buildings clean. Usually a once a week cleaning, or a biweekly cleaning, should be enough to handle the ‘reasonably clean’ law but you can consider more or less depending on your budget. Mowing grass and manicuring lawns on your property is also your problem unless you are renting a residential home.
Install Safety Devices
While you are not legally required to have insurance, you are legally required to install carbon monoxide detectors and smoke alarms in each of your units. You are also required to instruct each of your tenants on how to operate the alarms and usually how to change batteries as well. Usually this is a onetime thing per tenant, although you may have to supply them batteries every 6 months as well.
Keep The Unit Weather Tight
Having a leak is always a bad thing, but it’s actually illegal not to fix it if you’re in the Seattle area. Weather tight means preventing leaks and drafts, and can usually only be done by a professional. You can consider getting an inspection to make sure the unit is weather tight before renting it in order to make sure you have no future issues.
Anything that you own is automatically your responsibility to maintain. If appliances are included in the rent, then it is your job to make sure that they stay running, or are replaced, for the duration of the lease. Another consideration is that if heating is included in the cost of the rent then you are legally required to keep temperatures in the unit at 65 or higher during the day and 55 or higher at night for September through June.
If you’re looking for help with your property management, consider contacting SJA Property Management to find out what a Sammamish property management company can do for you.
The discussion herein is of a general nature only and is not to be construed as specific legal advice, which requires the establishment of an attorney-client relationship and fee agreement. SJA Property Management does not provide legal services.