If you’re renting out property in Redmond, Washington, then you are bound by law to perform maintenance and emergency repairs. In fact, Title 59, Chapter 59:18 of the Washington RCW states that if you don’t perform maintenance, your tenants can legally break their contract and leave. If you’re a new landlord, you might not even know what maintenance you have to perform. Try referring to this guide used by Redmond property managers to see what you have to do on your property. You can also pick up a copy of Washington’s Housing and Building Code from your local town hall.
One of the most important things that you are required to do is keep each unit in safe condition. Regular maintenance should include repairing broken items around the property. The roof, walls, and floor are all required to be in solid condition. Importantly doors and windows should also be in place or boarded over in order to remain safe.
Importantly, regular maintenance also includes cleaning! You might not know it, but any property that is not technically rented by your tenant is your responsibility. Unless you’re renting a condo or a single family home, that includes lobbies, walkways, gardens, paths, and usually the exterior of the building. Redmond requires that you keep any accommodating areas ‘reasonably safe and clean’ which means either cleaning up at least once a week or once a month yourself, or hiring someone to do it for you. If you’ve hired Redmond property managers, then they will of course handle cleanup and regular maintenance for you.
If your tenants call you at 3 AM in the morning to let you know that their sewer is overflowing, it is your legal responsibility to get it fixed as quickly as possible. That means either being able to do the repairs yourself, or knowing a company that is willing to perform emergency repairs. Once again, Redmond property managers would be able to set you up, but if you’re managing the property on your own, then you’ll have to find a company that is willing to do the work for you. Responding to emergency repairs also means that you will have to answer your phone 24/7, which is why most professional real estate managers recommend that you have a dedicated phone for the purpose.
Electronics and Utility Maintenance
If you have provided a furnished unit, then it is your responsibility to keep any appliances in working condition. Washington law stipulates that you have to maintain any electronics and utilities provided by you for the duration of the rental, or allow the tenant to break the lease. This is especially important when you consider basic utilities. However, it is also important for amenities like refrigerators, washers, dryers, and heaters should they be included in the cost of the rent.
Maintaining your units can be a hassle, especially if you aren’t entirely sure what needs to be done. If you don’t have the time to pick up the phone every time you get a call, go down and see what is wrong, and then make sure it gets fixed, a Redmond property manager is your best option! A property manager will handle all of your maintenance issues so that you can focus on your investments, not keeping them running.
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.