Who is Responsible: Tenant or Landlord?

As a rental property owner never take your lease for granted.  In the end it dictates what is what and who does what when it comes to responsibilities of both the tenant and the landlord.

Granted it all needs to be within state and federal laws, but there is a ton of stuff that we as landlords have discretion on and should have pinned down in our leases.

I’m going to use one example for this post, given it is a current dilemma going on for many in Florida as hurricane Dorian approaches.

Securing the Property With Hurricane Shutters

For landlords and renters in FL this is something that is unfortunately a need.  The thing is when a hurricane is coming to town there is often confusion on who needs to put the shutters up.

Since its something that isn’t part of everyday life it often gets forgotten about in a lease.   It is something that should be addressed and as a landlord you can decide the risks you want to take.

For instance, if you put the responsibility on the tenant and they do not secure the property properly you could run the risk of an insurance claim being denied for any damage incurred.

Handling it yourself (or hiring someone to do the job) is a hassle, but it also gives you more control over the situation.

There is also the easier route, which is to have accordion shutters installed so it is as easy as having the tenant slide them shut and turn the lock.   However, those aren’t cheap though they do give you cost saving on insurance premiums.

Know who is responsible for what

Whether it is putting up hurricane shutters or repairing items, be sure it is spelled out in the lease.  This includes maintenance, such a small items that are less than $100 to fix.  Many landlords put that on the tenant, some landlords want complete control and will handle anything and everything so they know the property is not being neglected.

You need to cater your lease to what is right for you and your style of investing.

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