Home ownership may be a wonderful dream, but it can quickly turn into a nightmare if you have a property with problems. If you don’t just have a property to live in, but also have one or more that you rent out to tenants, your problems may just be compounded.
However, a good landlord needs to be able to manage all the basic homeowner problems, and then some. Although, often hiring a real estate agent or property manager to ensure that your rental properties are being well looked after, and that your tenants’ needs are being met is the way to go – particularly if you are not based in the area.
One of the worst feelings as a landlord is when you get a panicked phone call from your tenant with an urgent problem that simply can’t wait. From an urgent plumber to fix a hot water cylinder that just died, to a sink hole that has suddenly appeared on the front steps, there are problems that come completely out of the blue, and unfortunately aren’t always going to be covered by your insurance.
One of the more common type of issue you are likely to encounter as a property manager is leaking roofs. Often you will get tenants complaining about a leak within a few months of a major storm hitting the area. Frequently people are simply not aware of the seemingly minor damage that occurs to a roof during a storm, so don’t think to have a professional roofing service check for any damage. If part of the roof actually comes off, or if there is obvious damage to tiles then tenants will almost always call to let you know, but it is the damage that they are unaware of that is likely to cause the biggest repair bill.
Once the roof of your house is no longer completely watertight, water will gather underneath the roofing material, and start to cause rot to develop through the framework. You may also start to see the development of black mold on walls and ceilings, and potentially see an increase of sickness in the house.
All of this adds up to a very expensive repair, when the poor tenant thought that there was a simple leak that they were using a bucket to catch the drips.
When To Call The Professional Roofers
Whenever your rental property is in the path of a decent weather pattern you should call in a roofer to give the roof a once over. Although you might consider this during hurricane season, you should also have the roof inspected after a solid hailstorm or snowstorm, as well as strong winds. A lot of the time the effects of storm damage are cumulative, so hail causes tiles to slip by a mere fraction or put a slight dent in your corrugated iron, and this is enough to allow extra snow to build up in the area, weakening that one spot. https://www.kplctv.com/2019/07/09/choosing-legitimate-roofing-company-after-experiencing-damage/
Many roofing contractors will offer a free assessment of your roof, and it really is something that should be undertaken at least once a year, as well as after ever major storm.
When The Worst Happens
Even when you have regular assessments of your roof by a qualified and honest roofing contractor, eventually you will need to start replacing parts, or all, of your roof. Most roofing materials will give you a good 20 – 30 years of life, but beyond that they will start to deteriorate.
This is something that no landlord should be caught unprepared for, and major renovations like this should be budgeted for by setting aside a percentage of the rental income each month.
As you will get real estate agents or property managers who will sell a rental property off as they become aware of the upcoming need for major repairs (see here), before you buy a house with the intent to use it as an investment property, ensure that not only as a builder completed the standard building inspection, but that a qualified roofing contractor has actually looked at the roof independently. Most things in a rental property that may need repairing urgently will be manageable for a landlord, but a sudden full roof replacement may cause some hardship. Getting a professional opinion before purchasing can let you know what your in for, and if they suggest the roof will need major repairs, you can factor that in when you buy.