Are Renters Responsible for Water Damage?
When you rent out a home in Matthews, NC, your tenants expect a safe place to live. In addition to maintaining your property, you need to be ready for potential water loss.
Your first question will likely be: Are my renters responsible for any water damage? In most cases they are not. As the landlord, it is your duty to keep the property’s plumbing in working condition. If the water damage is caused by a pipe, faulty appliances, HVAC units or a natural disaster, the landlord is usually responsible. In some cases the renter can be at fault for damage if their personal appliance causes the damage. In most cases the landlord is not responsible for any damage to the renters belongings.
Signs of water damage to watch for:
Because you, the landlord, are responsible for most cases of water damage it is important to be vigilant. As a landlord you probably already check your property at least once a year. During these inspections keep an eye out for these signs.
- Changes in wall and ceiling surface texture: any bending or sagging of plaster or drywall is a sign of water damage. Look for bubbles or cracks that may indicate water.
- Odors: When water leaks behind walls it can often be slow enough that it is invisible. While you might not be able to see the damage, mold and mildew can grow causing odors. Mold can cause health effects, so it is important to contact a water restoration company to address both the water and mold.
- High utility bills: If you or your tenant notice unusually high utility bills, it can be an indication of a hidden leak that needs to be addressed immediately.