Owning an investment property can be a lucrative and profitable experience, but it comes with risks, and how you as a landlord manage those risks can determine the ultimate success of your investment.
What are the risks with pool maintenance?
- If a tenant fails to properly maintain the pool it can result in damages to the pool and the pool equipment. For example, incorrect chemical balance can damage the pool surface causing you repair costs that can well exceed your tenant’s security deposit.
- If your tenant allows the chlorine levels to go too low, algae and other organisms can grow in the pool. This can potentially expose you to liability for health hazards if a pool users get sick.
What are the risks with yard maintenance?
If your property has a nice yard and your tenant fails to properly maintain it, it can result in upset neighbors, HOA violations and upset tenants when you enforce your lease. However, at worse it can result in loss of the existing landscaping and repairing that damage can well exceed your tenant’s security deposit.
I remember an out-of-town landlord hiring us a few years ago because his Association wanted him to resod the yard. When we visited the property we found the tenant had unplugged the irrigation controller in the garage because they thought their water bills were too high. All the once beautiful landscaping had died in a drought and it cost the landlord over $5,000 to replace it.
Having both a pool and yard care vendor regularly at the property is an extra set of eyes on the property each week and a risk reducer. For example, if the landscaping is dying during dry weather, the landscape vendor can instruct your tenants to turn on the irrigation system or alert you of a problem before it becomes an expensive one. If you find the tenants are operating the pool incorrectly or have disabled safety features, your pool maintenance vendor can alert you of the problem.
Should I make my tenant responsible to maintain the swimming pool and yard?
We would say NO. Build the cost of these services into the rent to manage your financial and legal risk.