So, you’re getting into the landlord business? That’s great! If you’re planning to rent out a single family home, you’ve probably got a long list of “to dos” to take care of before printing out those leasing applications.
Having your roof professionally inspected should be one of them.
The Right to Habitable Condition
All tenants in Georgia (and nearly every other state) have what’s called a Right to Habitable Condition. That means your property must be safe for them to live in, but also comfortable to a reasonable degree. Why does that matter to you? If your roof is at the upper end of its effective life, it’s your duty to your tenants to ensure it’s safe and working as expected. That means no serious leaks, structural stability, and a degree of protection from extreme climates and weather.
Avoid “Repair and Deduct”
In Georgia, tenants who move into a rental property implicitly agree to accept the property as-is. (In some cases, landlords will make promises to repair certain facets of the property after move-in and should follow through with those promises.) If your tenant moves in, however, and an underlying issue with the roof becomes a big problem, it’s your responsibility as the landlord to have a repair done – and quickly. In cases where a landlord takes too long to repair an issue – a leaking roof, for example – Georgia courts have upheld that tenants have a right to “repair and deduct.” That means tenants can find their own repairperson, pay out of pocket for the fix, then deduct the (reasonable) expenses from their rent payment. Don’t let your tenant choose your roofer for you! Stay on top of emerging issues to ensure only a licensed, qualified roofer works on your house.
The Presence of Mold
As we’ve talked about before, mold growth is one of the most common results of an improperly maintained roof, especially here in Georgia’s humid climate. If your rental house has mold, it could make your tenants sick. This is undesirable for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that your tenants can actually take you to court to sue you for damages and medical expenses! They’re also within their rights in serious cases involving mold to claim the house itself is uninhabitable, meaning they can stop paying rent. Don’t let mold sneak up on you in your attic. Be sure to have it inspected by a qualified roofer every single year.
New roofs look objectively better than old roofs. If it’s nearing time for you to replace your roof anyway, consider doing so before you start marketing your house as a rental. Not only will you avoid the hassle of having to house your tenants in the case you have to replace it while they live there, you’ll also end up with a more marketable property. Don’t forget to remind your tenants how much better a new roof is at lowering heating and cooling costs!
Renting your house?
Accent Roofing is ready to schedule your free comprehensive inspection.