A lot of people will tell you what you should have present at your rental property, but many stay away from telling you what to avoid. As a property management company in Toronto, we have experienced a lot of things. Here’s our concise list of things to avoid at your property:
Microwaves are built cheaply these days and often have a short life span. As such, providing a microwave in your rental unit may result in you having to purchase several microwaves over a short period of time. In properties where there are stand alone microwave units (not built in ones), these should be removed. If the tenant wants a microwave then they can purchase one on their own and if it breaks then they can replace it. If you supply one, then the onus is on you as the property owner to have it repaired or replaced.
Barbecues are great for enjoying the summer but similarly to microwaves, if they malfunction or stop working, then you must replace or have it repaired. These added costs are just not worth it. If a tenant really wants a barbecue, then they can purchase one.
Firstly, many municipalities don’t permit the use of Garburator’s anymore because their effect on the environment and municipal plumbing. Secondly, they are a huge liability waiting to happen. If you have a garburator in your rental property, we recommend that you remove it immediately. This can save you a lot of headaches down the road.
Ice Maker/Water Dispenser
While quite honestly, these are great things to have at your personal home, they do need maintenance and the occasional filter change and are susceptible to breaking down. As a landlord, you are required to keep your property in a good state of repair. As such, if you have an ice maker/water dispenser in your rental property, it’s best to avoid them. Now we know you’re not going to replace a perfectly working fridge to avoid a water dispenser – so one strategy would be to disconnect the system so that a tenant cannot use it. Ensure that your lease acknowledges the tenants confirmation that they understand that it is not working and that you are not liable for it because it has ‘never’ worked.
Perhaps you lived in your rental property and you had a spare fridge in the basement, or a deep freezer and you wanted to avoid moving it to the new house. Leaving a working additional appliance in the rental property makes you ultimately responsible for it. As such, if you do have any extra freezer or fridges laying around, now is the time to donate or scrap it. IT’s just not worth the extra costs.
Fancy plumbing/electrical fixtures
Have you ever heard of the saying keep it simple? This is particularly true when it comes to electrical and plumbing fixtures. Having expensive fixtures means more money spent of fixing/replacing them when they stop working. There is a common understanding in the Landlord and Tenant Board that if something were to stop working, then you would be responsible to find a suitable match. So, if you’re $800 chandelier in your rental property stops working all of a sudden, you can’t replace it with a cheap $80 one. This may open you up to liability in the courts.
I think this one is self explanatory. If you have a trampoline, then get rid of it. Simple as that. They are dangerous, kids love them and the combination of those two are a recipe for disaster.
See #7. Yes, they can be fun when you’re outside with your kids; but when you are renting out your property, you don’t assess tenants on parenting skills and therefore you are accepting liability for no good reason. Donate the swing set to a local charity or put it in storage. Either way, a rental property is no place to have a swing set present.
Always ensure you take the necessary steps to decrease liability and limit expenses. Follow these tips and you shall achieve that!