The tenants in your community pay their rent with the expectation you'll do your part to maintain the property. If some of the buildings in your community have roof damage, and you've neglected repairs — you're not fulfilling your end of the deal. Not only will you have a group of unsatisfied tenants, but you could also open the door to all sorts of other problems.
In some states, tenants have the legal authority to withhold rent when the landlord fails to properly maintain the property, especially if the outcome of their failure is unfavorable living conditions. Leaking roofs, pest infestation, and poor temperature control all make for less than ideal living arrangements. You can only be successful at operating an apartment community when all your tenants pay rent, so rent withholding is never a good thing. A failure to make the necessary repairs to a roof is a failure to maintain the property.
Third-Party Liability Claims
You may require your tenants to carry renter's insurance for their personal belongings, but you can still be liable for damage to their personal property. Typically, when an individual makes a claim against their renters' policy, the insurance company will want to know the source of the damage. When the renters tell them that their property was damaged due to a leaking roof, don't be surprised if you receive a bill for third-party liability. Fixing roof repairs and performing routine inspections of the property is the best way to avoid this type of costly scenario.
A slumlord is the worst thing you can be called as a rental property owner. Even worse, the title is one of the hardest to remove from people's perception. With all types of social media outlets, online forums, and word of mouth, once your tenants begin to complain about the hassles they've dealt with because of your failure to repair their roof, and the word gets around, it might be hard to find new tenants to fill your units.
All too often, people look at a roof as a mere covering for a building. However, it's important to remember that a roof provides a building with a great deal of structural support. For example, when moisture seeps in through a faulty roof, the moisture can soften the wood beams that help support the building and weaken them over time. An apartment building with years of neglected roof repairs can even become so damaged that it must be condemned, which means zero profit for the property owner.
Make roof repairs to the buildings in your community as soon as possible. Click here for more information on apartment roofing.