As a landlord, one of the issues that you may run into is rental property cleanliness. As discussed in this video, Chris Lee and Eli Secor, founders of Landlord Gurus, address what you should do if you run into rental property cleanliness problems and how to prevent them.
Recently, Chris had a tenant contact him saying that there were odors and insects coming from the unit next door. Chris confirmed that this was true and that it looked like the unit hadn’t been cleaned in a year. This was not only a violation of the tenant’s lease terms, but also a concern regarding his safety as well as the other residents in the building.
Despite talking to the tenant about cleaning up, nothing had been done when Chris returned a few days later. Thus, he decided that he needed to formalize his plan and take action sooner than later. Chris checked the lease, which had clauses about sanitation, fire safety, and other things regarding cleanliness. Therefore, he was able to serve his tenant with a 10-day comply or vacate notice. By serving the comply or vacate notice, the tenant had 10 days to comply, to get the unit taken care of again, or simply vacate.
There are certain requirements on how notices are served in Seattle, where Chris and Eli reside.
“If he’s not there, whether you have to mail it or deliver it to another person living there or taping it on their door or whatever, there are other requirements,” Chris said.
Chris was able to deliver his notice in person, and his tenant was completely understanding and knew what he needed to do. After serving the comply or vacate notice, Chris scheduled an appointment 10 days later, where he would return to do another inspection. After returning, Chris deemed the unit acceptable again.
You can find notices like this on websites such as EZLandlordForms. With a subscription or one-time payment, you can get access to state-specific documents needed to cover you in cases like Chris’s.
Dealing With Unsanitary Living Conditions: Landlord Gurus Takeaway
Conducting annual inspections is important for ensuring that your units are clean and sanitary.
“You don’t need the neighbor telling you that something’s up,” Chris said.
“Yeah, that’s bad for tenant satisfaction. And really, lack of cleanliness can permanently damage parts of your unit as well,” Eli said.
Chris and Eli also stress the need for strong, up-to-date, and state-specific leases. Particularly, state-specific leases and notices. For example, in Washington, it is a 10-day comply or vacate notice. In other states, however, the time period may be completely different. Thus, it’s imperative that you are complying with your local laws and regulations.
- With a range of free rental applications and lease templates, landlords can easily create legally binding documents in minutes using EZ Landlord Forms.
- Strength: Leases & e-Signing
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