Has anyone came across an issue where there was foundation damage due to tenant neglecting to water the yard or failing to report a water leak / report developing cracks in the walls?
Can tenants be held responsible for that type of damage?
Of course.....few tenants like to water the yard. Even if it is in the lease.
Good luck holding them accountable.....95/100 if they had much money they'd be buying instead of leasing.
You can have strategies....but they don't work 100% of the time.
You can have a sprinkler system.....you can set it and lock the control box.
You can write specifications in the lease.
Think about court...you have to have evidence.....how are you going to prove it was their negligence that caused the problem?
How do you know if they watered or not. What evidence do you have that it is just not bad dirt?
How do you prove they knew about a problem or didn't?
At what point was it a problem....at the time it cracks?
Did you do anything to help prevent problems?....like add drainage and gutters? Did you add sprinklers?
One thing that can help you is to do periodic inspections....maybe quarterly. Look outside and inside. Try to head off the problem before it starts.
Just part of the fun being a landlord.
Then again if you can prove the negligence and damages you may win your day in court....but collecting your judgement is a whole other issue.
After all the headaches of court and then not getting paid, you might be better off just fixing the issue and moving on to the next tenant.
I find it is better to owner finance my properties instead of rent them out because an owner occupant will always take better care of a property than a tenant. I think that is the only way you could get someone other than yourself to water the foundation- they actually have to be an owner with a vested interest in the house to do long term maintenance items like that.
@Christopher Ward I agree with everything being said above. You aren't going to be able to make them pay. I wouldn't leave something so costly in the tenant's hands. In regards to your questions about cracks in the walls or movement in the foundation, this would all be found out pretty easily during quarterly or semi-annual announced visits to the property. If you aren't doing this, start doing it. It will hold your tenants accountable and it will keep small issues from becoming big issues.
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