Electrical problems can be difficult enough when we are dealing with them in our own homes. However, we have the benefit of being able to approach problems patiently and can find solutions while considering only what is important to us. However, if you are having electrical problems in a rental property there can be a whole host of considerations which will need to be dealt with appropriately. Whether you are a tenant or you are a property owner, here are a few tips for making sure that you stay safe, financially afloat, and keep a good relationship with your tenants or landlord.
If you are a landlord and you get a message from a tenant that there are electrical problems, you have a lot riding on getting the repair done quickly and cheaply. Over time, paying too much for electrical work (and other maintenance) can completely eat in to your profits, decreasing the value of your property investment. However, if you ignore problems or simply slap band aid solutions on to them, you can anger tenants and cause property damage.
One of the most important things to know is when it is appropriate for you to attempt a DIY fix for a maintenance problem. Generally speaking, you can save a lot of money on repairs if you have the skill and knowledge to get repairs done yourself. However, attempting projects which are beyond your ability can end in disaster and embarrassment. Often you will need to call an expert in to clean up your mess, causing further inconvenience and also potentially costing you more than it would have had you simply called them in the first place.
One of the best ways you can save money over the long term on a property is to make sure that it is well maintained and kept in good condition. This could take a considerable investment up front, but think of it as part of the cost of the property. You have invested a significant amount of capital into the property just to own it, make sure that you spend the extra sums up front to make sure that it is a good investment. Having a skilled electrician come in and inspect before performing maintenance and normal repairs can help ensure that you do not need to call them again for a long time.
Additionally, part of keeping the property in good condition will depend on your tenants. If they are destructive and do not take care of the property, you will likely need repairs more often. Choosing tenants who will take good care of the property is difficult to undervalue.
Another thing to consider when dealing with whether to call a professional or not is the time investment that will be required. One rule about DIY work that almost always holds true is that a professional will be able to accomplish the work in much less time than it would take you. How much do you value your time? If you are not prepared to spend a considerable amount of time working on the issue, then you should try not to get started on a project which will take you several days of labor.
If you are a tenant, there are a number of things you might need to worry about with the electrical system in any house you move into. While your commitment is still less than what might be the case for a homebuyer, you still could end up suffering considerable trouble if you move into a property with a poorly maintained electrical system. Choosing a well maintained property with a responsible landlord will make sure that you and your family stay safe and comfortable. Asking the owner for things such as a record of maintenance performed can help you get a good idea of the condition of things in the property, as well as how thoroughly the owner addresses maintenance issues. Additionally, make sure that your contract with the owner explicitly states how repairs will be dealt with. Ideally there should be an inflexible timeline which will protect you legally should the landlord end up being less than reliable.
However, you may end up in a property with some electrical issues. If your landlord is not fixing the issues, that is a problem, and you should deal with it. However, in the mean time you may need to take matters into your own hands. If there is an immediate electrical hazard, you should make sure that you and your household get away from the problem and ensure that it is dealt with immediately. Additionally, pay attention to the property. Look for signs of electrical damage or fire. Paying attention to things like discoloration around electrical sockets or excessive heat around electrical components could end up saving the property from damage.