Landlords and property managers say their biggest concern about you trying to fix something at a rental property on your own is that, despite your best intentions, you may not know what you’re doing.
You may think you can reach the clog with a drain snake that’s backing up a toilet. But you also risk scratching, cracking or breaking your landlord’s porcelain, and if you accidentally damage the pipes, you could cause additional harm to nearby units, says Bryant Hull, co-owner of Real Property Management in Huntington Beach, California.
You could be held responsible for rectifying the damage, which can easily exceed your security deposit, Hull and Rhodes say.
“If they don’t know what they’re doing, rather than possibly create a bigger issue, it’s best just to leave it up to someone that knows that they’re doing, is going to get it done on the first try,” Hull says.
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Your landlord may terminate your lease if you try and fail at a maintenance project that should have been left to the property manager. Hull and Rhodes say landlords aren’t looking to terminate leases early, but they may feel they have no choice if a botched job leads to additional repairs or affects other units
“At the end of the day we’re not being a bad guy – we’re enforcing what everyone had agreed to at the beginning,” Hull says.
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