Like any relationship, the business that transpires between a property owner and their manager is more successful when both parties are in sync. For this reason at the beginning of our relationship with a rental owner we review our Standards of Habitability for housing we offer. We ask before they become our client to review these Standards of Habitability and confirm they consider them reasonable. Does the owner agree that these standards of habitability correlate with the type of housing they wish to offer?
Why Did WILMOTH Group Create These Standards?
WILMOTH Group offers management services in what are often referred to as A, B, and C grade investment assets. Many property managers focus on A and B assets only. Since our founding in 1994, we have learned how to be successful in lower grade assets.
Our Standards of Habitability are usually not an issue in the A and B grade assets. But there are investors who own C grade or lower assets who have little desire, or resources, to offer more than a roof (and it might be a leaking one) over their tenant’s head. Through the years we have found that this is an approach that will ultimately create much higher turnover and attract more problems.
We are hired to make your investment profitable. These standards are a big part of our recommended approach to successfully owning any grade of residential asset. Our client’s agreement to allow us to maintain habitability and marketability is an important first step toward the profitability of their investment.
WILMOTH Group Standards of Habitability
- Homes are professionally cleaned and free of all trash and debris, inside and outside.
- Homes for rent will have heat in working condition and status. Air conditioning is highly recommended.
- All homes will receive a final clean prior to tenant occupancy.
- Prior to occupancy, yard will be cut, beds trimmed and free of weeds, and snow and ice removed.
- Air-conditioning and Furnace will be serviced and verified to be operating properly.
- Minimum appliances provided to include stove/oven and refrigerator. Owner supplied appliances operating as designed, or repaired/replaced by Owner.
- Plumbing fixtures/shut-off checked and operating. Old or rusting sink traps and faucets replaced.
- Ceramic tile in good condition with clean grout and caulk – no cracked or missing tiles.
- Cabinet doors and drawers in good operating condition throughout, with proper hardware.
- Doors and locks all function properly and have good doorknobs, latches, and legal locks.
- All homes will be re-keyed at all access points upon change of occupants.
- Windows all have good screens and open/close/lock properly – no cracked window panes.
- Window coverings at minimum to include blinds. No broken or missing blinds, old or worn drapes removed/replaced.
- Paint and drywall/plaster in good condition with clean appearance – re-painted where needed.
- Ceilings free of water stains, cracks, or other problems – repaired and touch up painted if needed.
- Carpet professionally cleaned once for marketing of the home and ready for a new tenant. After the first carpet cleaning, all future carpet cleaning costs will be passed through to the tenant.
- Carpet will be replaced if extremely worn.
- Sheet vinyl clean with no tears, curling on edges, or extreme wear.
- Electrical outlets, switches, breakers and light fixtures/ceiling fans all working.
- All towel bars and rings, paper holders and other attachments in place and properly secured.
- Home will be free of pests, insect infestations, and other critters, creatures, and varmints (alive or not).
- Active water penetration issues will be resolved to avoid damage to property or health of the tenant.
- Front walks in good, safe condition
- All steps in good, safe condition. Handrails must be in place if 4 or more steps.
- Holes in foundations are sealed from outside elements and animals
- Gutters- regularly cleaned with proper downspouts and extensions
- Exterior light fixtures in working condition
- All common areas are maintained and designed for safety, cleanliness, and to meet all local code requirements.
Successful Investors Understand Why These Standards Are Important
We know from over two decades of experience, that these standards are one of the secret sauces to success. Better tenants are attracted and retained when housing is offered and maintained to these standards.
Ask yourself, wouldn’t I expect these standards of habitability any place I ever lived? Is this the kind of housing I want to offer?