Renting & Stucco Issues – What to Do
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Instead of buying a home, many people choose to rent the homes that they live in. Renters live in spaces as small as a studio to as large as multi-bedroom homes. Individuals of all incomes also rent, so rental status has very little to do with the amount of money that a person may or may not make. That being said, stucco clad rental properties face the same stucco issues that those that are privately owned do, so rental stucco properties are not exempt from the damage that tends to happen in these homes. The question is, how do you handle these issues if you are merely a renter and not the homeowner? Here are a few tips and words of wisdom for you to keep in mind so that you will be prepared if you ever find yourself in a sticky living situation.
Before you hammer out these issues in your rental home, it is important that you understand exactly what the stucco issues are. What are these problems these stucco homes face? Well, mostly, stucco houses develop issues because of the way that the stucco is applied. Most of the contractors who apply this material to the exteriors of new homes are not properly educated in how to do so. This causes a variety of issues, but the main one is that inaccurately applied stucco allows for homes to absorb more moisture than they should, which in turn causes a variety of issues from mold, to pest infestation, to wood rot. Other issues can occur as well such as severe cracking. Regardless of the issue, or why it was caused, these problems are serious and require repair. Serious repair. Often these repairs can cost a homeowner hundreds of thousands of dollars. The sheer potential cost of these problems alone should be enough to make you want to be concerned about what might be happening with the home you live in.
So we will ask the question again, what do you do if you are renting and you find out that the home you’re renting is suffering from serious damage?
One thing that you definitely want to do if you find that your home is suffering from some of the
common problems that stucco homes face is learn and know your rights. Knowing the laws that protect both you and your landlord is important, especially in times when you think that there might be something wrong with your home. All of the rules and regulations can be found online or by contacting your local municipal government. Landlords and tenants have to follow certain guidelines and rules when dealing with rental properties. Staying informed will help you learn the steps that your state requires that you take so that you are not held liable for things that you should not be.
If you notice damage to your stucco home that you are renting, generally the first step is to consult with your landlord. Homeowners, regardless of if they are living in their homes or not, care about their investments. If you have a good landlord, he or she will look into the problem further and will want to do everything possible to try to fix the problem. If you do not have a good landlord who cares about their tenants, it might be a good idea for you to document each time that you speak to him or her. This way, if further action must be taken in order for you to get out of the lease on your stucco home, you will have proof of your attempt to try to make it work.
Another tip that we can suggest is to call your local stucco inspector as well. Generally speaking, most contracting companies will consult with you over the phone to try to help you figure out what might be going on with the home that you are living in and will also help you come up with talking points for the conversation with your landlord about the potential issues that he or she may be facing with the stucco home that you are living in.
The most important thing to consider when renting a potentially damaged stucco home is to make sure that you report it to your landlord. Even if he or she is not one that is willing to take care of the repair, at least you have reported your findings. Keeping yourself protected when there might be damage is the key to remaining a happy tenant. As a general rule of thumb, it is important to make sure that you document everything. Regardless of how things turn out, you want to make sure that you are prepared with the proper documentation so you can back up whatever case and claims that you may have against your landlord or otherwise. Take pictures, screenshots, and keep track of your calls and what was said. You may not need the information but if you end up in a situation where things turn south, you will be glad that you have it. Your landlord will also need this information if he or she decides to take this information further.
Do you rent a stucco home? Are you noticing that your home is starting to have some strange issues. Tell us about it! We would love to hear your story and help you in any way that we can. If you want to learn more about stucco and stucco issues, check out some of the other articles on our blog. There you can find the issues, what causes them, and some other facts about the home that you are living in that you might not know.