New roof vs. patching leaks

Proper action can can save hassle, cost less in the long run

Q: I am a landlord and have some questions about my responsibilities for maintenance on a rental home that I partially own. My father passed away a few years ago and left the home to my mother and me. She is no longer able to live on her own so we are renting the property to generate some income. The home is about 70 years old and is a classic with cathedral open-beam ceilings.

The roof is only 20 years old but unfortunately there have been four serious roof leaks. Each time I have had the roof leaks patched, but the roofing companies are unable or unwilling to give me any warranty on their work because of the age of the home and the limited patching that I am having done.

The tenant is insisting that I offer him a rent reduction based on the roof leaks. I have offered to let him break his lease and pay for his moving expenses. But he doesn’t want to leave the home because, aside from the leaking roof, he totally adores the property and it meets his needs.