When you sign a lease with a tenant you are making a promise to them that you will abide by certain expectations. One of your responsibilities as the landlord (even if you've hired a property manager to play the middle man) is to make sure that the tenant is provided with safe and habitable living conditions. This can seem like a constant struggle with some properties, especially if they were not well maintained either before you bought it or by the tenant themselves. You may not even know about the problem if the tenants are quiet and rarely alert you to issues unless they are too large to ignore.
One way to avoid major catastrophes is to provide regular maintenance. If you buy a property that's older, do a thorough check on it before renting it out the first time. Depending on your own personal knowledge (many landlords are very handy with plumbing and other maintenance issues) you may even want to hire a professional to come out and take a look at the pipes and anything else that might have a tendency to give when it gets older. It's never a bad idea to check over these things as part of preparing for a new tenant.Regular property inspections
are a good way to make sure that nothing explodes without your knowledge either. Some tenants are quiet and won't think anything of something that might grow into a problem if left untreated. They're not doing this maliciously in most cases. It's often that they simply don't know what to look for. That's where property inspections help you and them out, allowing you to take a look and make sure everything is in working order and nothing is on the verge of giving out.