Rental property owners must protect their investment by conducting regular property maintenance. By doing this, you can save money by preventing minor issues from blowing up into maintenance emergencies.
Also, if you keep your property in tip-top shape, this can help attract and retain high-quality renters as well as enhance the value of your rental property.
If you want to know the responsibilities of landlords and tenants when it comes to keeping the property in pristine condition, you have come to the right place. Here at TrueNest Property Management, we have put together this article to guide you in keeping your rental space in great shape.
Landlord’s Property Maintenance Responsibilities
As a landlord, it is your responsibility to keep the rental space habitable and well-maintained. The duties and obligations may vary based on state and local regulations, but typically, landlords are required to:
Follow Housing and Building Codes
State and local governments established housing and building codes to ensure that there are no threats to the health and welfare of tenants. You have to meet minimum standards of housing conditions to have a safe and healthy home.
Provide Running Water
Running water is one of the basic services that a tenant must be able to enjoy. A landlord must provide running water as it is essential to tenants’ health and wellness.
Without it, they won’t be able to perform daily tasks such as washing, cooking, bathing, or cleaning. So, they should have access to a shower, sink, and a functioning toilet.
Supply Proper Trash Bins or Container
Another landlord responsibility that has a direct effect on tenants’ health and welfare is the ability to provide garbage containers. Landlords must provide trash bins and enough garbage bags inside the house.
Landlords must communicate the schedule of waste management and disposal to their tenants. Be knowledgeable about your local or state laws and reach out to local authorities to be guided accordingly.
Maintain Common Areas of the Property
Common areas must be hygienic, sanitary, and promote safety. This includes having appropriate handrails and lighting in the stairs, proper ventilation in enclosed common areas such as the laundry room and fixing any flooring or carpet that could cause someone to fall.
Make Sure All Vital Services Are Working
If the house is furnished, landlords must ensure that all appliances are in good working condition. Any plumbing issues must be addressed, and water heaters must be serviced accordingly. Electrical and gas issues must be checked and fixed as soon as possible.
Depending on the agreement of all parties, utilities must be paid on time to prevent the services from being cut off.
Most needed repairs are the responsibility of landlords so they must be fixed within a reasonable timeframe. If the damage is caused by the tenant’s negligence or carelessness, the landlord can request the tenant to cover the repair fees.
Legal Ways Tenants are Required to Help with Property Maintenance
While landlords have certain responsibilities to uphold when maintaining the rental property up to a required standard, tenants also have their fair share of duties to maintain the condition of the property.
The state or local requirements may differ but in general, tenant responsibilities include:
Keep Their Unit Free from Sanitary Hazards
Tenants are responsible for segregating their waste and disposing of it properly. Letting them pile up could lead to excessive trash and health issues. Tenants must clean their unit regularly to keep it hygienic and neat to prevent poor air quality, and mold and pest infestations. Conducting end of tenancy cleaning is another vital task.
Keep Their Unit Free from Safety Hazards
Typically, building or housing codes require an emergency exit that’s free of blockage. Tenants must organize their things and avoid blocking the unit’s emergency exits. Tenants can replace or report to the landlord if batteries for smoke alarms or detectors are dead. Also, they should not tinker with the alarms in the rental home.
Follow Building and Housing Codes
Building and house codes are established so everyone in the community is kept safe. Tenants must follow these regulations and declare the correct number of tenants that will occupy the space. Not being transparent with the number of people in the rental property can cause safety or fire issues, hasten the wear and tear and can increase utility usage and bills.
Prevent Mold Growth
Tenants must report any mold issues to the landlord. But before getting into that situation, tenants must always try to keep things and rooms in the rental unit dry. Mold loves moist places, so it is best to open the windows to air out and quickly dry moist or wet areas in the house.
Turn on the fan inside the bathroom when taking a shower to prevent accumulating moisture.
Don’t Disturb Potential Lead Paint Hazards
If landlords have properties built before 1978, tenants are required to ask their permission and approval first before doing anything that could scratch or tear the paint. Activities such as drilling into a wall or repainting the walls can disturb potential lead paint.
Being Respectful of the Property
Tenants must partner with landlords in taking care of the property and preventing damage. The following must be taken care of and maintained by the tenants as well:
- Plumbing Fixtures: since tenants will be using this every day, they should check on the plumbing fixtures regularly to avoid rusting, scum or dirt buildup and mold infestations. Do not improvise and use the fixtures for purposes other than what they are intended for.
- Landlord-Supplied Appliances: tenants must take good care of landlord-provided appliances. Wash them after use to avoid grease buildup and spilled or spoiled food to damage them.
- Don’t Damage the Property: tenants are responsible for their guests and family members when it comes to property damage.
Illegal Maintenance Requirements
It is not legal to put a clause in the lease agreement that tenants must be responsible for all necessary repairs. You and your tenant must agree on which repairs must be performed by the tenant. If damage was caused by a tenant’s abuse or negligence, you can charge them for the repair costs.
If you are a landlord and are unsure what repairs and maintenance may be assigned to the tenant, you can rely on TrueNest Property Management to guide you. We offer a variety of services including performing maintenance to your rental properties and giving you the best deal. Contact us today!