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Basic Rental Property Maintenance: Who Does What?

Chula Vista Tenant Replacing a Battery in the Smoke DetectorAs a Chula Vista property owner, it is necessary to know beforehand who is responsible for what basic rental property maintenance. To keep your rental property in great condition and profitable, it’s key to have a proactive property maintenance system in place. This maintenance may be accomplished by you or by a service technician. Although, on the other hand, there are multiple small maintenance tasks that you can and should expect your tenant to fulfill. Here are a small number of the most common rental property maintenance tasks and who is often responsible for each one:

Clogged toilets.  If a toilet becomes clogged, it is oftentimes the tenant’s responsibility to fix and clear the blockage. But certainly, there may be exceptions, like if the blockage is caused by plumbing nuisances and issues unrelated to the tenant’s use. In such an instance, you would need to handle the repairs yourself or call a professional.

Broken windows. If a window is broken, it could most definitely be either the landlord’s or the tenant’s responsibility to repair or replace the window. This is because the responsibility for window replacement lies with the root cause of the breakage. If the window was broken due to tenant negligence, they should pay to replace it. Nevertheless, if a window is damaged due to severe weather or other occurrences out of a tenant’s control, the property owner is responsible for solving it. Bear in mind that this may be a security issue; mitigation is the key here.

Lightbulbs. Typically, tenants are responsible for replacing lightbulbs in their rental homes. This is because nearly all light fixtures are considered part of the tenant’s living space.

Carpeting and flooring. When you refer to the cleanliness of flooring, this would be a tenant’s responsibility.  If the flooring becomes disintegrated or worn out, then the responsibility, in general, falls to the Chula Vista property manager. This is because these are aspects of the property that see a lot of wear and tear over time. Be that as it may, sometimes, tenants may be responsible for damage to carpeting or flooring. In such a case, the tenant would need to pay for the repairs.

Batteries in smoke and CO detectors. Smoke and CO detectors are principal elements for keeping a rental property safe. The batteries in these devices should be tested and replaced according to need. In rare cases, state law ascertains whether it is the landlord’s or the tenant’s responsibility to replace the batteries. No matter with whom the responsibility lies, as a landlord, you should be regularly checking and replacing batteries two times per year.

Air filters.  Air filters help keep the air in a rental property clean and free of pollutants. In the majority of cases, it’s the tenant’s responsibility to replace the air filters. But in actuality, lots of properties have air filter systems that tenants cannot easily access and change themselves. In this circumstance in your rental property, it is your responsibility to guarantee that your air filters are changed regularly.

When assigning maintenance tasks to your tenants, it’s often vital to utilize clear language delineating all responsibilities in your lease. This will help to avoid any errors or disagreements down the road. By being informed of and clear on who is responsible for what rental property maintenance, you can keep your property in great condition and sidestep any potential legal problems.


Rental property maintenance can be drawn-out and time-consuming, specifically if you have to constantly check whether your tenant is fulfilling their responsibilities. But Real Property Management Realevate Specialists can certainly help. We are experts in single-family rental property management, and we absolutely can take care of all maintenance for you. Contact us online to learn more in connection with our quality services.

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