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Landlord & Tenant Maintenance Responsibilities

landlord and tenant maintenance dutiesOwning a rental property means keeping up with the obligation of maintaining it in an excellent fashion.

As a landlord, you’re also held liable under the landlord-tenant law to ensure the well-being of your tenants by providing a safe, clean and habitable living space for them.

That said, tenants also have a responsibility to keep up with the conditions of the rental unit.

In this post, we are going over some of the maintenance duties that landlords and tenants must perform.

Maintenance Duties Landlords Must Perform

Landlord-tenant laws define the responsibilities that landlords are expected to meet.

As a landlord, here are some of your maintenance responsibilities:

1. Ensure Proper Disposal of Garbage is Available

Garbage that’s improperly handled can result in unsanitary conditions.

It’s your duty to place a sufficient number of trash receptacles in the rental unit. Consider the number of renters and the frequency of trash collection when deciding how many trash receptacles you want to have in your rental.

You must also follow your city’s garbage storage regulations. Most towns have specific policies to maintain a hygienic environment in the neighborhood.

2. Supply Adequate Running Water

Running water is an essential basic service you must provide tenants. For renters to experience a comfortable and sanitary environment, they must have access to showers, kitchens and bathrooms with functional water services.

3. Adhere to Safety Building Codes

When running a rental property, providing your tenants with safety is a priority.

Building codes are created to achieve a livable environment. Thus, you must comply with the acceptable tenant limit depending on the size of the rental home.

Also, make sure that your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, as well as your electrical and plumbing systems are functioning well.

Finally, you must also prevent and remediate mold problems and resolve pest infestation issues if they arise.

4. Keep Up with the Maintenance of Common Areas

Since common areas are where most renters gather, you must keep up with their cleanliness.

You should also make sure that there is ample lighting in the area to guarantee more safety. Stairs and railings must be inspected from time to time to reduce accidents.

mop the floors

5. Respond to Repairs

As a landlord, when a tenant reports a property damage, you must coordinate for a repair as soon as possible.

You must also determine the root cause of the damage. If the property damage was caused by the renter’s neglect and abuse, then you can use the tenant’s security deposit to pay for the repair costs.

6. Keep all Vital Services Running

Without fundamental services in full operational mode, tenants won’t want to stay in your rental long-term. So, you must ensure that your electrical, plumbing, gas and appliances work well.

Maintenance Duties Tenants Must Perform

We all know that landlords are expected to keep an excellent check of the rental property. However, under the law, tenants also have their own responsibilities.

Here are some of the things tenants must do:

1. Maintain a Sanitary Environment to Avoid Hazards

Tenants must keep up with cleanliness standards through proper trash disposal. Letting garbage accumulate can attract rodents and compromise one’s health.

Maintaining a tidy rental means limiting pest issues and respiratory problems.

2. Comply to Building Safety Codes

Each rental unit is presumed to hold a specific number of people. If a renter dismisses the limit by allowing more people to occupy the rental, it can lead to safety problems.

Additionally, the more people living in a rental, the quicker the property will wear and tear. Utilities are also guaranteed to rise with each extra occupant.

3. Eradicate Mold Growth

Tenants are expected to report water leaks and manage moisture to avoid mold growth.

Keeping areas well-ventilated must be practiced regularly. Bathrooms, laundry areas and kitchens are prone to mold. For immediate remediation, tenants should approach the landlord once mold growth is detected.

mold on wall

4. Treat the Rental with Respect

Renters must keep up with reasonable cleanliness. Damages must be reported so landlords can address the issues quickly.

Renters must also maintain clean plumbing fixtures. They should wipe down dirt and moisture buildup that can result in rusty conditions.

They must also take care of existing appliances. They must clean up and be aware of proper food storage. Otherwise, spoiled food can be stuck in refrigerators and spillage can accumulate on stoves. Filters must also be cleaned from dust often for the appliances to function in top condition.

Establishing Maintenance Agreements

For proper guidance, landlords can create a sound maintenance procedure with their renters. They can designate and delegate tasks to keep the rental functioning properly.

For instance, some of the maintenance duties to delegate can include:

  • Trimming the grass
  • Removing the weeds
  • Shoveling the snow
  • Cleaning after dead leaves
  • Keeping the gutters debris-free

You must also encourage tenants to report signs of property damage problems immediately.

You also need to define which repairs are considered minor and which ones are considered major. Perhaps you may state that minor repairs, such as replacing a light bulb, are the renters’ responsibility.

Once a solid agreement is reached, you’ll see that keeping your rental in good condition and keeping it well maintained is easily accomplished.

maintenance agreement

Bottom Line

If you own a rental property, you have the obligation of maintaining it and keeping it in good condition.

Under the landlord-tenant law, you have the responsibility of ensuring tenants live in a well-maintained, clean and habitable unit.

Tenants also have their own responsibilities to ensure the unit is well maintained.

We hope this article helped you understand each parties duties when it comes to maintaining the rental unit.

If you’re looking for more information, feel free to contact Realevate Specialists.

We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.