Maintaining your rental property is an essential part of property management. To keep the rental property in top condition, it’s best for landlords to perform routine inspections and maintenance to prevent any repair issues from getting bigger.
With regular property inspections, landlords will be able to identify problems early on and resolve them, before they get too big and costly to repair.
In addition, the landlord-tenant law, most states include a provision about the responsibilities of both landlords and tenants to ensure that the property remains habitable and conducive for living. Both landlords and tenants should stay in compliance with the law to avoid problems and conflicts in the future.
In this article, we at Taylor Street Property Management will discuss the responsibilities of landlords and tenants as well as what other maintenance options a landlord can do to ensure the rental unit remains in its best condition.
What Are a Landlord’s Property Maintenance Responsibilities?
Landlords and property managers are required to abide by the rules and regulations as stated in the state’s landlord-tenant law when keeping their rental units in a certain habitable condition. Some states may have varied requirements depending on the state’s specific laws.
In general, the following are considered the landlords’ responsibilities to maintain the property:
Follow the Required Building Codes
It is the responsibility of the rental property owner to provide a safe, secure, and healthy environment for the renters. A few examples of building code requirements that landlords should comply with include the maximum capacity of the rental unit and placement of smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
Landlords should also make sure that the quality of plumbing and electrical work, as well as the quality and architectural design of the property’s structures, are following the law. Other potential maintenance problems that landlords should pay attention to include lead paint issues, mold issues, pest infestations, and asbestos issues.
Provide Proper Garbage Containers
As the owner of the property, you are required to provide tenants with proper containers where they can put their trash. Landlords should ensure that the size and number of garbage bins can accommodate the number of tenants living on the property.
Some towns and cities will require property owners to build some sort of enclosure around the garbage containers to prevent the trash from spilling. If you are unsure whether there are specific requirements for trash receptacles, it’s best to contact your local government units to inquire about these requirements.
Maintain the Property’s Common Areas
Landlords are required to keep common areas clean and safe. They should provide appropriate lighting, especially in dark areas. Stairs must have a stable banister, floors must be free from tripping hazards, and lawns must be well-maintained.
Provide Sufficient Water Supply
Tenants have the right to access running water in their rental property. Landlords must ensure that the tenants can access a functioning shower, toilet, and sink. It is also recommended for landlords to provide a working water heater to provide tenants with hot water.
Perform the Needed Repairs
According to the landlord-tenant law, it is the landlords’ responsibility to make the necessary repairs to keep the rental unit in a habitable condition. But if the damage to the property is caused by a tenant’s abuse or neglect, the landlord has the right to charge the repair cost to the tenant.
What Are the Tenants’ Property Maintenance Responsibilities?
While landlords should be responsible in keeping the rental units in a certain habitable condition, the tenants also have equal legal responsibility to maintain the rental unit. After all, both the landlord and tenants should work together to keep the rental home in its best shape.
The tenants’ responsibilities may differ by state, but the following are included in the general requirements:
Avoid Damage to the Property
Tenants are expected to treat the property with respect and not do anything that could potentially damage the premises. Any damage in the tenant's unit due to accidents caused by the tenants’ negligence or abusive behavior should be the tenants’ responsibility. To avoid this, its a good idea to develop a great communication strategy for managing your tenants with.
Keep the Plumbing Fixtures Clean
Tenants are required to keep all plumbing fixtures clean to prevent rust, mold, soap scum buildup, or excessive dirt. Tenants should only use the plumbing fixtures for their intended purpose. They should also not flush any trash down the toilet to avoid clogging.
Keep the Property Free From Safety Hazards
To keep the property safe all the time, tenants should make sure that all emergency exits are accessible. Also, tenants should not tamper with or remove batteries from smoke or carbon monoxide detectors. It’s also recommended to keep fire extinguishers easily accessible in case of fire emergency.
Comply With the Building and Housing Codes
Tenants are also expected to abide by the building and housing laws as well as safety standards. They should not exceed the maximum capacity agreed upon in the lease contract. They should not sneak in a pet if the property has a no-pet policy.
Keep the Property Clean and Free From Sanitary Hazards
It is the tenants’ responsibility to dispose of their trash properly. They should not let the garbage pile up in the unit to avoid any unpleasant odor and prevent any health issue. The tenant should also keep the premises reasonably clean and sanitary to prevent pest infestations, air pollution, and other health hazards.
Optional Maintenance Tasks You can Perform
- Seasonal Maintenance: Performing seasonal maintenance tasks can help keep your property in its best condition. These tasks include raking leaves, cutting grass, and cleaning the gutters.
- Routine Inspections: Doing regular inspections can help detect any issue early on before it becomes too big to handle. This can also help you determine whether your tenants are performing their share of responsibilities in keeping the rental unit well-maintained.
Completing property maintenance is the responsibility of both the landlord and the tenant but to fulfill these responsibilities, you need to complete a few challenges.
If you don’t want to go through the struggles of doing inspections, performing maintenance checks, and addressing repairs on your own, you can hire a professional property manager to perform all these duties for you. Contact Taylor Street Property Management at 602-603-9777 for inquiries.