Renting a home can alleviate a large amount of property maintenance for a renter. What items are the responsibilities of the tenant and what are the landlord’s responsibilities? Most property managers and/or owners take care of major repairs but there are many that fall in a gray area. This can cause a major miscommunication between the two entities that can result in a strained relationship. The property itself will most likely suffer if no one is taking care of issues that may arise.
Each property has a different set of lease agreements that cover property maintenance and property care. There are times when the lease agreement does not specifically address routine maintenance. Each of the entities may assume a particular situation is the others responsibility. Common maintenance issues often get lost in the responsibility delegation.
Points to Address When Signing the Lease
● Changing return air filters
● Exterior cleaning of windows, siding and walkways
● Chimney and fireplace cleaning
● Changing out refrigerator filters
● Trimming of shrubs and trees
● Clearing clogged drains
Photo via: TripAdvisor
Photo via: Homeguides
According to Homeguides.com, landlords are responsible for repairs needed to keep their rental units habitable. They’re generally not responsible for repairs needed because of tenant actions or damage. Most major repairs and property maintenance like electrical, plumbing and structural repairs are made by the landlord. A lack of attention to minor issues ca
n and will lead the way to larger problems down the road. The responsibility will be placed on one or the other of the tenant or landlord either through negotiation and many times through the courts. It is extremely important to read the fine print when signing a lease and also to ask questions about such items. They may seem trivial at the time. If left unanswered, they can become a topic that both parties will wish they had discussed in the beginning not to mention a costly one. If the lease doesn’t address such issues, check the real estate laws of your particular state as well as local laws that pertain to lease law to see what is expected out of each party. A little due-diligence in the beginning of the lease relationship will alleviate stress and heartache in the end.