To keep your rental property in its best condition, you need to perform regular inspection and maintenance. By doing regular maintenance, you can keep your tenants happy and satisfied, giving them a reason to stay in the property for the long term.
In general, rental properties need more maintenance because of the number of residents that stay in it.
As a rental property owner, you have the responsibility to ensure that the property is well taken care of, even if it is vacant. However, keeping the rental property in its top shape is a shared responsibility of both tenants and landlords.
These responsibilities are usually indicated under the landlord-tenant law. It is crucial that both tenants and landlords are aware of their responsibilities.
Aside from the usual provisions under the tenant-landlord law, landlords can also include optional tasks for tenants and state these in the lease agreement. Doing regular property inspections can help the landlords determine if the tenants are doing their share of responsibilities to ensure that the property is well-maintained.
Rental Owners’ Property Maintenance Responsibilities
Landlords must always adhere to the rules and regulations outlined in the local landlord-tenant law. Rental property owners should always ensure to keep the rental home habitable by complying with the provisions under the law and ensuring emergency maintenance issues are dealt with promptly. Keep in mind that the specific requirements for a habitable rental home may vary from state to state.
In general, the following rules shall always apply:
Landlords Should Provide Running Water
Tenants have the right to access running water, as well as access to a functioning shower, sink, and toilet. Landlords are also expected to provide access to a working water heater so tenants can get hot water when they need to.
Landlords are Required to Provide Proper Garbage Receptacles
It is the responsibility of the rental property owner to provide tenants with garbage bins for proper trash disposal. Landlords should ensure that they provide garbage cans that are sufficient enough to accommodate the number of residents in the property.
Moreover, the trash bin’s size should also be enough depending on the number of times the garbage is collected in a week. Some cities have certain requirements for garbage receptacles, so it’s recommended to contact your local government to ensure that you comply with the necessary requirements.
Landlords Should Comply with the Building Codes
Landlords should provide a safe environment for renters by making sure that the property adheres to the local building codes and state laws. Landlords should impose a maximum number of occupants in the property to ensure safety.
Rental property owners should also follow the rules on building structures, proper placement of smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, plumbing, and electrical lines. There are also requirements on certain issues including pest infestations, lead paint, asbestos, and mold that should be followed.
Landlords Should Perform the Needed Repairs on a Timely Basis
As a landlord, it is your responsibility to address repairs and maintenance issues as soon as possible. You should make the necessary repairs so your rental property remains in a habitable condition.
However, the landlord can charge the repair cost to the tenant if the needed repair is due to a tenant’s abusive behavior or negligence.
Landlords Should Ensure That All Necessary Services are Working
Aside from providing water supply, landlords should also make sure that vital services are working properly. These include plumbing, electricity, gas, and other appliances provided by the landlord.
However, if the tenant is paying their own utilities, then it is the tenant’s responsibility to pay their bills on time to ensure that these services will not be shut off.
Landlords Should Maintain Common Areas
The common areas of the premises should be maintained by the landlord. Common areas should be clean, with proper lighting, and generally safe. Stairs must have a stable banister, floors must be free from tripping hazards, and the eternal area should have proper lighting fixtures to avoid accidents at night.
Tenants’ Property Maintenance Responsibilities
Tenants also have specific duties to keep the property clean, safe,and well-maintained. tenants who are abusive, negligent, and cause deliberate damage to the premises can be evicted under the landlord-tenant law.
Among the common legal responsibilities of tenants include the following:
Tenants Should Abide by Housing and Building Codes
Tenants are also required to follow the rules and regulations stated in the local building and housing law. If there is a required maximum number of people in a rental property, tenants should not sneak in any additional person.
They should also follow the rules stated on the rental agreement, such as rules regarding pets and guests.
Tenants Should Maintain Proper Sanitation in the Property
Tenants are expected to keep the property free from health and sanitary hazards. For instance, tenants should be responsible in disposing of their garbage using the proper trash receptacles. It's important to not let the garbage pile up to prevent health issues.
It is also the tenants’ responsibility to keep the premises well sanitized to prevent odors, pest infestations, and other issues.
Tenants Should Keep the Property Safe
It is also the tenants’ responsibility to keep the rental unit free from safety hazards. Tenants should make sure that all emergency exits are accessible by not blocking them with their furniture or belongings.
Tenants should not tamper with smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and they should keep a fire extinguisher in a place where it’s easily accessible.
Tenants Should Respect the Property
Tenants are expected to treat the property with care and respect the owner’s investment. If landlords provide them with working appliances, tenants must keep them clean, free from grease and unpleasant smells.
The fridge should be free from rotting or spilled food. Also, the appliances should only be used for their intended purpose to avoid damage.
In addition, tenants should not deliberately damage the rental unit and any furniture provided by the landlord. While normal wear and tear is expected, deliberate damage due to abusive behavior should not be tolerated.
A great way to make sure your tenant is abiding by the rules is to perform a renewal screening.
Other Ways to Maintain Your Rental Home
You can also keep your rental unit well-maintained and in its best condition by doing the following:
- Perform regular inspections so you’ll be able to determine if tenants are doing their part to keep the rental unit well taken care of
- Perform seasonal maintenance like raking leaves, cutting grass, and cleaning the gutters
If you’re still unsure about how to properly maintain your rental property, get in touch with the top property management team in the area, Limestone Country Properties. At Limestone, we’re dedicated to helping you in all aspects of property management, so contact us today and learn how to get the most out of your rental property investment!