How to Maintain Your Rental Property

To ensure that your unit is in its excellent state and safe, you should practice regular maintenance. Compared to your residential home, rental properties demand more attention since a lot of occupants lead to more wear and tear.

Under the landlord-tenant law, there are duties that both landlords and tenants must fulfill so the rental unit remains in its best shape.

Learning a Landlord’s Property Maintenance Duties

As a landlord, your responsibility is to keep an outstanding and habitable home for your renters, as mandated under the landlord-tenant law. Requirements may vary in different states but there are commonalities such as:

1. Providing proper trash receptacles.

Landlords are expected to have trash bins around the rental home for renters to throw out their garbage. Depending on the number of tenants you have and the frequency of the trash collection, the number of trash receptacles on your property and their sizes must be suitable.

You must also mind the local regulations since some towns can require you to put an enclosure surrounding the trash receptacles.

2. Ensuring an ample running water supply.

A tenant must be able to access running water while staying in your rental home. This extends to having a functioning toilet, shower, and sink. You’re also expected to have a water heater that’s in good condition for the renter’s comfort.

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3. Complying with building codes.

Landlords should make sure that their renters live in a secure and healthy environment.

Standards must be met in terms of the number of people staying in the unit, placing smoke and carbon dioxide detectors, performing plumbing and electrical work, keeping the structural integrity of the building.

4. Maintaining the common property areas.

All common areas of your property must be well-cleaned and lit up with adequate lighting. They must also be secure. Stairs and flooring must be hazard-free and fixed if there are damages.

5. Conducting repairs.

For the rental to remain attractive, it must be well-maintained. Leaks must be fixed, property damages scheduled for repairs. Should tenants neglect or abuse the unit, landlords are allowed to charge the renters for repair fees.

6. Checking that all important systems are working.

Home systems must be in great working order and this includes plumbing, heating, electrical and appliances in the property. If renters are in charge of utility bills, then payment must be made on time so there’s no service interruption.

Ways that Tenants are Required to Contribute to Property Maintenance

Though it’s common for landlords to be in charge of property maintenance, tenants also need to take up their share of maintaining the unit.

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In fact, under the landlord-tenant law, the renters are also expected to comply with reasonable maintenance of the rental place. Though the tasks vary from state to state, there are commonalities that intersect such as:

1. Making sure that the home is in sanitary condition.

Renters are expected to dispose of their trash properly. Otherwise, health issues may crop up. Reasonable cleaning is also part of the tenant’s duty to ensure that the unit is free from pest infestation and other dangers caused by unsanitary conditions.

2. Ensuring the rental is kept away from safety hazards.

For everyone’s security, especially during emergencies, there should not be anything blocking the emergency exits of the rental unit. In addition, the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors must not be tampered with for safety and reliability.

3. Adhering to the building and housing codes.

Renters are obliged to comply with the building and housing laws to minimize risks. If the leasing agreement states that only a certain number of people are allowed to live on a property, this must be followed.

Adding more occupants can be dangerous in case a fire occurs. Further, the more people staying on your property, the greater the chances for wear and tear and the higher the utility bills. This can be an issue for landlords.

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4. Preventing the growth of mold.

Mold is a by-product of excess moisture and can be a health hazard. It’s the duty of renters to prevent it from happening. Turning on a fan and opening the windows after bathing can prevent the build-up of moisture.

Any case of mold growth should be reported to the landlord for quick remediation.

5. Avoid disturbing potential lead paint hazards.

Properties constructed prior to 1978 can contain lead paint that’s hazardous to health. Renters who want to repaint a unit or redecorate it while drilling holes should reach out to the landlords first for permission.

6. Taking care of the property.

Renters are expected to treat the unit with proper care, clean it up well and not neglect it. This includes preventing plumbing fixtures from soap buildup and being subjected to rust and mold. Tenants must keep these fixtures clean.

For appliances issued by landlords, renters should also keep them reasonably clean, such as preventing grease build-up and cleaning spilled food. The appliances must also be used for their proper function.

In addition, the tenants must not cause property damage, including in the common areas. While normal wear and tear is understandable, excess damage from holes on the wall and cracked countertops are inexcusable.

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Additional Ways For Tenants To Help in Maintaining the Unit

  • Seasonal maintenance - this can include cutting the grass, shoveling snow during the winter, raking the leaves, trimming the overgrown branches, and cleaning the gutters.
  • Getting rid of the garbage - the renter can be mindful of the proper garbage collection schedule to prevent landlords from being penalized.
  • Cleaning up the common areas - simple sweeping, mopping, and removing the garbage counts a lot in keeping the environment well-maintained.
  • Reporting the problems right away - renters can detect property issues given that they’re residing inside the unit. If something is brought to your attention, it’s vital to conduct an inspection to ensure that it’s addressed quickly to keep repair costs down.

Bottom Line

If you need help maintaining your rental home, contact TE Johnson & Sons today! We can help with all aspects of property management, such as rent collection, tenant screening, and of course property maintenance. Contact us today to get started!

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