Legal and Optional Tenant Maintenance Responsibilities

Legal and Optional Tenant Maintenance Responsibilities

Many landlords in the United States rely on the services of a property management company. Research shows that more than nine million houses use a property manager.

This can take much of the responsibilities off your shoulders as a landlord. Property managers handle several duties, such as tenant screening, rent collection, and property maintenance requests.

However, if you manage your own rental, you might not know what lies on who's shoulders. Even though you own the property, not all maintenance falls squarely on you.

Keep reading to brush up on your legal duties as a landlord. This article lays out who is responsible for what.

Responsibilities of a Landlord

Because you own the investment property, some major maintenance tasks fall to you, and not much is optional. However, maintenance tasks may vary, depending on your state. Typically, the following are the responsibilities of a landlord:

Keep Structural Elements Sound

Keeping the structure sound is a landlord's legal responsibility. Structural elements include floors, walls, roofs, and stairs. Regular property inspections can help identify problem areas early.

Common Areas

Legally, the landlord must keep all common areas clean and safe. This applies if you own a commercial building or apartment block because it incorporates stairways and hallways.

Essential Services

Keeping the essential services in working condition is the landlord's legal responsibility. These services include electrical, plumbing, ventilation, and HVAC property maintenance.

Pest Infestations

If the property experiences a pest infestation, it is the legal responsibility of the landlord to contact an exterminator. Pests can include rodents and cockroaches.

Responsibilities of a Tenant

Thankfully for your wallet, some duties are legally the tenant's. Some legal and optional obligations of a tenant are:

Proper Garbage Disposal

It's the tenant's legal responsibility to take out the trash regularly. The tenant may not allow garbage to pile up around the property.

Keeping a Clean Property

Keeping the property clean and well looked after is another legal responsibility for the tenant. Ultimately, the tenant needs to treat the rental property with respect.

Notifying the Landlord

When something attached to the property goes faulty, gets damaged, or stops working, it's optional whether the tenant has to inform the landlord.

Asking your tenants to do this will help you keep up with repairs before they become more costly. Having a good relationship with your tenants help.

Where to Declare the Responsibilities

All parties must understand which responsibilities fall on their shoulders. To ensure this happens, all obligations should be indicated in the lease agreement, which both parties sign. That way, neither party can claim they were unaware.

Keep on Top of Your Property Maintenance Responsibilities

As a landlord, many property maintenance responsibilities fall on your shoulders and aren't optional. The landlord's obligations are keeping the property safe, maintaining common areas, and keeping essential services in working order.

Tenants must legally keep the property clean and dispose of their garbage regularly and correctly. It's their choice if they want to notify the landlord if anything significant needs repairs or maintenance.

Contact us today if you'd rather not trouble yourself remembering who does what. At Team PMI Foothills, our highly-trained property managers await to assist you with your investment properties.