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Property Management | Landlord Education Blog

Legal and Optional Tenant Maintenance Responsibilities

Legal and Optional Tenant Maintenance Responsibilities

Did you know that 36% of American households are rental properties? With over a third of people renting, understanding tenant responsibilities is increasingly essential.

You need to understand tenant maintenance responsibilities. Maintenance and repair duties differ from state to state and landlord to landlord.

Some repairs are the landlord's legal responsibility. Some more minor maintenance may be discretionary or the tenant's responsibility. Continue reading to learn about your typical tenant maintenance duties.

Legal Landlord Maintenance Responsibilities

Legal maintenance responsibilities are repairs that landlords are legally compelled to make. These repairs are often tied to potential health and safety hazards in a rental property.

Landlords are responsible for the rental property's structural integrity. Landlords must guarantee that their rental properties are safe for tenants. This includes the stability and functionality of the following:

  • walls
  • roof
  • foundation
  • electricity
  • water
  • air conditioning

Landlords must guarantee that their rental properties are safe for tenants. This includes correcting any risks, such as faulty wiring or wobbly handrails. They are also legally obligated to take care of any insect infestations.

Potential Tenant Maintenance Responsibilities

Tenant maintenance responsibilities encompass everything beyond the landlord's legally defined scope. Making these roles clear can help you avoid conflict. Tenants are responsible for routine maintenance such as:

  • light bulb replacement
  • air filter replacement
  • gutter cleaning

This allows landlords to assume some responsibility for the home's ongoing maintenance.

Minor repairs, such as fixing a leaky faucet, could be the tenants' responsibility. Examine your tenancy agreement to see if your landlord will cover the cost or repair of such issues.

In longer leases, the landlord may allow the tenant to do home upgrades with their approval. Tenants may try installing new light fixtures with their landlord's consent.

Tenants should carefully read their lease agreement to understand their maintenance responsibilities. In rare situations, tenants may be held liable for repairs. However, they would typically fall under the purview of the landlord.

Landlords cannot ask renters to make repairs that are the landlord's legal responsibility.

What Is the Process of Getting a Repair?

Tenants must promptly report any maintenance issues to their landlord. You must inform your landlord about maintenance issues on time. Failure to do so might lead to more costly repairs.

Establish an open line of communication with your landlord. This can ensure that repairs happen promptly.

Tenants should keep track of all maintenance requests. They should follow up with their landlord for that repairs are completed on schedule. This can help ensure that routine maintenance is done promptly.

Understand Your Role

You need to understand the tenant and landlord's legal maintenance responsibilities. Tenants must read their lease agreement and report maintenance issues to their landlords.

Landlords must meet their legal maintenance obligations. Yet, they should communicate fully with renters about their optional maintenance obligations. Understanding tenant maintenance responsibilities is a must.

Tenants and landlords can ensure that a rental property is a safe and suitable place to live. Contact our team at Renters Warehouse for help navigating the tenant-landlord relationship.