7 Maintenance Issues Tenants Are Responsible For

Owning an apartment comes with its own list of responsibilities that as a landlord you are responsible for. But sometimes, it can be confusing what maintenance issues you are required to take care of and which ones are the responsibility of your tenant. To clear up any confusion you may be having, here are 7 maintenance issues the tenant is required to take of:

1. Overall Cleaning

The moment your tenant crosses the threshold into the apartment the tenant (and those who share the abode) are the sole people responsible for maintaining the cleanliness of the apartment. From the basics of a clean kitchen to the more difficult scuff marks on the foyer floor.

The landlord is required to keep the carpets in the hall clean, make sure that the upkeep of the main foyer of the building is pleasant to visitors and renters, and in some cases, ensure that the windows on the outside of the building are regularly cleaned.

2. Appliance Preservation

One of the tenant’s responsibilities is ensuring that all appliances within the unit are maintained by the occupant of the unit unless otherwise discussed at the beginning of the lease. This includes the kitchen appliances, laundry facilities, and possibly a heater or air conditioning unit.

The tenant maintenance responsibilities of these appliances include tasks like changing a filter on a microwave, keeping an oven clean, ensuring that the dishwasher is receiving all the proper fluids and is picked clean of excess food particles. Any physical repairs are to be discussed with the landlord.

3. Garbage Disposal

Although for a large building there is a standard garbage pick-up day, it is the responsibility of the tenant to regularly dispose of any garbage within his or her unit. This includes emptying recycling items into the correct bins, throwing out garbage bags down a chute, and even following proper compost procedures.

4. Snow Removal

Typically, when living in an apartment building, snow removal does not fall as one of the tenant’s responsibilities. Especially if that tenant lives on a floor higher than the first floor. However, if the tenant is living in a townhome, then snow removal of a shared walkway typically falls to the tenant that is closest to the shared walkways.

In some cases, this maintenance issue is handled by a housing cooperative in which case a monthly or yearly fee is paid for this job to be taken care of by a paid company. This can also be the case for lawn care, such as cutting the lawn, but again, this would be covered by a fee.

5. Landscaping

If you are renting a property with an outdoor area to a tenant, whether a balcony, terrace, or walk-out to some outdoor space, it then becomes the tenant’s right and responsibility to maintain this outdoor space.

These maintenance issues include cutting and watering the lawn, taking care of a garden, raking of leaves, or even the removal of objects such as a fallen tree branch. It is expected by the landlord and the surrounding tenants that the renter is responsible for keeping a clean and welcoming outside property.

6. Smoke Detectors

If a smoke or carbon monoxide (CO) detector has become defective, needs a new battery, or needs to be replaced, then generally it is the responsibility of the landlord to replace the unit. It is, however, the tenant’s responsibility to maintain a safe environment where the alarm is not regularly going off.

7. Open Communication with the Landlord 

The tenant is responsible for understanding his or her lease so that no mistake is made in what he or she is responsible for. A tenant that does not inform the landlord of any issues within the unit outside of the regular tenant maintenance issues then becomes financially responsible for any unreported issues.

As a landlord, you can make sure to build a great relationship with your tenant so they can always come forward when facing problems that need immediate assistance. The more they feel comfortable in your property, the higher the likelihood of them renewing their lease; taking time off your shoulders to find new tenants for the property.

Author’s Bio:
Danielle thrives on researching and writing on all aspects of life. Further to writing for Zumper blog and personal finance, she is an advocate of self-improvement and living a life that is both financially responsible and knowledgeable. When she is not on her computer, she can be found spending time with her husband and two sons.

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