Regular maintenance is necessary to keep a home in top condition. Rental properties may require more ongoing maintenance than single-family houses because of their usage, size, and density.
Recognize the legal obligations that landlords and tenants have toward one another as well as any additional responsibilities that a tenant may undertake to help keep the rental property in good condition.
The team from Windermere Property Management has put together this article to help landlords know their maintenance responsibilities as well as those of their tenants. Keeping a rental well-maintained makes for a happy tenant, after all.
What are a Landlord's Duties Regarding Rental Property Maintenance?
Landlords are required to keep their rental houses in a particular condition as per housing laws and regulations. The requirements may differ slightly depending on state law, but in general, landlords must:
Supplying Tenants with Enough Garbage Cans
According to the legislation, landlords must give their renters garbage cans big enough to hold the right amount of rubbish.
The size and quantity of these bins should be appropriate for both landlords and tenants, taking into account how frequently waste is collected from each building each week or month. Some communities also want this type of enclosure around them!
The landlord is also responsible for making sure these containers adhere to all applicable laws and standards. If there is no enclosure around them, it is necessary to make sure everything complies with code for safety concerns (along with neighbors' complaints) if you intend to rent out your home.
Provision of Sufficient Clean Water
Running water is one of those necessities in any rental property. The ability or lack thereof of the renter to maintain the property may be limited if there are issues like broken pipes or a malfunctioning heater, making the space uninhabitable.
Adherence to Housing Codes and Regulations
In order to rent out a property, a landlord must ensure that it complies with specific requirements under the state's housing code.
This entails maintaining appropriate electrical and plumbing fittings as well as offering their tenants a safe and healthy living space. The specifications also specify how smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors must be installed.
Additionally, landlords need to pay attention to what's going on outside each unit as well. It entails making sure there aren't any stuffed trash cans close to open windows where pests could squeeze in.
It also includes ensuring your tenants follow rules regarding the building's structural integrity, toxic paint issues, mold issues, and asbestos issues.
Continuous Maintenance of the Common Areas in a Property
To keep the property secure, landlords are required to maintain the common areas. They should also be alert for any potential trip or injury dangers, such as slick flooring and dimly lit staircases.
Complete All Required Repairs
Landlords are required to maintain their homes in a livable and safe state. In addition to the previously owed rent, individuals who suffer damages may be penalized for any necessary repairs if they consider the tenant has been abusive or neglectful of it. Normal wear and tear, however, is exempt from these penalizations.
Verify the Optimal Performance of Essential Systems
The maintenance of the property's plumbing, heating, and electrical systems is the legal responsibility of the landlord. Additionally, make sure that any given services, such gas, are functioning properly.
In order to guarantee that things go smoothly during any rental agreement, it's crucial for landlords to be aware of both the services they are accountable for and those belonging to tenants.
What are the Legal Obligations of Tenants Towards Property Maintenance?
Even while they are aware that landlords are required to maintain rental homes to some extent, even high-quality tenants may not be aware of their legal maintenance obligations under landlord tenant law. Similar to that, these may differ by state, although typical requirements could include:
Ensuring the Apartment is Free from Sanitary Hazards
The tenant is responsible for maintaining the apartment's cleanliness and sanitary conditions. This includes correctly disposing of your trash and preventing its accumulation in your unit or the attraction of bugs that could endanger your health and the health of other residents.
Ensuring the Apartment is Free from Safety Hazards
Tenants are responsible for making sure all emergency exits are open and unblocked. Never remove the batteries from smoke or carbon monoxide detectors.
Adhering to State, Federal and Local Building and Housing Codes
The tenant must abide by all applicable building and rental laws. There is no room for additional guests to live in their home without approval from both parties if they have a signed lease for two individuals.
Due to the lack of fire safety, this could result in hazardous situations as well as higher utility bills because the landlord will probably be responsible for paying these costs if an apartment or house is rented out and has numerous tenants residing there for an overly extended period of time.
Preventing Mold Growth
Tenants are responsible for preventing their unit from being too damp, which could promote the growth of mold. This may require leaving the bathroom fan on all the time or opening the window while taking a shower to prevent the growth of mold.
As soon as a tenant notices any areas that are consistently damp or have the beginnings of mold, they must immediately alert the landlord.
Practicing Property Maintenance
Tenants are responsible for maintaining the property's reasonable cleanliness, treating it with respect, and not mistreating or ignoring it. Seasonal maintenance, timely waste removal, cleaning of common spaces, reporting of issues straight away, etc. are additional maintenance opportunities for the renter.
However, the landlord must perform repairs on the rental property themselves, or they must be contracted out. It is unlawful to put a clause in your lease that holds a tenant responsible for all maintenance and repairs to the property.
The situation changes if you and the tenant agree that the tenant is in charge of doing particular maintenance and repairs.
Many landlords have a propensity to ignore their duty to do maintenance on a rented property. As you can see, it may cost you money or leave you in legal trouble. The best course of action would be to collaborate with an appropriate property management firm.
As a landlord in Spokane, Washington, be sure to work with Windermere Property Management, the top property management company in the area, to manage your rental properties and protect your real estate investment. We handle all important tasks, such as tenant screening, routine maintenance, and tenant interaction.
Honesty, openness, and loyalty to our clients’ interests serve as the cornerstones of our expert property management services. Every action we take to guarantee the performance and growth of your real estate investment reflects these ideals.