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Basic Rental Property Maintenance: Who Does What?

Ballard Tenant Replacing a Battery in the Smoke DetectorAs a Ballard property owner, it is relevant to perceive and know who is responsible for what concerning basic rental property maintenance. To keep your rental property in perfect condition and profitable, it’s great to have a proactive property maintenance system in place. This maintenance may be done by you or by a service technician. But really, there are a bunch of small maintenance tasks that you can and should expect your tenant to deal with. Here are several of the most common rental property maintenance tasks and who is most commonly responsible for each one:

Clogged toilets.  If a toilet becomes clogged, it is typically the tenant’s responsibility to repair and remove the blockage. With that said, there may be exceptions, especially if the blockage is caused by plumbing troubles unrelated to the tenant’s use. In this instance, you definitely would need to handle the repairs yourself or call a professional.

Broken windows. If a window is broken, it can be either the landlord’s or the tenant’s responsibility to repair or replace the window. This is related to the fact that the responsibility for window replacement lies with the reason for the breakage. If the window was broken due to tenant negligence, they should pay to replace it. Except, if a window is damaged due to severe weather or other occasions out of a tenant’s control, the property owner is responsible for repairing it. Call in mind that this is a security issue; mitigation is the key here.

Lightbulbs. Normally, tenants are responsible for replacing lightbulbs in their rental homes. This is because light fixtures are considered part of the tenant’s living space.

Carpeting and flooring. When you think about the cleanliness of flooring, this would be a tenant’s responsibility.  If the flooring gets destroyed or worn out, then the responsibility characteristically falls to the Ballard property manager. It has something to do with the fact that these are attributes of the property that see a lot of wear and tear over time. Occasionally, on the other hand, tenants may be responsible for damage to carpeting or flooring. If so, the tenant would need to pay for the repairs.

Batteries in smoke and CO detectors. Smoke and CO detectors are really important for keeping a rental property safe. The batteries in these devices should be habitually tested and replaced as may be required. On rare occasions, state law ascertains whether it is the landlord’s or the tenant’s responsibility to replace the batteries. But certainly, it doesn’t matter with whom the responsibility lies, as a landlord, you should be seeing to it to check and replace batteries two times per year.

Air filters.  Air filters help keep the air in a rental property clean and free of pollutants. In many situations, it’s the tenant’s responsibility to replace the air filters. But on the other hand, a  lot of properties have air filter systems that tenants cannot quite easily access and change themselves. If this is so in your rental property, it is your responsibility to see to it that your air filters are changed as regularly as prescribed.

When giving maintenance tasks to your tenants, it’s frequently imperative to encompass clear language spelling out all responsibilities in your lease. This will help to stave off any misapprehensions or disagreements down the road. By really understanding who is responsible for what when it comes to rental property maintenance, you can keep your property in perfect condition and avert any potential legal problems.


Rental property maintenance can be truly tough and time-consuming, in particular, if you will be bound to always check whether your tenant is fulfilling their responsibilities. But Real Property Management Uintah can help. We are experts in single-family rental property management, and we can effectively take care of all maintenance for you. Contact us online to learn more regarding our quality services.

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