To enhance the value of your rental and keep attracting tenants, your property needs to be properly maintained. Rental units require more effort given the number of people living on the property and the square footage of the building. This article details the essential tasks landlords and tenants must perform as detailed by landlord-tenant law.
Landlord Property Maintenance Duties
As a landlord, you’re mandated by California landlord-tenant law to keep up the proper condition of your rental property. Requirements may not be the same in all states but some of the required tasks are standard, such as:
Providing Garbage Bins
To ensure that renters keep your rental home clean, you need to place trash receptacles around the unit. Decide the number and size of the rubbish containers in relation to how many occupants are staying on the property and how frequently the garbage is collected each week. Also, be aware of your city’s local regulations like installing an enclosure around the trash bins
Ensuring Running Water Is Available
Without a usable water supply, your rental property is essentially unliveable. Toilets, showers, and sinks must have access to running water.
Complying with All Building Codes
Rental property safety is extremely important and landlords are required to create a secure and healthy atmosphere for the renters.
Creating a safe environment includes things like making sure the designated number of tenants are staying in the unit, providing smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, ensuring your property is structurally sound and that issues like mold, lead paint, and pest infestations are resolved.
Paying Attention to the Property’s Common Areas
Given that common areas are where a lot of the renters congregate, this must be kept clean and provided with ample lighting. Flooring and stairs should be periodically inspected for safety to avoid accidents and injuries.
Attending to Repairs
For the rental property to remain in a habitable state, any damages must be sent repaired as quickly as possible. Should the damage be traced to a tenant’s abuse and neglect, then the repair cost can be forwarded to the renter.
Ensuring Essential Services Are Fully Functional
All the key home systems must be in good working order so the tenants can live comfortably in the rental space. As a landlord, you must regularly check and maintain the plumbing, electrical, gas, and furnished appliances.
Tenant Property Maintenance Duties
Although its common knowledge that landlords must focus on maintaining the rentals, tenants are also obligated to perform their responsibilities as mandated by California landlord-tenant law. The tasks may not be uniform in all states but they generally include:
Protecting the Rental from Sanitary Issues
Proper garbage disposal is necessary and renters are expected to keep the rental free from trash to avoid facing health problems. A clean unit also discourages major maintenance issues like pest infestation or mold growth.
Keeping the Unit Free from Safety Hazards
Emergency exits are required so renters can escape quickly from danger. It’s then required that blockages are removed to avoid unnecessary stress if a crisis occurs. Renters are also expected to avoid tampering with smoke or carbon monoxide detectors so they function well when the situation calls for it.
Adhering to Building and Housing Codes
Building and housing laws are created for the safety of tenants, so it’s important that renters adhere to these rules. The number of occupants must be strictly enforced to avoid facing a safety issue, especially in case of a fire. More renters will also lead to an increase in utility bills and potential for damages to the rental unit as a result of natural wear and tear.
Preventing Mold Growth
Mold can spring from excess moisture and renters are encouraged to switch a fan or open the window in the bathroom to dry out the area quickly. If tenants notice mold growing, then they are obligated to bring it to the attention of the property owner for immediate resolution.
Avoiding the Disturbance of Potential Lead Paint Hazards
For properties built before 1978, landlords can ask the renters to get in touch with them when they’re planning to redecorate the rental unit. Drilling holes may lead to disturbance of potential lead paint around the home.
Showing Respect to the Property
As renters, the property must be treated with reasonable care. Tenants should be cleaning and taking care to avoid neglect or abuse of the unit in any way. This covers looking after the appliances furnished by the landlord, plumbing fixtures, and refraining from contributing to property damage.
Other Ways for Tenants to Help with Property Maintenance
Renters can choose to take more responsibility for maintaining the property. They can perform:
- Seasonal maintenance work. Raking leaves, cleaning gutters, trimming overgrown branches, removing weeds, or mowing the lawn.
- Removing garbage. You can help out the landlord or make an agreement to retrieve trash bins once they’ve been emptied after trash collection.
- Keeping common areas tidy. Renters can also do their share of vacuuming, sweeping, and mopping the floors of the common areas. They can also make it a habit not to leave any garbage lying around.
- Reporting problems right away. If renters have spotted property issues, they can help landlords by reporting them. Given that they’re staying on the property for a long time, they will notice problems more quickly than landlords will during scheduled property inspections.
Landlords are responsible for performing property repairs or hiring contractors to handle them. Including a clause in the lease that the renter is obliged to deal with property maintenance and repair is considered illegal.
However, making an agreement about who should conduct particular maintenance duties and repairs is acceptable. When renters cause damages in the unit out of neglect, then they’re obliged to fix them. The landlord can also arrange for the repairs but collect the cost of repairs from the renter.
If you want help with maintaining your rental property or navigating your responsibilities as a landlord, contact Pinnacle Property Management today. We can take care of the most frustrating duties of owning a rental property so you can enjoy all the benefits.