What You Need to Know


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In every landlord-tenant relationship, landlords and tenants have their own responsibilities. You may not understand at first what to expect from your landlord. How do you know when to submit a maintenance request to your property manager or landlord instead of trying to fix something yourself? Who is responsible for damage from normal wear and tear?

Before renting accommodation or signing a rental agreement, find out about the tenant’s responsibility when renting a house or apartment.

What are the tenants’ obligations?

First, what does it mean for a landlord or tenant to have obligations? In short, tenant obligations are what you as a tenant must do to meet the terms of your lease in accordance with the laws and regulations in your city and state. Some of these obligations will be explicitly listed in your lease, especially when they do not traditionally belong to either a landlord or a tenant. In other cases, the obligations of the tenant and the landlord are part of your business relationship.

What are your tenant responsibilities for tenant maintenance? Check the terms of your lease to make sure, but in general you can assume that as a tenant you will be responsible for the following.

1. Keep the rental unit clean and safe

You are responsible for keeping a rental home or apartment in reasonably clean and safe condition. In general, you should avoid excessive accumulation of dirt or dust in the rental unit. This also usually means cleaning your kitchen to avoid attracting rodents, for example, and not letting the cardboard or paper get so wet that mold starts growing on the materials. You should also make sure that the emergency exits are accessible. As a tenant, you should also follow the parts of the local building and housing codes regarding safety and health standards that apply to tenants.

2. Eliminate waste

As a tenant, you must clean your own garbage in the house and dispose of it regularly in the equipped bins. Depending on the terms of your lease, you are probably also responsible for taking garbage and recycling bins to the curb so that the garbage can be collected weekly.

3. Maintain and properly operate appliances and fixtures

While you don’t need to fix any electrical or plumbing fixtures in your apartment – you should ask your landlord if something is broken rather than trying to fix an appliance yourself – you are responsible for maintenance of appliances such as toilets, showers. heating and cooling systems in good condition and using them only for the purposes for which they were designed. You are also responsible for the maintenance and correct use of appliances such as your dishwasher, washing machine or microwave oven. Again, immediately notify your landlord if these devices in your apartment or rental home are not working properly so they can fix them.

4. Prevent major property damage

As part of your rental agreement, you will likely pay your landlord or property management company a security deposit. The security deposit is refundable at the end of your lease. However, your landlord can use the security deposit to pay for any damage you inflict on the rental property that goes beyond normal wear and tear.

You’ll want to make sure that you, your guests, or anyone else you allow on your property won’t damage the unit, including common areas or places you have access to, like a backyard or basement. As a renter, you could be responsible for the removal of appliances such as appliances or lights, failure to meet occupancy requirements, misuse of designated rooms, or damage due to reckless driving or misuse. negligence.

5. Keep your landlord informed

Finally, in light of tenant maintenance responsibilities, you should notify your landlord as soon as possible of any issues with your rental unit. Before you move, let your landlord or property manager know when repairs are needed and advise the terms of your lease. While your landlord is responsible for some of the upkeep of your apartment, your landlord may not know that a repair is needed if you don’t say anything. Keeping in touch will go a long way in maintaining a peaceful relationship between landlord and tenant.

What are the owner’s responsibilities?

Of course, there are several responsibilities that your landlord or property manager has to take on as well. Explore the following non-exhaustive list of your landlord’s likely responsibilities:

  • Provide livable living space, for example, by keeping structural elements of the rental building intact, repairing all equipment and appliances, dealing with pest infestations and disclosing a history of environmental hazards, such as lead paint or asbestos.
  • Follow applicable laws and regulations to maintain property security for tenants.
  • Ensure a calm living environment by ensuring that residents are not disruptive.
  • Provide appropriate safety equipment, such as smoke detectors and fire extinguishers on the property.
  • Supervise hired personnel, such as maintenance workers and contractors, when entering or in rental accommodation.
  • Respond quickly to tenant repair requests.

The owner is also responsible for the normal wear and tear of the apartment or unit. Normal wear and tear occurs naturally when a home is occupied, not from accident or tenant negligence. Items that constitute normal wear and tear include scuffs or small holes in the walls, normal wear and tear on carpets or floors, and small stains.

While the above information is the generally accepted division of responsibilities between landlords and tenants, check the terms of your lease as well as local, state, and federal laws to make sure you know exactly what you’re responsible for. maintenance. and the maintenance of your rental apartment or house.

The tenancy inevitably comes with certain responsibilities of the tenant. Be aware of the division of responsibilities between landlords and tenants before signing a lease. When you’re ready to start your search, search for apartments to rent on Zumper and find your perfect home.

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