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Basic Rental Property Maintenance: Who Does What?

Central Tenant Replacing a Battery in the Smoke DetectorAs a Central property owner, it is substantial to distinguish who is responsible for what concerning basic rental property maintenance. To keep your rental property in tip-top condition and profitable, it’s necessary to have a proactive property maintenance system in place. This maintenance may be administered by you or by a service technician. Then again, there are a lot of small maintenance tasks that you can and should expect your tenant to accomplish. Here are just some of the most common rental property maintenance tasks and who is commonly responsible for each one:

Clogged toilets.  If a toilet becomes clogged, it is characteristically the tenant’s responsibility to fix the blockage. Nonetheless, there may be exceptions, for illustration if the blockage is caused by plumbing problems and issues unrelated to the tenant’s use. In this situation, you would need to handle the repairs yourself or call a professional.

Broken windows. If a window is broken, it is in all likelihood either the landlord’s or the tenant’s responsibility to repair or replace the window. It has something to do with the fact that the responsibility for window replacement lies with the origin and cause of the breakage. If the window was broken due to tenant negligence, they should pay to replace it. At the same time, if a window is damaged due to severe weather or other occurrences out of a tenant’s control, the property owner is responsible for making the repairs. Just keep in mind that this may be a security issue; mitigation is the key here.

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

Carpeting and flooring. When we talk about the cleanliness of flooring, this would be the tenant’s responsibility.  If the flooring becomes eventually damaged or worn out, then the responsibility regularly falls to the Central property manager. This is simply because these are aspects of the property that see a lot of wear and tear over time. In some conditions, though, tenants may be responsible for damage to carpeting or flooring. That being so, the tenant would need to pay for the repairs.

Batteries in smoke and CO detectors. Smoke and CO detectors are critical for keeping a rental property safe. The batteries in these devices should be always regularly tested and replaced as necessary. In certain circumstances, state law determines whether it is the landlord’s or the tenant’s responsibility to replace the batteries. But it doesn’t matter with whom the responsibility lies, as a landlord, you should see to it to check and replace batteries twice every year.

Air filters. Air filters help keep the air in a rental property clean and free of pollutants. Commonly, it’s the tenant’s responsibility to replace the air filters. But actually, multiple properties have air filter systems that tenants cannot easily access and change themselves. If that was indeed the case in your rental property, it is your responsibility to ensure that your air filters are changed as often as needed.

When you assign maintenance tasks to your tenants, it’s indeed very important to add clear language laying out all responsibilities in your lease. This will help to effectively prevent any confusion or disagreements down the road. By determining who is responsible for what concerning rental property maintenance, you can keep your property in tip-top condition and refrain from any potential legal problems.


Rental property maintenance can be time-intensive, definitely if you have to always ascertain whether your tenant is fulfilling their responsibilities. But Real Property Management Baton Rouge can certainly 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 on the subject of our quality services.

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