What Maintenance Is Your Tenant Responsible For?

What Maintenance Is Your Tenant Responsible For?

The Landlord is not the only one with the responsibility to keep the rental unit reasonably maintained. State and local laws require the tenant to do their part as well.

If a health and safety problem is the result of your tenant not keeping up their end of the maintenance bargain, the landlord is not expected to pay for the repair, and the tenant cannot do things such as withholding rent to accomplish the job.

For example, if their only toilet is clogged because their child flushed a large roll of toilet paper down the toilet (true story for us) it’s a habitability problem. However, the cost of repairing it will fall squarely on your tenant.

They are obligated to:

  1. Keep your rental unit as clean and safe as the condition of the premises permits.
  2. Dispose of all waste in a clean and safe manner.
  3. Keep plumbing fixtures as clean as their condition permits.
  4. Use electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, air-conditioning, and other facilities and other systems, including elevators, properly.
  5. Fix things that they break.
  6. In many states, communicate any issues with the landlord promptly.

You the landlord can’t, however, charge your tenant for problems caused by normal wear and tear—for example, a carpet that has worn out from years of use.

Having your tenant fulfill their own responsibilities makes them a partner in maintaining your investment.