A landlord is required to see to it that their rental properties are in excellent condition. Managing a rental unit can be taxing given the time and energy required to oversee it. With plenty of people renting the unit, it can also mean more maintenance tasks to tend to.

Renters are also responsible for keeping the rental well-maintained. However, the bulk of the property maintenance commitment rests on the property owner. This article will provide landlords with maintenance tips to ensure that their unit complies with habitability laws.

Rental Property Maintenance Duties Landlords Have

Under the landlord-tenant law, landlords need to focus on the upkeep of their rental units. They’re expected to perform the following tasks:

Provide Garbage Bins to Renters

Renters need containers for their garbage. As the landlord, it’s your duty to provide trash bins that will be adequate for the number of people staying in your unit. The size of the bins should also be considered knowing the garbage collection schedule for the week. 

Check to see if local laws have additional requirements when it comes to having enclosures for the trash bins to reduce the spread of odors or attracting animals.

Equip the Rental with Running Water

Water is essential from cooking, doing the laundry, cleaning the house, and for a tenant’s general health and comfort. Landlords must be able to furnish tenants with this basic need. A water heater is a necessity so tenants can enjoy having hot water when washing the dishes or taking a bath.

good plumbing and solid foundation

Adhere to the Building Codes Set by the State

Laws are imposed to protect the health and safety of tenants. As a landlord, you’re required to set up smoke and carbon dioxide detectors and proper plumbing and electrical systems. The rental home must also have a stable foundation, be free from mold, and cannot have lead paint issues and pest infestations.

If your property had any issues that could impact a tenant’s safety or health, you must take swift and immediate action to address the issue. 

Coordinate Repairs for Damaged Items

While managing your rental space, you have the major tasks of tending to property damages and getting them fixed in a timely manner. Even if the cause of the damage stemmed from a tenant neglecting or abusing the property, you still need to schedule repairs. 

Deductions from the security deposits can be made to cover the cost of repairs should the fault of the damage lies with the renter. Be sure to follow proper legal procedures when making deductions from a tenant’s deposit. 

Keep the HVAC Systems Fully Functional

Landlords are mandated to keep the heating, air conditioning, ventilation, electrical, and plumbing systems in excellent order. Given that these systems affect the habitability of a home, property owners should prioritize their maintenance.

cleaning common areas and testing HVAC

Provide Clean Common Areas 

If you own a multi-family unit or apartment, there are designated common areas. It’s expected that they are well-maintained and clean. The proper lighting should be installed and flooring should be kept clear from water and debris to minimize injuries.

Duties of a Tenant in Regards to Maintaining the Rental Property

Even if it’s often mentioned that landlords are obliged to maintain their rental properties, tenants have obligations too, under the landlord-tenant law. They have the responsibility to do the following:

Abide by the Sanitary Standards while Staying in the Rental

To ensure that the environment remains sanitary, renters must get rid of their trash. Ignoring this could lead to health problems and even start a pest infestation. Tenants must therefore routinely dispose of their garbage to avoid the consequences of an unkempt rental property.

Remain Compliant with Safety Standards

Certain protocols are in places such as installation of the smoke and carbon dioxide detectors. Emergency exits are also provided to easily lease the property should an emergency occur. Renters must take care to remove barriers to the exits and refrain from tinkering with the provided smoke and carbon dioxide detectors.

Adhere to the Current Building and Housing Codes

Given a property’s size, there are acceptable numbers of people that can live in comfort inside it. Renters are discouraged to overfill the rooms and break the policies on the number of allowed residents. 

housing codes and regulations

This can be a problem in terms of safety and can also lead to rapid wear and tear of the rental unit. In addition, the utility bills are bound to increase making it a burden to the landlord in charge of paying them.           

Be Vigilant of Mold Growth

Renters can help in preventing mold from growing by being vigilant of moisture. When using the bathroom, opening the windows afterward or turning the ventilation fan can rude moisture and the risk of mold. If mold is spotted, quickly reporting this to the landlord can lead to swift resolutions.

Lead Paint Hazards

Properties constructed prior to 1978 can be exposed to lead paint. Renters should refrain from repainting and drilling into walls for decoration without approval from the landlord. This will mitigate the risk of lead paint exposure.

Be Respectful of the Space

Renters are also expected to keep the property in reasonable condition in terms of cleaning and avoiding damages. This can cover the following areas:

  • Plumbing fixtures – If neglected, rust and dirt can build up quickly. Renters should take the time to clean up the faucets, sinks, and showerheads from time to time.
  • Furnished appliances – Even if the landlord owns the appliances inside the rental, tenants must still keep them in proper condition. Food must not be left to rot inside the refrigerator or oven toasters.
  • Floors and walls – Wear and tear happen while staying inside a rental but renters must also aim to minimize scratches, stains and scruffs.

Bottom Line

For proper maintenance of your rental unit, both landlords and renters must know their obligations to keep up the value of the property.

If you would like help managing your rental properties or handling maintenance issues, call on the team at Keyrenter St. Charles Property Management today!