Because of the nature of rentals and tenant turnover, properties require diligent maintenance and upkeep. What’s more, the larger your rental unit and the more tenants you have, the longer your list of tasks will become.
To keep attracting new tenants and encouraging existing tenants to renew their leases, landlords must have an excellent property maintenance strategy. When you’re more proactive in your maintenance practice, your rental is bound to be in an outstanding condition.
Maintenance Duties Landlords are Expected to Perform
Although states can differ when it comes to their landlord-tenant laws, there are some requirements that all landlords are expected to meet and uphold when running a rental business in the United States.
Here are some duties that landlords must perform:
Provide a Proper Garbage Receptacles
If you don’t have a proper trash container your tenants’ health may be compromised.
Landlords must see to it that there’s adequate number of trash receptacles for people staying in the rental unit. You want to ensure that your garbage cans are not overflowing. Unhygienic handling of trash creates bad smells and attracts pests to the rental.
Furthermore, consider the frequency of the trash collection. If the garbage collection is done only once or twice a week, the bins must be adequate to hold a week’s trash.
Some towns may have additional requirements regarding trash maintenance. It’s best to be updated and follow the local regulations.
Supply Running Water
No tenant will want to stay in a rental where water is scarce. You need a good water supply to have a functional toilet, kitchen sink and shower. Additionally, if your rental is somewhere with a winter climate, heaters are needed to provide tenants with hot water.
Comply with Building Codes
Your tenants safety should be your top priority and a way to ensure this is why conducting regular and thorough property maintenance and inspections.
Be sure to install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and limit the number of tenants staying in a single unit. You must also ensure that the plumbing and electrical work in compliance to safety standards.
Furthermore, when it comes to pest infestation, mold issues, lead paint and foundation problems, the landlord is expected to resolve these issues.
Scheduling Property Repairs
When damages are spotted or reported by the renters, this should elicit a prompt response from landlords. Repairs must be conducted to avoid harm to the tenant and deterioration of the property.
If the damage is caused by a tenant’s negligence or abuse of the space rather than from normal wear and tear, then the repair costs may be deducted from the security deposit of the renter.
Ensure HVAC Systems Working
Heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems are vital. A good landlord sees to it that these components are all functioning well including the electrical, plumbing and useful appliances inside the property.
Reasonable Maintenance Renters are Expected to Fulfill
While it's obvious to most people that landlords are compelled by the law to make the rental property habitable, tenants also share in that responsibility. Legally, renters must also perform reasonable maintenance of the rental space under the landlord-tenant law.
Here are the maintenance duties that tenants are bound to follow:
Halt Mold Growth
Tenants need to pay attention to an overabundance of moisture as too much can make the rental vulnerable to mold.
Proper ventilation should be practiced by switching on fans and opening the windows to let air circulate. This is especially applicable in bathrooms or other areas where moisture may be more present.
If a tenant spots signs of a mold, they must notify the landlord right away so the situation can be addressed quickly.
Observe Proper Garbage Disposal
Throwing out the trash properly and regularly is a renter’s responsibility. Leaving garbage lying around the rental can be unhygienic and can lead to poor health of the tenants.
The occupant therefore has to get rid of the garbage in a suitable trash container to keep a sanitary home. This also helps one avoid pest infestation.
Be Mindful of Safety Hazards
To be safe, a tenant must be responsible enough to keep the emergency exits free from any barriers. Tenants must also ensure that they don't remove the batteries of the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
Adhere to Building and Housing Codes
Tenants are not exempt from complying with the building and housing policies. If a restriction is imposed by the landlord such as a no-pet policy, this must be followed. Sneaking a pet in can for instance cause property damages.
Respect the Property
Care must be practiced by tenants living in your investment property. They’re expected to reasonably clean the unit. This covers:
- Existing appliances - tenants must take time to clean the appliances around the rental. It will also help slow down normal wear and tear to the appliance unit.
- Plumbing fixtures - rust is often a culprit that leads to fixtures deteriorating. Cleaning the fixtures often helps to eliminate dirt, buildup from soap and mold growth.
Additional Methods of Maintenance
Landlords can include the following maintenance practices to keep the rental in an excellent state:
This often applies to the outdoor area of the rental. The landlord can be in charge of trimming the grass and shrubs, shoveling the snow, raking leaves, and keeping the gutters clean.
You can talk with your tenants about fixing damages. If the repair is small and the tenant has he skills you can allow them to fix it. However, for larger or more complicated repairs, coordinate with professionals.
You must provide your tenants with a habitable rental property. This means conducting regular inspections and maintenance.
If you do not have the time for this, or it seems overwhelming contact a trusted property manager for help. The team at Anchor Real Estate will gladly assist you with all your property management needs!