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Basic Rental Property Maintenance: Who Does What?

Kenmore Tenant Replacing a Battery in the Smoke DetectorAs a Kenmore property owner, it is beneficial to determine ahead of time who is responsible for what when it comes to basic rental property maintenance. To keep your rental property in prime condition and profitable, it’s relevant to have a proactive property maintenance system in place. This maintenance may be achieved by you or by a service technician. Be that as it may, there are certainly small and minor maintenance tasks that you can and should expect your tenant to do and complete. Here are a number of the most common rental property maintenance tasks and who is generally responsible for each one:

Clogged toilets.  If a toilet becomes clogged, it is naturally the tenant’s responsibility to clear the blockage. Nevertheless, there may be exceptions, take one example if the blockage is caused by plumbing problems unrelated to the tenant’s use. In these instances, you need to handle the repairs yourself or call a professional.

Broken windows. If a window is broken, it is usually either the landlord’s or the tenant’s responsibility to repair or replace the window. That is because the responsibility for window replacement lies with the basic reason for the breakage. If the window was broken due to tenant negligence, they should pay to replace it. But, if a window is damaged due to severe weather or other occurrences out of a tenant’s control, the property owner is responsible for getting it replaced. Remember that this may be a security issue; mitigation is the key here.

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

Carpeting and flooring. When you talk about the cleanliness of flooring, this would be a tenant’s responsibility.  If the flooring becomes eventually damaged or worn out, then the responsibility falls to the Kenmore property manager. The reason for this is that these are elements of the property that see a lot of wear and tear over time. Then again, as the case may be, tenants may be responsible for damage to carpeting or flooring. In this situation, the tenant would need to pay for the repairs.

Batteries in smoke and CO detectors. Smoke and CO detectors are considerably crucial for keeping a rental property safe. The batteries in these devices should be often tested and replaced when appropriate. In specific cases, state law ascertains whether it is the landlord’s or the tenant’s responsibility to replace the batteries. it makes no difference with whom the responsibility lies, as a landlord, you should always keep in mind to check and replace batteries two times per year.

Air filters.  Air filters help keep the air in a rental property clean and free of pollutants. Typically, it’s the tenant’s responsibility to replace the air filters. Except, some of the properties have air filter systems that tenants cannot easily access and change themselves. That being so in your rental property, it is your responsibility to always make certain that your air filters are changed as often as needed.

When assigning maintenance tasks to your tenants, it’s primarily important to indicate clear language delineating all responsibilities in your lease. This will help to suppress any problems or disagreements down the road. By taking in who is responsible for what towards rental property maintenance, you can keep your property in prime condition and avoid any potential legal problems.


Rental property maintenance can be labor as well as time-consuming, most especially if you will be required to always check and follow through on whether your tenant is fulfilling their responsibilities. But Real Property Management Eclipse can help. We are experts in single-family rental property management, and we can capably take care of all maintenance for you. Contact us online to learn more pertaining to our quality services.

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