If you’re wondering about landlord responsibilities, the best place to find answers is through your lease agreement. The lease will explain what your landlord must do to keep your property habitable and safe. While landlords will be willing to fix most maintenance issues that comes up, remember they aren’t responsible for fixing cosmetic issues. A chip in the paint on the wall or in the countertop is considered wear and tear. You’ll have to expect things like this when you move into a rental home, and should be noted on your move-in checklist.
Landlord Responsibilities: Maintenance and Repairs
Your landlord is responsible for maintaining the home and fixing anything that you bring to their attention that presents a problem to your health and safety. Habitability issues, such as a faulty wire, a heating problem or a water leak, will be taken care of with a great sense of urgency. Remember that while the landlord is responsible for fixing these things, you are responsible for bringing the maintenance requests to their attention right away. It is also your duty to minimize any damage to the owner’s property that may result from these issues. In the case of a water leak, this would mean cutting off water to the leaky pipe and starting to dry up the water as best as you can. Once the landlord or property manager is properly informed as outlined in the lease, the responsibility shifts from you to them.
Landlord Responsibilities: Filters and Batteries
Before you move in, your landlord is required to provide you with a functional smoke detector and ensure that light fixtures and the A/C system are working and clean. During your tenancy, it is your responsibility to replace smoke detector batteries, any light bulbs with ones that closely match the original, and to regularly change out the air filters. If you lose your keys, you’ll have to pay to get new ones made.
Working with Your Property Manager
At Liberty Management, we provide tenants with a resident handbook, and your lease will outline the things that you are responsible for. Some of these things include mowing and watering the lawn, bringing in your trash cans timely, and storing them out of view from the front of the rental house. Do not put up satellite dishes or make changes to the property without permission. Make sure you contact your property manager if you have questions about what you can and cannot do to ensure getting your security deposit back.
Appliances and Major Repairs
We understand and share your sense of urgency when something breaks and needs to be replaced. When appliances like refrigerators or washing machines break down, it’s the owner’s decision to fix them. Sometimes, it takes a little longer than we’d like to gather estimates and schedule the work. Remember that these are expensive items, so owners may want several estimates. Also, as property managers, we can only approve work up to a certain amount. Beyond that, we need the property owner’s approval.
If you have any questions about your responsibilities and your landlord’s responsibilities, please contact us at Liberty Management, Inc.