Landlord–Tenant Responsibilities for Maintenance: Keeping Everyone on the Same Page

Pluxa Partners

April 17, 2024

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Key takeaways:

  • Understand all rental maintenance responsibilities of landlords and tenants so you know how to manage your property well.
  • Associate with professionals who can help you manage your rental maintenance responsibilities so that you escape the hassles.

About 4.6 million households in England are in the private rented sector.

Although renting can help you generate a steady income flow, don’t forget about the responsibilities that come along with it. 

Especially there’s a grey line regarding the maintenance of the rental property.

Which part of maintenance and repairs is the landlord’s responsibility?

And what are the tenant’s rental maintenance responsibilities?

But what if both parties fail to uphold the expectations?

Let’s find out. 

What Are the Landlord’s Rental Maintenance Responsibilities?

You must know your responsibilities to provide tenants with the best staying experience and maintain your reputation as a professional landlord.

Once you know your responsibilities, you clearly know where your role ends with rental maintenance responsibilities. 

Being a landlord you have the legal responsibility to maintain a habitable living environment.

What does habitable mean?

It means access to electricity, a working heater, and running water free of infestation. 

Here’s a detailed breakdown of your responsibilities:

  • Address and exterminate infestations of rodents and other pests
  • Offer a living environment that is reasonably secure from predictable criminal threats
  • Manage environmental hazards like lead paint dust and asbestos to prevent significant health risks
  • Provide a reasonable amount of hot and cold water, as well as heating, at appropriate times
  • Maintain all essential systems, such as electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, air-conditioning, and elevators, to ensure they are functioning safely
  • Keep all common areas, including hallways and stairways, in a clean and safe condition
  • Ensure that the basic structural elements of the building, such as floors, stairs, walls, and roofs, are safe and well-maintained

Now that you know your responsibilities, let’s understand your tenant’s responsibilities so that you can deal with any future confusion.

What Are the Tenant’s Rental Maintenance Responsibilities?

While you have to uphold reasonable living conditions, you are not solely liable for the state of the property. As your tenants live in the home day in and day out, they have some maintenance and repair responsibilities, as well. These include:

  • Informing the landlord about any defective or hazardous conditions on the property
  • Repairing any damage they cause to the property
  • Properly using facilities and systems such as electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilation, air-conditioning, and, if applicable, elevators.
  • Keeping plumbing fixtures clean, according to their condition
  • Maintaining the cleanliness and safety of the rental unit to the extent the property’s condition allows
  • Disposing of garbage, rubbish, and other waste cleanly and safely

While the law is generic regarding maintenance tasks, you can get into the nitty-gritty with lists that define your tenant’s responsibilities. 

You can also provide your tenants with a checklist for monthly maintenance tasks. Here’s an example of such a checklist:

  • Replace the air filters in your HVAC system.
  • Apply a lubricant specifically designed for garage doors to the hinges, rollers, frame, and bearings.
  • Vacuum the coils behind the refrigerator to remove dust and debris.
  • Ensure the garage door’s safety features are functional by placing a 2×4 on the ground under the door and attempting to close it; the door should automatically reopen.
  • If necessary, clean the filter of the range hood.
  • Confirm that the radon mitigation system is operational by listening to its sound.
  • To clean the garbage disposal, use ice cubes made from vinegar.
  • Inspect and repair the caulking and grout around showers, tubs, and toilets as needed.
  • Check the functionality of the water heater’s pressure release valve by lifting and lowering the lever several times. This action should release a flow of hot water from the drainpipe; prepare with a bowl and towel. If the water does not flow or only trickles, contact the landlord.

What Happens if Both Fail to Uphold Standards? 

If a landlord does not address necessary repairs after a tenant provides written notification, the tenant may consider several legal options:

  • Withholding rent.
  • Tenants can handle the repairs independently and subtract the costs from their rent payments.
  • Filing a claim in small claims court to seek compensation for damages
  • If the defects are significant enough to make the property uninhabitable, the tenant may have the right to terminate the lease agreement.

If a tenant neglects their maintenance responsibilities, the landlord may use part of the security deposit to cover the repair costs for damages caused by the tenant.

Now to answer who is responsible for rental maintenance, both parties have their roles to play. 

But it’s normal if you feel that being a landlord and handling maintenance can be overwhelming.

In that case, you can associate with professionals to streamline your rental property management with finesse. 

Pluxa Partners Is Your One-Stop Shop

Choosing our professional property management services can significantly ease your burden of managing your rental property. 

We at Pluxa Partners offer a comprehensive approach to cover everything from effective marketing strategies to ensuring you handle all the maintenance and repair responsibilities.

By listing your serviced apartment with Pluxa, you simplify your property management. Our team also takes care of the day-to-day operations of your rental property so that you can focus on expanding your rental portfolio.

So, what’s making you wait?

Contact us now to discuss your requirements for tailored rental property management solutions.

FAQs

What is considered normal wear and tear on a rental property?

Normal wear and tear refers to the natural deterioration in a rental property due to aging and regular use. It includes faded paint, carpet wear from foot traffic, and loose door handles.

How can I handle situations where a tenant is responsible for maintenance damage?

When a tenant causes damage to the rental property beyond normal wear and tear, the landlord can request that the tenant pay for the repairs or deduct the costs from their security deposit. The landlord needs to document the damage and communicate clearly with the tenant about the expectations for repair and the associated costs.

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