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Basic Rental Property Maintenance: Who Does What?

Dr. Phillips Tenant Replacing a Battery in the Smoke DetectorAs a Dr. Phillips property owner, it is key to take into consideration who is responsible for what as regards basic rental property maintenance. To keep your rental property in tip-top condition and profitable, it’s vital to have a proactive property maintenance system in place. This maintenance may be fulfilled by you or by a service technician. At any rate, there are some small maintenance tasks that you can and should expect your tenant to execute. Here are just a few of the most common rental property maintenance tasks and who is regularly responsible for each one:

Clogged toilets.  If a toilet becomes clogged, it is largely the tenant’s responsibility to fix the blockage. Though, there may be exceptions, for instance, if the blockage is caused by plumbing objections unrelated to the tenant’s use. Under this circumstance, you would certainly need to handle the repairs yourself or call a professional.

Broken windows. If a window is broken, it is probably either the landlord’s or the tenant’s responsibility to repair or replace the window. Because of that, the responsibility for window replacement lies with the main reason for the breakage. If the window was broken due to tenant negligence, they should pay to replace it. With that said, if a window is damaged due to severe weather or other moments out of a tenant’s control, the property owner is responsible for repairing it. Have in mind that this may be a security issue; mitigation is the key here.

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

Carpeting and flooring. When you refer to the cleanliness of flooring, this would be a tenant’s responsibility.  If the flooring happens to be damaged or worn out, then the responsibility ordinarily falls to the Dr. Phillips property manager. The reason is that these are parts of the property that see a lot of wear and tear over time. In certain situations, however, tenants may be responsible for damage to carpeting or flooring. So, the tenant would need to pay for the repairs.

Batteries in smoke and CO detectors. Smoke and CO detectors are beneficial for keeping a rental property safe. The batteries in these devices should be regularly tested and replaced as needed. In certain cases, state law dictates whether it is the landlord’s or the tenant’s responsibility to replace the batteries. Anyway, it doesn’t matter actually with whom the responsibility lies, as a landlord, you should be making sure 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. Ordinarily, it’s the tenant’s responsibility to replace the air filters. Except, many properties have air filter systems that tenants cannot just access and change themselves. If that happens in your rental property, it is your responsibility to make sure that your air filters are changed often.

When sharing maintenance tasks with your tenants, it’s frequently very important to take into account using clear language narrating all responsibilities in your lease. This will help to avert any inaccuracies or disagreements down the road. By realizing and determining clearly who is responsible for what as regards rental property maintenance, you can keep your property in very fine condition and abstain from any potential legal problems.


Rental property maintenance can be hard and time-consuming, particularly if you will have to constantly check and ascertain whether your tenant is fulfilling their responsibilities. But Real Property Management South Orlando can be of help. We are experts in single-family rental property management, and we certainly can take care of all maintenance for you. Contact us online to learn more with regards to our quality services.

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