Who is Responsible for Landlord Versus Tenant Maintenance?

As a landlord, you may be responsible for maintaining your rental property and keeping it in good condition. This includes things like fixing broken windows, repairing water leaks, and cleaning up debris around the property. On the other hand, as a tenant, you may be responsible for taking care of your own apartment – from cleaning up after yourself to paying your rent on time. Which one of you is ultimately responsible for landlord versus tenant maintenance?

What is Landlord Versus Tenant Maintenance?

The primary responsibility for maintaining the premises leased by one tenant to another falls on the landlord. This means that the landlord is responsible for inspecting the property, making necessary repairs, and taking appropriate action if there are any violations of the lease agreement or applicable law. The tenant is generally only responsible for making necessary repairs to the property that is necessary to maintain its appearance.

When Is Responsibility for Maintenance Shared?

When you live in a rental, it’s important to know who is responsible for performing routine maintenance on the property. This can include things like cleaning, fixing broken furniture, and fixing pipes. While some tenants are required by law to maintain certain aspects of their rental property, most landlords handle maintenance on their own.

When is responsibility for landlord versus tenant maintenance shared?

In general, responsibility for landlord versus tenant maintenance is shared based on an agreement between the tenant and the landlord. If there is no written agreement between the tenant and landlord, then the responsibility falls squarely on the shoulders of the tenant. Below are some factors that can help determine who is responsible for maintaining a property:

  • Lease language: Some leases include language specifying who is responsible for performing routine maintenance on the property. If there is no such language in your lease, then responsibility typically falls to the tenant.
  • Location of property: Generally speaking, the landlord is more responsible for the maintenance of properties located in rural areas or areas with low population density than properties located in more populated areas. This is because it’s more difficult for landlords to find and hire professionals to perform necessary repairs.
  • Type of property: The landlord is typically more responsible for maintaining properties that are classified as non-residential than properties that are classified as residential. This is because residential properties typically have more complex systems and require more frequent maintenance.
  • Length of tenancy: The longer the tenancy, the more responsibility the tenant has to maintain the property. This is because landlords typically do not budget for recurring maintenance and repairs in their rental contracts when a tenant enters into a lease for a short period of time.

Who is Responsible for Maintenance of My Property?

If you are a landlord and have concerns about tenant maintenance, it is important to contact your property management or leasing company. However, if you are a tenant and need help with repairs or maintenance on your rental property, you may be responsible for some of the costs. Here is a breakdown of who is typically responsible for specific types of maintenance on rental properties.

Tenant Responsibility for Maintenance of Apartments:

Tenants are typically responsible for basic maintenance tasks, such as fixing leaks and broken windows, in apartments. This includes things like painting, cleaning up debris, and fixing worn carpeting. Landlords can usually require tenants to submit requests for repairs in advance, but they are not usually required to pay for them.

Tenant Responsibility for Maintenance of Homes:

Landlords are typically responsible for more major repairs and maintenance tasks on homes. This includes things like fixing broken plumbing, fixing roof leaks, and installing new carpets. Landlords can require tenants to submit requests for repairs in advance, but they are not usually required to pay for them. Tenants may be able to deduct some of the costs associated with these repairs from their rent, depending on the jurisdiction.

What are the Different Types of Maintenance?

There are a variety of things that landlords and tenants may need to take care of in order to keep the property in good condition. This can include things like fixing leaks, fixing broken appliances, or painting the exterior of the building.

Landlords are typically responsible for major repairs, such as fixing a broken water pipe or roofing damage. Tenants may be responsible for smaller repairs, such as fixing a leaking faucet. It is important to know the difference between these types of maintenance in order to properly assign responsibility.

  • Major repairs: These are usually repairs that require a lot of time and effort and will likely require the involvement of a professional. Landlords are typically responsible for these repairs.
  • Minor repairs: These are generally repairs that do not require professional help and can be done by either the tenant or landlord. Tenants may be responsible for these repairs, while landlords may not.
  • Maintenance agreements: A maintenance agreement is a document that specifies which party is responsible for certain types of maintenance. It is important to have this document if there is any disagreement about who should take care of a repair.

How Much Does It Cost to Have Maintenance Done?

It can be difficult to estimate the cost of landlord versus tenant maintenance, as it depends on the severity of the issue and whether any additional work is required. However, some general costs to consider include:

  • The cost of professional service fees for a landlord or tenant’s chosen professional
  • The cost of materials (e.g. door hinges, window screens)
  • The cost of labor (this will vary depending on the type of maintenance required)
  • The cost of disposal/replacement items (such as broken furniture)

In most cases, landlords and tenants should budget for a 10-20% contingency allowance, in case unexpected costs arise.

Conclusion

As a landlord, it is important to be aware of who is responsible for the maintenance of your property. This can include things like fixing leaks or repairing broken locks. While certain repairs may fall under the responsibility of the tenant, most falls squarely under the landlord’s domain. Make sure you are familiar with your specific state laws and know who is responsible for what type of maintenance on your property.