How to Maintain Your Rental Property

For a property to be in top condition, routine upkeep is required. Rented residences may require more ongoing care than single-family homes because of their size and density. Scheduled inspections can be a way to keep up with the regular maintenance of your rental properties.

As a landlord, it’s important to know what legal obligations tenants and property owners have, as well as any additional responsibilities that a tenant can undertake to sustain the rental property. Clear communication with renters is one of the best ways to maintain a positive landlord-tenant relationship.

Landlord Responsibilities for the Upkeep of a Rental Property

Landlords are required to keep their rental houses in a certain condition under housing laws and regulations. The requirements may differ slightly depending on state law, but in general, landlords must:

Provide Trash Cans for Their Residents

According to legislation, landlords are supposed to give their renters trash cans big enough to hold the right amount of garbage. The size and quantity of these bins should be appropriate for both landlords and tenants, taking into account how frequently trash is removed from each home.

Additionally, it is the landlord's responsibility to make sure that these containers abide by all laws and requirements. Due to safety concerns, it is crucial to ensure that everything in your home is up to code before renting it out.

Young person standing in a kitchen sorting their recyclables

Provide a Fresh and Adequate Water Supply

Regardless of where you live, it is important that fundamental features are available. Running water must be available at every rental property. This also includes functioning restrooms.

Renters’ capacity to take care of themselves and the property may be limited if there are issues like broken pipes or a malfunctioning heater that make the space uninhabitable.

Observe Housing Codes and Guidelines

Before renting out a house, a landlord must confirm that it complies with all local and state laws. This includes maintaining plumbing and electrical equipment and giving tenants a safe and hygienic living space. Regulations also specify how to install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

Landlords also need to be aware of what goes on outside each unit. Make sure there aren't any overflowing trash cans or windows without screens that could invite in bugs. It also involves ensuring that your tenants follow rules regarding the building's structural integrity, and issues with toxic paint, mold, and asbestos.

Continuous Upkeep of a Property’s Common Areas

The shared areas must be kept secure and tidy by the landlord. They should also be aware of any possible risks for tripping or injury, such as slick floors and dimly lit staircases.

Make Any Necessary Repairs

Landlords are in charge of maintaining the safety and habitability of their homes. In addition to the already unpaid rent, the owner may further charge the victim for any necessary repairs if they consider the tenant has mistreated or neglected the property.

A room set up to be painted, with a tarp on the floor, a ladder, and a paint roller

Check That Crucial Systems Are Operating at Their Best

The property's electrical, heating, and plumbing systems must be kept up to date by the landlord per legal requirements. Additionally, make sure that all offered utilities, including gas, are functioning properly.

For any rental arrangement to be effective, landlords must be aware of both the services they are required to give and those provided by tenants.

Tenant Responsibilities for the Upkeep of a Rental Property

Tenants may not be aware of their legal maintenance responsibilities under landlord-tenant law, even though they are aware that landlords are generally expected to keep rental properties maintained. Although specific state criteria may vary, common tenant maintenance responsibilities include:

Ensure the Apartment Is Free from Sanitary Hazards

The cleanliness and hygienic condition of the apartment are the tenant's responsibility. This involves properly disposing of trash, avoiding its buildup in the apartment, and avoiding its attraction to pests that could jeopardize the tenant’s health and the health of other tenants.

Make Sure There Are No Safety Hazards in the Apartment

The renter is responsible for making sure that all emergency exits are always visible and accessible. Tenants should never remove the batteries from a smoke or carbon monoxide detector since doing so may put the tenant or neighbors in danger.

Adhere to State, Federal and Local Building and Housing Codes

Tenants must comply with all applicable state, federal, and municipal construction and lease requirements. For example, additional people cannot live in a home that has a notarized lease for two people without the approval of both parties.

A person standing on a ladder painting a wall while another person holds the ladder

When a home or apartment is rented out and too many people are living there for extended periods of time, there may be a lack of fire safety, which could be dangerous. It also may lead to higher utility bills, which could pose a problem for tenants and landlords.

Prevent Mold Growth

Tenants are responsible for preventing excessive moisture in their unit, which could promote the growth of mold. It could be required to open a window or leave the bathroom fan on while taking a shower to prevent mold from forming.

A renter must immediately notify the landlord of any areas that are consistently moist or have mold growth.

Large Maintenance Issues

Renters should keep an eye out for any major maintenance issues. The landlord must either perform repairs on the property themself or contract out the work.

It is unlawful to include clauses in the lease that hold a tenant responsible for all maintenance and repairs to the property. The situation changes if you and the tenant agree that the tenant is responsible for particular maintenance and repairs.

Any repairs beyond normal wear and tear created as a result of damage or negligence on the part of the renter must be paid for by them. Tenants can either hire a professional to handle the repairs or the landlord can resolve the issues and charge the tenant for the costs.

Closing Thoughts

Properly maintaining all your rental properties can be difficult, especially if you’re a new landlord. There are numerous federal, state, and local regulations that apply to the rental industry.

Working with a reputable property management firm can help you avoid all of the headaches. Professional property managers can protect and maintain your investments for you.

You won't have to worry about any landlord obligations when you work with Evolve Nevada. In order for you to focus on what's most essential, our mission as a full-service property management company is to free you of your worries and improve the rental income from your properties.

Whether you own a single-family home, a multi-family home, an apartment, or any other type of property, you can benefit from using our services. Contact us today.

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I could not be happier with my decision to engage Evolve Nevada to manage my rental property. They are a perfect mix of expertise and personal touch that makes the relationship constructive and worthwhile. I rely on Evolve Nevada not just for the mechanics of renting my home, but for trusted advice on best ways to proceed -- leveraging their experience -- that will benefit me long-term. I highly recommend Evolve Nevada for property management.

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