To enjoy the fruits of property leasing, you must ensure that your rentals are in the best condition possible. Renters are quite picky when it comes to the selection of a place to lease. They would give priority to rentals whose fittings are in top condition and whose appliances are almost new.
What therefore can a landlord do to keep their rental property in good condition? In this article, our experts at Gifford Properties and Management outline a few tips.
Landlord responsibilities to property maintenance
As a landlord, you should be aware that some of the maintenance responsibilities are enshrined in State Landlord-tenant law. Even while they might not be detailed in the lease agreement, as a landlord you are obliged to meet them.
Oftentimes these rules can get confusing, if this is the case, many landlords choose to trust a property management company. Furthermore, it is not possible to offset any of these responsibilities to your tenant.
That said, here are landlord responsibilities and requirements that should guide the maintenance of their rental properties:
Provision of trash bins and receptacles
It is your responsibility as the landlord to provide your tenants with a place to put their trash. If you have some experience in leasing property, you will agree that the garbage needs of tenants vary from one to another. You must therefore provide the proper size of bins or garbage papers to meet those needs.
The county might have ordinances that require landlords to construct enclosures to store trash bins before collection. We recommend that you read and properly interpret these rules as they might be the difference that could allow you to avoid a penalty or fine.
Provision of running water
A landlord is obligated to provide running water to each and every tenant. The tenant should be able to access water to their sink, shower, and water closet. Water is necessary for the cleaning of the interior of the house and without running water, how can a landlord keep the tenant accountable for the condition of the rental?
It is also the responsibility of the landlord to provide the tenant with a functioning and reliable water heater.
Compliance with building codes
Building codes are conceptualized to ensure that the residents of an area live in a healthy and safe environment away from possible nuances. Without any form of compliance, you can expect the integrity of the building to be brought into question.
Building codes guide the placement of smoke detectors, asbestos issues, electrical and plumbing work, how many tenants are allowed to live in a property of what size, dealing with pest and bug infestations and also the amenities to be provided by the landlords.
Maintenance of the common areas
From our experience in the property leasing industry, the maintenance of the common areas is often a contentious issue. Landlords should be aware that the cleaning and maintenance of common areas fall under their purview.
Landlords are expected to maintain the stairs in good condition, ensure all lighting in stairwells is working and that the floor is of the non-slip type.
Make all necessary repairs
It is your responsibility as the property owner to make all necessary repairs to maintain the rental in a habitable condition. These can sometimes include undergoing renovations to keep the rental unit in livable condition.
What about in a scenario whereby a tenant is responsible for the breakdown of any appliance, either due to abuse or negligence?
In such a scenario, the landlord can still carry out the repair of the appliance or house fixture but at the cost of the tenant. This is described in the State’s breakdown of what constitutes normal wear and tear vs property negligence/abuse.
Ensure that all services are in order
There are particular services that must be present to complete a rental unit. Some of them include heating, plumbing, gas, electricity, and appliances e.g. the stove and dishwasher. Without these services, a rental unit can be considered inhabitable and your rental property will be in contravention of the State’s Landlord-Tenant rules.
As a landlord, you will work out the method of payment for the utilities. It can either be included in the monthly rental payment or paid directly to the utility company.
As a landlord it is your right to inspect the property to ensure that all services are in order.
Tenants’ responsibilities and obligations to property maintenance
Your renters are not meant to have a free ride. There are some responsibilities that are outlined in the law that could help your cause towards a well-maintained property.
We must also emphasize that you will have to outline some of these obligations in the lease agreement to make your tenant aware and hold them responsible.
Discard any sanitary hazards
During the tenure of the lease, the tenant must maintain the sanitary conditions of the property. They are to ensure that all garbage is disposed of in the proper manner and keep the property in a clean condition. Compliance with such a regulation will reduce the possibility of pest infestations and the spread of diseases.
In the organization of furniture and other household goods, the tenant is to ensure that all exits are free of any obstacles. These should be accessible at all times for safety purposes such as a fire. The renter should not remove the batteries from the carbon monoxide or smoke detectors.
Compliance with housing and building codes
Building codes were intended to guarantee a safe and clean environment for residents in a neighborhood. Tenants must also comply with these laws.
From our experience, many tenants are not aware of the building codes and housing laws that apply to them as a tenant. It is your responsibility to pass on that information, preferably through the lease agreement.
There you have it! By implementing the tips that we have stated above, you can be guaranteed a well-maintained property all year round. However, we do appreciate and acknowledge that not all property owners have the time, experience, and expertise to carry out the maintenance of their rental property.
Rely on the expertise of the leading service provider in the region, Gifford Properties and Management. We are the go-to company in the region for management services. Our customers can testify to our honest service, professionalism and quality experience.
Get in touch with us today and receive a quote for our property management services.