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Basic Rental Property Maintenance: Who Does What?

Tarpon Springs Tenant Replacing a Battery in the Smoke DetectorAs a Tarpon Springs property owner, it is crucial to understand who is responsible for what concerning basic rental property maintenance. To keep your rental property in top-grade condition and profitable, it’s critical to have a proactive property maintenance system in place. This maintenance may be done by you or by a service technician. There are, however, several small maintenance tasks that you can and should expect your tenant to undertake. Here are a bunch of the most common rental property maintenance tasks and who is typically responsible for each one:

Clogged toilets.  If a toilet becomes clogged, it is most commonly the tenant’s responsibility to resolve the blockage. But in fact, there may be exceptions, to cite an instance if the blockage is caused by plumbing issues unrelated to the tenant’s use. In this particular case, you would certainly need to handle the repairs yourself or call a professional.

Broken windows. If a window is broken, it is most likely either the landlord’s or the tenant’s responsibility to repair or replace the window. This has to do with the fact the responsibility for window replacement lies with the primary cause of the breakage. If the window was broken due to tenant negligence, they should pay to replace it. On the contrary, if a window is damaged due to severe weather or other incidents out of a tenant’s control, the property owner is responsible for replacing it. Take note that this may be a security issue; mitigation is the key here.

Lightbulbs. In most cases, tenants are responsible for replacing lightbulbs in their rental homes. This has to do with the fact that light fixtures are considered part of the tenant’s living space.

Carpeting and flooring. When it pertains to the cleanliness of flooring, this would be a tenant’s responsibility.  If the flooring eventually becomes damaged or worn out, then the responsibility commonly falls to the Tarpon Springs property manager. This is simply because these are parts of the property that see a lot of wear and tear over time. On a few occasions, tenants may be responsible for damage to carpeting or flooring. As a result, the tenant would need to pay for the repairs.

Batteries in smoke and CO detectors. Smoke and CO detectors are significant for keeping a rental property safe. The batteries in these devices should be often tested and replaced when needed. Occasionally, state law determines whether it is the landlord’s or the tenant’s responsibility to replace the batteries. Hardly matters though with whom the responsibility lies, as a landlord, you should be regularly checking and replacing batteries two times per year.

Air filters.  Air filters help keep the air in a rental property clean and free of pollutants. Customarily, it’s the tenant’s responsibility to replace the air filters. At any rate, considerable properties have air filter systems that tenants cannot swiftly and easily access as well as change themselves. If that were so in your rental property, it is your responsibility to always see to it that your air filters are changed consistently.

When assigning maintenance tasks to your tenants, it’s highly crucial to use clear language detailing all responsibilities in your lease. This will help to inhibit any issues or disagreements down the road. By distinguishing who is responsible for what concerning rental property maintenance, you can keep your property in exceptionally fine condition and evade any potential legal problems.


Rental property maintenance can be troublesome and time-consuming, certainly if you have to check and track whether your tenant is fulfilling their responsibilities. But Real Property Management TradeWinds can surely help. We are experts in single-family rental property management, and we can competently take care of all maintenance for you. Contact us online to learn more about our quality services.

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