It might be surprising to learn that a common reason for landlord-tenant disputes alongside late rent is disagreements over property maintenance. Yes, a feud over a leaky faucet or an overgrown lawn can quickly escalate into a legal labyrinth.
Welcome to the often misunderstood terrain of property maintenance, where determining who does what can be as tricky as assembling furniture without a manual. Stay with us as we clarify the legal and optional responsibilities people have as a tenant. Trust us, you'll want to be in the know.
Let's get started.
Tenant Legal Must-Dos
Let's start with tenant must-dos. These are things you've got to handle, no ifs, ands, or buts. Usually, tenants will find them outlined in their rental agreement, which is basically the rule book of property management.
General upkeep like cleaning and making sure the trash doesn't pile up is part of their gig. They're also in charge of minor repairs, like fixing a dripping tap or changing the batteries in the smoke alarm. For bigger issues like a broken window or a leaky roof, a tenant's job is to alert the landlord ASAP.
Optional Tasks for Tenants
Now, let's get into what a tenant could do but isn't legally obligated to. It's all about the little extras that make a living space more comfortable and can even keep a landlord in a good mood.
For instance, a tenant could feel like planting some flowers in the garden. This should be fine for most landlords.
How about a deep clean that includes shampooing the carpets? Sure, why not? And don't forget seasonal chores like putting up weather stripping before winter rolls in.
Addressing minor pest issues before they become big problems is another smart move. Doing these optional tasks could give a tenant an edge in any disputes over the tenant's rights.
What Should Tenants Expect from Landlords?
So what's left for the landlord to do? Plenty! Major repairs, like fixing electrical or plumbing disasters, fall squarely on their shoulders.
They're also responsible for ensuring the property is secure, which includes having functional locks and smoke detectors. Basic utilities are typically their job unless your rental agreement says otherwise. And of course, they can't skip out on anything legally mandated, such as building inspections.
Navigating Conflicts: Tips and Tricks
Navigating conflicts about property maintenance can be confusing for both tenants and landlords.
If you're a tenant puzzled over whose job it is to fix a leaky faucet, your first stop should be the rental agreement. It's your guide for sorting out responsibilities.
Still unclear? Reach out to your landlord for a quick clarification.
On the flip side, landlords shouldn't dismiss a tenant's questions about repairs. Use the opportunity to revisit the rental agreement and set the record straight. Also, a property maintenance company can offer stellar advice and services.
The Fine Line in Property Maintenance
And there you have it, a clearer picture of the world of property maintenance. You now know a tenant's legal must-dos, optional could-dos, and what falls under the landlord's domain.
At PMI United, we know all about property maintenance and the laws surrounding it. Contact us here if you would like to learn more or avail yourself of our services.