If you’ve been renting out your property for some time, you’ll probably agree that tenants appreciate a property in good condition. Especially when you’re trying to find new tenants, having a well-maintained, aesthetically pleasing property can go a long way.

Rental property maintenance requires a lot of time. You should be aware of the responsibilities that both landlords and tenants have when it comes to maintaining a rental property. This article will cover those responsibilities and suggest ways to make maintenance easier than ever, reducing complaints and providing a harmonious rental experience..

Landlord Maintenance Responsibilities

As a landlord, your responsibilities to keep your property habitable are clearly outlined in California’s landlord-tenant laws. There are some common landlord responsibilities when it comes to property maintenance, which you can find outlined below.

Providing Trash Bins

As the landlord, it’s your responsibility to provide your tenants with the means to properly dispose of their garbage and trash. Depending on the size of your property and the number of tenants living there, the number of bins you need to provide will vary.

When it comes to removing the garbage, you might be required to have a garbage enclosure somewhere on the property. This is where the trash bins will be stored before it's collection. Even if your city doesn’t require it, having an enclosure for bins can be helpful to keep the rodents out and the smells in.

A landlord looking at a lease agreement with a family

Providing Running Water

It is your responsibility to ensure that the property is always provided with running water. The tenants should be able to access clean and running water from any room with a sink or shower.

This also applies to the water heater. The appliance should be in good condition and be able to provide the tenants with running water regularly.

Running water also makes it easier for your tenants to help with property maintenance and keep their space generally clean. Running water is a huge part of creating a habitable living environment for your residents.

Complying with Building Codes

Landlords are required to provide a safe and habitable environment for their tenants. Building codes, provided by the local authorities, guide landlords on how to keep their property safe and habitable. The codes guide electrical work, plumbing, placement of carbon monoxide and smoke detectors, lead paint issues, pest infestations, and asbestos issues.

The local authorities can choose to send their offices to check whether you are in compliance with the local building codes. Should you be found negligent, you may find yourself paying a significant fine.

Maintaining Common Areas

As a landlord, you’re familiar with lease agreements, which often state that it’s the tenant’s responsibility to keep the rental unit well-maintained. The common areas, like staircases or other multi-use rooms common in apartment complexes, are your responsibility as the landlord.

Close up of someone using a drill

You are required to ensure that they are in good condition and clean at all times. The common areas must also be clear of any hazards. The stairs should have strong banisters. As for the floor (of both the stairs and balconies), you should install non-slip tiles. These measures reduce the possibility of any injuries happening on the property.

Taking Care of Repairs

The tenant has the right to live in a safe and habitable property. Most repairs on the property caused by normal wear and tear are to be handled by the landlord. If repairs are necessary as a result of a tenant’s negligence or abuse, the tenant is responsible for those repairs.

However, you can always speak with the tenant and work out a plan to repair the damage. You can offer to handle repairs but the cost will be removed from the security deposit.

Providing Vital Services

Another responsibility for landlords is to ensure that all vital services and appliances are working as they should. This includes electrical, heating, plumbing, gas, and HVAC. The landlord should carry out regular inspections to make sure everything is working as it should.

Payment of these services depends on the terms of the lease agreement. If the monthly rent cost is inclusive of these services, then it is the landlord’s responsibility to ensure that utilities are paid on time and the services are not cut off.

Close up of someone's arms fixing a pipe under a sink

Tenant Maintenance Responsibilities

Although there’s a lot for landlords to take care of in their property, tenants have their own responsibilities, too. When the tenant signs their lease, you should make sure they’re aware of what their maintenance responsibilities are. This can help reduce problems down the road.

Removing Garbage

Since you’ve provided your tenants with the right trash receptacles, the tenant should be able to easily dispose of their garbage properly. Trash piling up on the property can cause potential health issues. If not properly disposed of, garbage attracts rodents and might also lead to pest infestations.

Removing Safety Hazards

A tenant should ensure that the emergency exits are easily accessible at all times. There should be no furniture or other items blocking exit points. In addition, the tenant can not remove batteries or otherwise tamper with smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

Complying with Building Codes

The building codes are clear on the number of people who should reside in a certain property or unit. If the law is set that a property should only be leased by a maximum of two people, the tenant should make sure to comply with that. Any guests should only stay temporarily.

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

Not only is this to ensure the property is safe in case of an emergency, it also helps with general wear and tear. With more occupants on the premises, the unit will deteriorate faster giving the property owner more repairs to handle in the long-term.

Bottom Line

You can now appreciate the work that goes into the management of a rental property. A landlord should do regular inspections of the property to ensure it is in good condition and complies with the set laws and regulations.

It’s a lot to manage, and many landlords feel they lack the time, expertise, and resources to comprehensively manage a rental property. For all your property management needs, rely on the leading property management service provider in Silicon Valley, Action Properties.

Managing rental properties in Cupertino, San Jose, Palo Alto, Sunnyvale, Los Altos, and more we are a full-service property management company. We manage a wide range of properties from multi-family buildings to townhouses to single-family homes. Get in touch with us today!

Disclaimer: This blog should not be used as a substitute for legal advice from a licensed attorney in your state. Laws change, and this post might not be updated at the time of your reading. Please contact us for any questions you have in regards to this content or any other aspect of your property management needs.