Monday, March 27, 2017

Tenant vs. Landlord Maintenance Responsibilities: Drawing the Line

Living in a rental property has a lot of upsides. There's no mortgage hanging over your head, offering you flexibility if you want to pick up and move across town - or across country. Renting can be more affordable, too. There's also less pressure to maintain the property. After all, if your fridge breaks or the AC goes out, the landlord is just one phone call away. Right?

For property managers, drawing the line on maintenance responsibilities is critical. Some renters don't understand where personal responsibility comes into play. As Scott Safadi of Cal Bay Property Management know, it's so important to clearly delineate duties - from the moment the lease is signed. 

What duties should you take on as a property manager? Generally, it's your job to ensure plumbing, electrical and HVAC systems are functioning properly. But tenants owe it to themselves (and to the landlord) to use these properly. Light bulbs and smoke detector batteries are likely to need more regular (albeit easy) maintenance. You can require tenants to change these things themselves, but be sure to include it in writing!

The key - as with all tenant-landlord dilemmas - is communication. Get everyone on the same page and maintenance will be a cinch! 

- Scott Safadi, Cal Bay Property Management


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