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Basic Rental Property Maintenance: Who Does What?

Gainesville Tenant Replacing a Battery in the Smoke DetectorAs a Gainesville property owner, it is principal to apprehend who is responsible for what concerning basic rental property maintenance. To keep your rental property in sound condition and profitable, it’s beneficial to have a proactive property maintenance system in place. This maintenance may be worked on by you or by a service technician. Still, there are a good deal of small and minor maintenance tasks that you can and should expect your tenant to fulfill. Here are a handful of the most common rental property maintenance tasks and who is normally responsible for each one:

Clogged toilets.  If a toilet becomes clogged, it is usually the tenant’s responsibility to clear up the blockage. At the same time, there may be exceptions, for instance, if the blockage is caused by plumbing that is unrelated to the tenant’s use. In this state, you would certainly need to handle the repairs yourself or call a professional.

Broken windows. If a window is broken, it could be either the landlord’s or the tenant’s responsibility to repair or replace the window. This is because the responsibility for window replacement lies with the primary reason for the breakage. If the window was broken due to tenant negligence, they should pay to replace it. But take note, if a window is damaged due to severe weather or other episodes out of a tenant’s control, the property owner is responsible for fixing it up. Be mindful that this may be a security issue; mitigation is the key here.

Lightbulbs. Mostly, tenants are responsible for replacing lightbulbs in their rental homes. This is because the majority of light fixtures are considered part of the tenant’s living space.

Carpeting and flooring. When you make mention of the cleanliness of flooring, this would be a tenant’s responsibility.  If the flooring turns out to be damaged or worn out, then the responsibility most commonly falls to the Gainesville property manager. This has to do with the fact these are sections of the property that see a lot of wear and tear over time. In certain scenarios, conversely, tenants may be responsible for damage to carpeting or flooring. In such a case, the tenant would need to pay for the repairs.

Batteries in smoke and CO detectors. Smoke and CO detectors are focal for keeping a rental property safe. The batteries in these devices should be tested regularly and replaced as the need arises. At times, state law decides whether it is the landlord’s or the tenant’s responsibility to replace the batteries. Notwithstanding with whom the responsibility lies, as a landlord, you should check and replace batteries two times per year.

Air filters.  Air filters help keep the air in a rental property clean and free of pollutants. In most circumstances, it’s the tenant’s responsibility to replace the air filters. Nonetheless, several properties have air filter systems that tenants cannot just access and change themselves. When that’s the case in your rental property, it is your responsibility to check that your air filters are changed regularly.

When sharing maintenance tasks with your tenants, it’s, all the time, relevant to include very clear language detailing all responsibilities in your lease. This will help to hinder any differences or disagreements down the road. By taking into consideration who is responsible for what concerns rental property maintenance, you can keep your property in very sound condition and successfully prevent any potential legal problems.


Rental property maintenance can be time-consuming, and time-wasting especially if you will feel bound to keep checking whether your tenant is fulfilling their responsibilities. But Real Property Management Diversified can help. We are experts in single-family rental property management, and we can surely take care of all maintenance for you. Contact us online to learn more regarding our quality services.

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