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Basic Rental Property Maintenance: Who Does What?

Norman Tenant Replacing a Battery in the Smoke DetectorAs a Norman property owner, it is significant to have a clear understanding of who is responsible for what relative to basic rental property maintenance. To keep your rental property in the most ideal condition and profitable, it’s really important to have a proactive property maintenance system in place. This maintenance may be enacted by you or by a service technician. Moreover, there are quite a lot of small maintenance tasks that you can and should expect your tenant to implement. In the succeeding paragraphs are some of the most common rental property maintenance tasks and who is responsible for each one:

Clogged toilets.  If a toilet becomes clogged, it is mostly the tenant’s responsibility to clear away the blockage. Then again, there may be exceptions, like if the blockage is caused by plumbing troubles unrelated to the tenant’s use. Such being the case, you would have to handle the repairs yourself or call a professional.

Broken windows. If a window is broken, it might be either the landlord’s or the tenant’s responsibility to repair or replace the window. This is for the reason that the responsibility for window replacement lies with the starting point or cause of the breakage. If the window was broken due to tenant negligence, they should pay to replace it. Although, on the flip side, if a window is damaged due to severe weather or other activities out of a tenant’s control, the property owner is responsible for securing and fixing it. Always remember that this may be a security issue; mitigation is the key here.

Lightbulbs. On the whole, tenants are responsible for replacing lightbulbs in their rental homes. This is for the reason that certain light fixtures are considered part of the tenant’s living space.

Carpeting and flooring. Speaking about the cleanliness of flooring, this would be the tenant’s responsibility.  If the flooring becomes indeed damaged or worn out, then the responsibility normally falls to the Norman property manager. That is because these are components of the property that see a lot of wear and tear over time. Once in a while, tenants may be responsible for damage to carpeting or flooring. Thereupon, the tenant would need to pay for the repairs.

Batteries in smoke and CO detectors. Smoke and CO detectors are imperative for keeping a rental property safe. The batteries in these devices should be frequently tested and replaced when required. On several occasions, state law determines whether it is the landlord’s or the tenant’s responsibility to replace the batteries. Doesn’t matter with whom the responsibility lies, as a landlord, you should be making sure to always 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. Typically, it’s the tenant’s responsibility to replace the air filters. Be that as it may, countless properties have air filter systems that tenants cannot access and change themselves. If such is the case in your rental property, it is your responsibility to make sure that your air filters are changed as often as needed.

When assigning maintenance tasks to your tenants, it’s important to use clear language detailing all responsibilities in your lease. This will help to stay away from any conflicts or disagreements down the road. By having an idea of who is responsible for what when it comes to rental property maintenance, you can keep your property in perfectly good condition and avoid any potential legal problems.


Rental property maintenance can be a prolonged, time-consuming process especially if you need to always check whether your tenant is fulfilling their responsibilities. But Real Property Management Elevate can help. We are experts in single-family rental property management, and we can thoroughly take care of all maintenance for you. Contact us online to learn more about our quality services.

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