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Keeping Your Property Habitable

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Ensure That Your Units Stay In Shape

Property maintenance can be a confusing issue. Renters may mistakenly assume all maintenance is the responsibility of the landlord but this is usually not true. In many cases the landlord is  responsible for maintaining the common areas and performing major repairs on the apartments but the renters do typically have some responsibilities. These responsibilities are often defined in the rental agreement and the renter should familiarize himself with this document to verify his rights if a dispute arises.

Renter Responsibilities
Typically renters have the responsibility of maintaining their apartment and the surrounding area. This may include the interior of the apartment as well as deck or patio space. However, maintenance of these areas applies to generally cleanliness only and not issues such as painting or repairs to the exterior or the interior of the apartment structure or the appliances within the apartment. Additionally, renters are responsible for small repairs in their home. This may include plunging a clogged toilet or changing a light bulb. However, if there are any duties a renter feels uncomfortable performing such as changing a light bulb in a high location, the renter should contact the landlord for assistance. Renters also have a responsibility to show common courtesy to other renters by not intentionally damaging or otherwise marring public areas. This includes vandalism, littering and even failure to pick up after dogs. Renters who fail to follow these rules of common courtesy may be subject to fines or other penalties according to the rental agreement.

Landlord Responsibilities
The landlord is generally held responsible for major items such as repairs to the exterior of the building, fixing appliances which are malfunctioning and dealing with plumbing issues such as leaky pipes. Additionally, the landlord is responsible for intervening if the renter is having trouble with public utilities. Problem such as no hot water or heat to the apartment should be addressed by the landlord  in conjunction with the public utilities entity. The landlord is also responsible for maintaining the common areas. This may include keeping grassy areas manicured and other common areas looking clean and attractive.

Good maintenance may increase short-term costs, but keeping your property in optimal condition preserves its value in the long run. You can choose to hire a property management company to handle these duties or self-manage your own rental properties.

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