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Basic Rental Property Maintenance: Who Does What?

South Jordan Tenant Replacing a Battery in the Smoke DetectorAs a South Jordan property owner, it is imperative to understand who is responsible for what for basic rental property maintenance. To keep your rental property in mint condition and profitable, it’s integral to have a proactive property maintenance system in place. This maintenance may be brought about by you or by a service technician. Nonetheless, there are plenty of small maintenance tasks that you can and should expect your tenant to take care of. Here are a few of the most common rental property maintenance tasks and who is characteristically responsible for each one:

Clogged toilets.  If a toilet becomes clogged, it is commonly the tenant’s responsibility to fix and do away with the blockage. Then again, there may be exceptions, in particular, if the blockage is caused by plumbing dilemmas and issues unrelated to the tenant’s use. In such circumstances, you would need to handle the repairs yourself or call a professional.

Broken windows. If a window is broken, it would be either the landlord’s or the tenant’s responsibility to repair or replace the window. This has to do with the fact the responsibility for window replacement lies with the origin or reason of the breakage. If the window was broken due to tenant negligence, they should pay to replace it. But indeed, if a window is damaged due to severe weather or other happenings out of a tenant’s control, the property owner is responsible for fixing it. Just always bear in mind that this is a security issue; mitigation is the key here.

Lightbulbs. Generally, tenants are responsible for replacing lightbulbs in their rental homes. This has to do with the fact that most light fixtures are considered part of the tenant’s living space.

Carpeting and flooring. With regards to the cleanliness of flooring, this would be the tenant’s responsibility.  If the flooring becomes damaged or worn out, then the responsibility largely falls to the South Jordan property manager. This is simply because these are components of the property that see a lot of wear and tear over time. At the same time, in certain circumstances, tenants may be responsible for damage to carpeting or flooring. In that event, the tenant would need to pay for the repairs.

Batteries in smoke and CO detectors. Smoke and CO detectors are necessary for keeping a rental property safe. The batteries in these devices should be repeatedly tested and replaced as appropriate. In rare conditions, 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 securing and replacing batteries two times per year.

Air filters. Air filters help keep the air in a rental property clean and free of pollutants. In most situations, it’s the tenant’s responsibility to replace the air filters. But in fact, several properties have air filter systems that tenants cannot easily access and change themselves. If such is the case in your rental property, it is your responsibility to secure that your air filters are changed as regularly as needed.

When assigning maintenance tasks to your tenants, it’s always essential to use clear language describing all responsibilities in your lease. This will help to ward off any misinterpretations or disagreements down the road. By knowing who is responsible for what as regards rental property maintenance, you can keep your property in mint condition and fend off any potential legal problems.


Rental property maintenance can be time-consuming particularly if you must always check whether your tenant is fulfilling their responsibilities. But Real Property Management Wasatch can help. We are experts in single-family rental property management, and we can certainly take care of all maintenance for you. Contact us online to learn more regarding our quality services.

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