If you're a landlord wondering whether you're responsible for all the property maintenance, the short answer is no. You do not carry all the burden of keeping your place in good order.
The long answer is that your tenants are legally bound to certain duties and that law and common practice impose such obligations. Beyond these, there are responsibilities tenants can pick up by agreement. These are called optional responsibilities.
Keep reading this useful guide for more info on legal duties and optional maintenance responsibilities.
Legal Tenant Maintenance Responsibilities
A tenant's legally required duties come in two forms. The first and most prevalent form is any task that limits sanitary hazards and property damage.
In California, tenants must regularly clean their units and take out the trash. This reduces health risks (like attracting bugs and mice) and stops the dirt from spilling into property damage. A considerable part of this is following the building's regulations and code of conduct.
Tenants are also obliged not to use the place in any way that would damage its structure or the landlord's furniture. The only maintenance that falls to the landlord comes from reasonable use and wear and tear.
The second form of legal responsibility activates if the tenant damages the property. In such cases, the tenant must remedy the problem or risk losing out on their deposit.
Optional Property Maintenance Tasks
Apart from legal responsibilities, there are many things a tenant can take up voluntarily. These would typically be the responsibilities of a landlord, but it's easier for everyone if the tenant does them instead. Some examples include cleaning gutters and cutting grass.
If the tenants choose to do these, they must not violate their legal duties. For example, they can't paint the walls just any color if it breaks the building's rules. They can also not escape their legal responsibilities by doing optional maintenance instead.
You can offer that your tenants pick up some extra duties in exchange for reduced rent. Apart from good staging and marketing, a generous contract can make your place more attractive. However, they're not automatically entitled to a rent reduction if they do extra maintenance.
Offering that your tenants get a rent reduction for extra maintenance is a good idea if you live far away from the property. Getting a property management company involved also helps you set up a fair contract and gives you peace of mind in these cases.
Simplifying Tenant Relations
So much goes into maintaining a property to keep it legally livable. Most of the responsibility is on the landlord by default, but there are tasks that tenants have to do as well. These revolve around avoiding hazards and property damage and fixing any damage they cause.
Tenants can also pick up extra maintenance duties by agreement. This can benefit landlords who live far away and renters looking for reduced rates.
At Palm Springs PMI, we can guarantee the best rental agreements for tenants and landlords. Contact us today if you're looking for expert advice or a great new home!