Who Pays For Maintenance On A Rental Property?
Whether it is the property manager or a resident who pays for maintenance on a rental property is always a difficult question. It typically hinges on several factors, such as the lease agreement, state laws, and the type of repair needed.
Read on to explore the scenarios where maintenance and repair expenses fall on the property manager or the resident. We'll provide some examples to help clarify the issue.
Who Pays For Maintenance And Repair Expenses On A Rental Property?
The lease agreement typically outlines the responsibility for maintenance and repair issues on a rental property. Property managers are responsible for ensuring that the property is habitable and that significant repairs are made promptly.
Residents are responsible for minor maintenance and keeping the property clean and undamaged. However, this division of responsibility can vary depending on state regulations and the specific terms of the lease.
In most states, property managers are legally required to maintain essential services such as heating, plumbing, and electricity. If these services are not provided, the resident may be able to put a lien on the rent or terminate the lease. In other states, property managers may be required to provide reasonable repairs for any issues that make the property uninhabitable, even if they are not explicitly listed in the lease agreement.
How Long Does A Property Manager Have To Make Repairs?
Property managers are legally obligated to maintain and keep the property in good condition. This means that any repairs that are needed should be made promptly. However, the time frame for repairs can vary depending on the type of repair required - the lease contract also factors in the same.
For example, suppose a repair is considered an emergency, such as a broken pipe or electrical issue. In that case, the property manager should repair it immediately. If it's not an emergency, the property manager should repair it within a reasonable time, usually within 30 days.
Why Should Property Managers Make Repairs Quickly?
Property managers should make repairs quickly for several reasons. First, it is their legal obligation to do so. Failure to promptly repair can result in legal action against the property manager or property manager.
Second, quickly making repairs can prevent further damage from occurring. For instance, a leaky roof can lead to water damage and mold growth if not repaired quickly. Third, quick repairs can keep residents happy and satisfied, leading to more positive reviews and referrals.
Read more about the importance of property maintenance and 6 Ways To Reduce Rental Property Maintenance Costs
When Can Property Managers Make Resident Pay For Repairs?
Property managers can make residents pay for repairs under uniquely specified circumstances. This is usually outlined in the lease agreement between the property manager and the resident.
For instance, if a resident damages the property or causes a repair to be needed, they become liable for the cost of the repair. Property managers cannot charge residents for everyday wear and tear or repairs that are the property manager's responsibility.
What Maintenance Issues Should A Property Manager Handle?
Property managers handle major maintenance issues, while residents are responsible for maintaining their space safely and pristinely. A resident can quickly fix a broken bulb or unclog a sink. But property managers should handle major repairs such as structural, roof, electrical, and plumbing problems.
They should also address any repairs to appliances the property manager provides, such as a broken refrigerator or stove. Additionally, property managers should handle repairs related to the safety and habitability of the premises. That is, fixing issues with smoke detectors or broken locks.
When Can The Resident Withhold Rent For Maintenance Issues?
The resident may withhold rent for maintenance issues if the property manager fails to make necessary repairs that impact the livability of the space. However, residents should only withhold rent after giving the property manager notice of the repair and allowing them time to do the repairs.
The resident can then withhold rent payment after failing to remediate the issue. Even so, residents should never withhold rent for minor problems or repairs they are responsible for.
5 Common Types Of Maintenance A Resident Can Do
While property managers are responsible for major repairs and maintenance issues, there are certain types of maintenance that residents can handle themselves. These include:
- Changing light bulbs and air filters
- Cleaning gutters and drains
- Removing debris from the property
- Replacing batteries in smoke detectors
- Keeping the premises hygienic and free of pests
Residents should consult the property manager before attempting major fixes to ensure they stay within the lease agreement.
Maintenance vs. Home Improvement - Who Should Pay for Them?
When leasing, try to understand the difference between maintenance and home improvement. Maintenance refers to repairs and upkeep necessary to keep the property in good condition. This could be fixing a leaky faucet or replacing a broken window.
Home improvement, on the other hand, refers to renovations or upgrades that improve the value or functionality of the property, such as installing new flooring or upgrading appliances.
The property manager should always handle maintenance, but some improvements may fall under the purview of tenants depending on their tastes and preferences,
The property manager should approve home improvement projects before the tenant commences them. Additionally, the resident should only make home improvement projects with the property manager's approval. Failure to obtain permission may violate the lease agreement terms and open the tenant to legal action.
The Legal Obligations
Property managers are legally obligated to maintain and keep the property in good condition. This includes making necessary repairs promptly, providing a safe and habitable living environment, and complying with all applicable laws and regulations. Failing to adhere to such requirements can result in legal action against the property manager, such as fines or lawsuits.
Also, property managers must comply with all fair housing laws and regulations, which prohibit discrimination against residents based on race, gender, and religion. Property managers must also provide reasonable accommodations for residents with disabilities.
Did You Know RentCheck Simplifies Rental Property Inspections?
Keeping track of maintenance and repairs can quickly overwhelm busy property managers and owners. That's where RentCheck comes in.
RentCheck is a software platform that simplifies rental property inspections by providing a comprehensive record of items before and after moving in. It also allows residents to track maintenance and makes everything seamless for legal compliance and happier tenancy experiences.
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