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Basic Rental Property Maintenance: Who Does What?

Georgetown Tenant Replacing a Battery in the Smoke DetectorAs a Georgetown property owner, it is very important to grasp well who is responsible for what in the matter of basic rental property maintenance. To keep your rental property in tip-top condition and profitable, it’s significant to have a proactive property maintenance system in place. This maintenance may be conducted by you or by a service technician. But definitely, there are different small maintenance tasks that you can and should expect your tenant to enact. Here are some of the most common rental property maintenance tasks and who is ordinarily responsible for each one:

Clogged toilets.  If a toilet becomes clogged, it is mostly the tenant’s responsibility to clean the blockage. Conversely, there may be exceptions, for instance, if the blockage is caused by plumbing obstacles unrelated to the tenant’s use. In this connection, you would most probably need to handle the repairs yourself or call a professional.

Broken windows. If a window is broken, it is perhaps either the landlord’s or the tenant’s responsibility to repair or replace the window. This happens because the responsibility for window replacement lies with the matter and reason for the breakage. If the window was broken due to tenant negligence, they should pay to replace it. Then again, if a window is damaged due to severe weather or other incidents out of a tenant’s control, the property owner is responsible for paying to fix it. Always don’t forget that this may be a security issue; mitigation is the key here.

Lightbulbs. Mostly, tenants are responsible for replacing lightbulbs in their rental homes. This happens because a lot of light fixtures are considered part of the tenant’s living space.

Carpeting and flooring. When it comes to the cleanliness of flooring, this would be a tenant’s responsibility. If the flooring eventually turns out to be broken or worn out, then the responsibility most oftentimes falls to the Georgetown property manager. This is because these are factors of the property that see a lot of wear and tear over time. On occasion, nonetheless, tenants may be responsible for damage to carpeting or flooring. In such circumstances, the tenant would need to pay for the repairs.

Batteries in smoke and CO detectors. Smoke and CO detectors are great for keeping a rental property safe. The batteries in these devices should be consistently tested and replaced If needed. Every once in a while, state law directs whether it is the landlord’s or the tenant’s responsibility to replace the batteries. It makes no difference with whom the responsibility lies, as a landlord, you should be certain to 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. Usually, it’s the tenant’s responsibility to replace the air filters. But indeed, quite a few properties have air filter systems that tenants cannot, as easily as possible, access and change themselves. If it is the case in your rental property, it is your responsibility to make certain that your air filters are changed as needed.

When assigning maintenance tasks to your tenants, it’s foremost to use clear language to specify all responsibilities in your lease. This will help to fend off any disputes or disagreements down the road. By perceiving who is responsible for what in the matter of rental property maintenance, you can keep your property in prime and serviceable condition and eliminate any potential legal problems.


Rental property maintenance can be demanding and time-consuming, primarily if you will be compelled to always check whether your tenant is fulfilling their responsibilities. But Real Property Management DC Metro can certainly help. We are experts in single-family rental property management, and we can effectively take care of all maintenance for you. Contact us online to learn more about our fine, quality services.

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