With any rental home, there are various responsibilities that fall to landlords and others that fall to tenants. Sometimes, there is arguing and a lot of misunderstanding involved in deciding who is responsible for what. It’s important to communicate openly and have a detailed lease to avoid any of these concerns over who should do what.

Any of the property’s systems are the responsibility of the landlord. This includes the heating, the air conditioning and the appliances. As long as there is not some malicious act involved, those are landlord responsibilities. The law requires that property owners keep their rental properties habitable. That means everything has to work in the property.

There are exceptions to this law when the tenant abuses or misuses one of those systems. We have a story that illustrates this example perfectly. One of our tenants recently had a clogged toilet, so we sent out a plumber. Once the work was completed, the plumber noted on the invoice that a Power Ranger toy was removed from the toilet. The six-year-old living in the home had decided to see if the Power Ranger could swim against the tide, and of course it couldn’t. It got stuck. In this case, the tenant was responsible for that repair.

The best thing you can do as a landlord is to be perfectly clear with your tenants about what you will take care of and what will be the responsibility of that tenant. When you are clear about your expectations before the tenant even moves in, everyone will be on the same page and you won’t have to worry about confusion or misunderstandings.

Something else to remember is that the burden of proof is always on the landlord. If there is ever a dispute about a charge you might be making against the security deposit, you have to know that you are the party responsible for proving why a tenant is responsible for something instead of you.

Be firm and be fair, and you’ll find you are able to develop and maintain good tenant relationships. When you have a good relationship in place, it’s easier to communicate with those tenants and you’ll find you’re able to keep them renting out your property for longer.

If you have any questions about what you need to take care of as a landlord and what you can expect the tenants to handle, please contact us at Aborn Properties.