One of the most challenging jobs that a landlord faces is to find a good tenant. However, finding a good tenant is just part of the job. Landlord responsibilities do not end when the lease is signed; it is just the start. A landlord has certain expectations from his tenants.
Likewise, a tenant has certain expectations from a landlord, such as having the home checked by a registered gas safe engineer. In this article, we will tell you broadly the duties of landlords to tenants, such as providing a safe and well-maintained property.
1. Warranty of Habitability
The landlord of a rental unit is responsible for providing a habitable unit for a tenant. The term liveable means that the rental unit must be fit to live in, be free from hazards or defects, and be compliant with all state and local building and health codes.
What makes a home uninhabitable? Disruptions to utilities such as water, plumbing, or electricity. They have broken windows or doors that pose an injury or safety threat. Unclean conditions can cause discomfort to the tenants.
Moreover, suppose there are local requirements about safety. In that case, those must be followed as well, such as lead paint disclosures, providing safety measures such as handrails and outdoor lighting—removal of snow, ice, or other hazards.
The primary responsibilities falling under the warranty of habitability are.
- Complying with all health and building codes.
- Maintaining structural components and reasonably weather-protected unit.
- Providing the necessary heat, electric, hot and cold-water facilities.
- Make any requested repairs promptly.
- Ensuring that living conditions are peaceful and quiet, as well as hazard-free.
- Maintaining a pest-free environment.
- Ensuring that the property is gas safe, i.e., it has the valid gas safe certification.
2. Crime and Safety
As a landlord, you must keep your tenants safe from crime. For this purpose, you can provide sturdy locks on doors and install lights in dark areas around the building. These efforts will ensure safety and make people feel safer in their homes.
Moreover, it would help if you protected the tenants and the neighbourhood. As a landlord, you can start by starting the screening of the tenants. A recent report has shown that one out of four tenant reports has a criminal record.
A criminal report will help you see if you are renting your home to a person with a relevant criminal history and might put your property or the neighbourhood at risk. Renting your property to a person with a criminal puts you in danger and may also cause problems in the lease signing and stuff.
Individuals with criminal histories are not protected under the federal fair housing act. However, a blanket policy to deny renting to a person with any criminal background does not necessarily serve the community’s interests.
We highly recommend considering the severity of the crime and the time since the offense was committed.
3. Making Repairs
Most landlords delay the repair process, but it is in the best interest to make the repairs reported by a tenant as soon as possible, especially if the damage causes the rental property to become uninhabitable or creates a safety hazard.
Moreover, if a landlord neglects or delays the repair work, it can cause consequences. Some local or state laws state that a tenant can hold payment if the repair is not made timely.
If the landlord allows the tenant, he may hire a third party to repair, again deducting the cost of any repair bills from the rent. The effective way is to make a mutual collaboration so that the repair process can go smoothly.
As a landlord, you should follow regulations regarding access to the property, as there are only a few reasons why a landlord may enter a rental property while it is occupied.
The regulations vary by state, but the standard way is to give tenants 24 hours’ notice to make repairs or determine what repairs are necessary. Most states allow you to enter the rental property in an emergency.
The repair work is dependent on what terms are set between you and the tenant. Home warranty services will cover major repairs, such as furnaces and HVAC systems if you don’t have a dedicated repair service.
4. Maintaining the Property
Once the property is rented to the tenant, it is his responsibility to take care of the property and maintain the property. However, if a property rundown, the tenant is not responsible for it. Again, we want to mention that it depends on the terms and conditions.
As a landlord, you should keep accurate, up-to-date records of all maintenance and repairs to protect yourself if any conflicts arise with the tenants.
We know that most of you are optimistic landlords and will react positively to the tenants’ requests, or even if you think that is not your job, you will explain why specific requests can not be accommodated.
Landlords are only responsible for insurance policies covering the structure, not the tenants’ personal belongings. Mostly, the landlords are responsible for protecting the maintenance costs of the roof, walls, and outdoor spaces.
To keep it simple, any damage to the rental property structure comes under the landlord’s responsibility. On the other hand, any damage to personal belongings comes under the tenants’ responsibility.
Conclusion for Landlord Responsibilities: 4 Things Landlords Should Know
There are several other landlords’ responsibilities, but we have enlisted the top four responsibilities. Others include providing contact information to tenants in case of emergency, promptly returning security deposits, etc.
The bottom line is that you are responsible for providing a habitable and safe living environment for the tenants as a landlord. Address the complaints of the tenants as soon as possible to avoid consequences.
Following the tips mentioned above will protect you from potential conflict and help you attract good tenants in the future.
Let us know about your feedback in the comments. Thank you so much for your time and attention.