The lease agreement you sign with your tenants is a contract that outlines your responsibilities and your tenants. Sometimes, those responsibilities are straightforward and easy to understand. Landlords are responsible for providing a habitable property, for example. Tenants are responsible for paying rent.
It seems simple. But, things can get complex when it comes to maintenance responsibilities, the requirement to turn on utilities, and things like pool and lawn services.
It’s important that you have a conversation with your tenants before they move into your property so you can establish your expectations. Make sure everyone’s on the same page.
We’re separating some of the common landlord and tenant responsibilities in today’s blog.
Brentwood Landlord Responsibilities
As a landlord, you’ll need to make sure the property is safe, secure, and ready to be occupied by your tenant. You’re also responsible for the general maintenance of the home, meaning it’s your money that will pay for things like heating systems, air conditioning, appliances, and all the plumbing and electricity in the home. You won’t be paying the electric and the water bills necessarily, but you do have to make sure there are outlets that provide electricity and faucets that deliver water.
You are also responsible for collecting rent, holding the tenant accountable to the lease terms, and following up on any maintenance or repair requests that your tenants make. You have to keep careful track of the security deposit and return it within the legal parameters at the end of the lease term.
Landlords are expected to understand all the local, state, and federal laws pertaining to a rental property. You cannot violate fair housing or rent control laws without risking court action and steep financial penalties. You’re often required to share with your residents what their legal rights are. Lead paint disclosures are required with the lease, for example, and it’s now your responsibility to let your tenants know if your property is included or excluded from recent rent control laws.
Brentwood Tenant Responsibilities
Tenants are responsible for paying rent on time and in accordance with your rent collection policy. They’re also responsible for paying any utilities and setting up accounts in their own name unless otherwise explained in the lease. They may be responsible for mowing the lawn, taking care of the pool, depending on how you’ve structured your lease agreement. If your property is in an HOA, your tenant must also follow any of the rules and regulations of that association.
While landlords are responsible for maintaining the home, you can expect your tenants to be tasked with taking care of minor things like changing air filters and replacing light bulbs. They are also responsible for fixing what they damage. If the tenant causes a toilet to overflow by flushing a non-flushable item, that’s the tenant’s financial responsibility. It a tenant’s child breaks a window by throwing a baseball through it, the tenant is responsible for fixing it.
Make sure your lease agreement is clear on what the tenant is responsible for maintaining and when the tenant is responsible for repairs.
Working with a Brentwood property management company can help you manage your own responsibilities and hold the tenants accountable for their own. If you’d like some help, please contact us at Parks Property Management. We’d love to tell you more.