Landlords & Tenants – Who’s Responsible for What in a Rental Property? | Grand Rapids Landlord Education

Apr 9, 2021 | Owner Education, Property Management Education

When it comes to dividing up the responsibilities between landlords and tenants, they can seem pretty simple. Landlords are required to provide a safe and habitable rental property. They need to make sure their tenants have access to water, electricity, and heat. They also need to maintain the property and make timely repairs as needed. 

Tenants have the main responsibility of paying rent on time every month, following the terms and requirements of the lease agreement, and reporting maintenance as soon as it’s needed. 

Things can become complicated, however, when it comes to things like landscaping and general maintenance. Who handles pest control? Who pays for new air filters? 

These issues need to be addressed in your lease agreement. It’s the best place to clearly establish the role of the landlord and the role of your tenant. It will eliminate confusion and ensure everyone is on the same page when it comes to expectations and responsibilities. 

General Responsibilities of Grand Rapids Landlords

Landlords are mostly responsible for property maintenance except in certain circumstances. 

Maintaining the property includes providing clean carpets and floors for new tenants who are moving in, ensuring all appliances, plumbing, electricity, and other functions are safe and working, and taking care of general wear and tear after a lease period ends. 

The home you’re renting out is your investment property, which means you are ultimately responsible for it. Services like landscaping and pool care can sometimes be handed off to a tenant, but if you want to keep control over the maintenance standards and quality, hire professionals to take care of those things and then work the cost of those services into your rental amount.  

As the landlord, you will need to repair and replace anything that breaks at the property, unless the damage is due to a tenant’s abuse or misuse.

Tenant Expectations and Responsibilities 

Tenants are typically in favor of renting a home instead of buying a home because they don’t have to worry about replacing the air conditioning unit or paying for a new roof. Most residents are willing to help you maintain your home, but they’re not going to expect to invest a lot of time or money making repairs or scheduling work.  

Your tenants can be responsible for 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 sending a toy 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 Grand Rapids Property Management Company

Work with a Property Management CompanyWorking with a Grand Rapids property management company benefits both the landlords and the tenants when it comes to deciding who is responsible for what types of maintenance. Your property manager can be a liaison between you and your tenant and also make sure that you’re using a strong lease agreement that’s clear about who is responsible for what. 

If you’re interested in hearing more about what we do to lease, manage, and maintain your investment property, please contact our team at Short South Realty Group.