Legal and Optional Tenant Maintenance Responsibilities in Lynchburg, Virginia

Legal and Optional Tenant Maintenance Responsibilities in Lynchburg, Virginia

Everyone knows landlords are responsible for major maintenance, but did you know tenants are also responsible for some maintenance? The same duty of a tenant not to damage property also comes with some light property maintenance responsibilities. These are called legal property maintenance obligations.

A landlord can also pass some of their maintenance responsibilities to the tenant by way of agreement. These are called optional maintenance responsibilities. Learn more about these duties and how they can serve you in this quick guide.

Legal Property Maintenance Responsibilities

A tenant's default property upkeep duties are couched in the rules related to security deposits. Landlords may withhold security deposits to repair property damage caused by their tenants. The only exception is when the "damage" amounts to fair wear and tear.

Tenants are, therefore, obliged to take steps to prevent serious property damage from occurring. Some of these steps are their legal tenant maintenance responsibilities. A few examples of such tasks include:

  • Disposing of refuse to avoid insect infestations
  • Removal of obvious fire hazards
  • Cleaning gutters to prevent structural damage to the roof
  • Preventing odors from pets, service animals, or smoking from seeping into the carpet, walls, or other parts of the structure

From this non-exhaustive list, we can see that most of these steps amount to essential preventative maintenance.

Optional Property Maintenance Responsibilities

Tenants can also take on some of the landlord's responsibilities. This can happen in two different scenarios.

The first case is where the tenant takes on these responsibilities by agreement. Even though verbal contracts are valid, having them in writing is always best.

An arrangement like this can benefit certain tenants and landlords. For example, where a tenant is an expert plumber, they wouldn't need to rely on the landlord to attend to the plumbing.

The second case is where a tenant needs certain types of maintenance done, but the landlord doesn't get to it. In these cases, the tenants can do or pay for the urgent repairs and claim the property maintenance expenses back in the future.

Why Vary Optional Maintenance Responsibilities

As stated above, there are occasions where tenants taking optional responsibilities is better for everyone. If a landlord lives too far from their rental property to fulfill their duties effectively, they can ask a tenant with the means or skill to arrange maintenance. An alternative to this could be working with a full-service property management company.

Landlords can even sweeten the deal by reducing rent in exchange for asking tenants to do optional maintenance tasks. If the tenant agrees, however, they must return the property to their landlord in the same condition it was when they first arrived.

Become a Property Maintenance Pro

Landlords aren't the only parties with maintenance responsibilities; tenants have them too. Tenants must take reasonable steps to prevent serious property damage from setting in. If they don't, landlords have grounds for withholding security deposits.

Your property maintenance policy can be make-or-break for your renting business. PMI Lynchburg has the expertise to set up the best maintenance policy for you and so much more. Contact us today and learn how we can help make your life as a landlord easier.