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Basic Rental Property Maintenance: Who Does What?

Torrance Tenant Replacing a Battery in the Smoke DetectorAs a Torrance property owner, it is important to consider and determine who is responsible for what regarding basic rental property maintenance. To keep your rental property in very good condition and profitable, it’s totally important to have a proactive property maintenance system in place. This maintenance may be carried out by you or by a service technician. Still, there are lots of small maintenance tasks that you can and should expect your tenant to exercise and complete. Here are many of the most common rental property maintenance tasks and who is frequently responsible for each one:

Clogged toilets.  If a toilet becomes clogged, it is in general the tenant’s responsibility to free the blockage. But, there may be exceptions, for example, if the blockage is caused by plumbing concerns unrelated to the tenant’s use. In such an event, you would need to handle the repairs yourself or call a professional.

Broken windows. If a window is broken, it is usually either the landlord’s or the tenant’s responsibility to repair or replace the window. This is because the responsibility for window replacement lies with the primary reason for the breakage. If the window was broken due to tenant negligence, they should pay to replace it. Having said that, if a window is damaged due to severe weather or other conditions out of a tenant’s control, the property owner is responsible for repairing and making it as good as new. Note that this may be a security issue; mitigation is the key here.

Lightbulbs. Largely, tenants are responsible for replacing lightbulbs in their rental homes. This is due to the reason that light fixtures are considered part of the tenant’s living space.

Carpeting and flooring. When it comes to the cleanliness of flooring, this would be a tenant’s responsibility.  If the flooring eventually becomes damaged or worn out, then the responsibility for this falls on the Torrance property manager. This is for the reason that these are elements of the property that see a lot of wear and tear over time. From time to time, on the other hand, tenants may be responsible for damage to carpeting or flooring. Consequently, the tenant would need to pay for the repairs.

Batteries in smoke and CO detectors. Smoke and CO detectors are important for keeping a rental property safe. The batteries in these devices should be often tested and replaced if necessary. In some instances, state law determines whether it is the landlord’s or the tenant’s responsibility to replace the batteries. Never mind with whom the responsibility lies, as a landlord, you should be making certain to check and replace batteries two times per year.

Air filters. Air filters help keep the air in a rental property clean and free of pollutants. In general, it’s the tenant’s responsibility to replace the air filters. Yet, quite a lot of properties have air filter systems that tenants cannot quite easily access and change themselves. If it is true in your rental property, it is your responsibility to make certain that your air filters are changed as often as needed.

When giving maintenance tasks to your tenants, it’s primarily important to utilize clear language disclosing all responsibilities in your lease. This will help to dodge any confusion or disagreements down the road. By grasping who is responsible for what with regards to rental property maintenance, you can keep your property in very good condition and keep away from any potential legal problems.


Rental property maintenance can be arduous and tint-consuming, especially if you have to continually check whether your tenant is fulfilling their responsibilities. But Real Property Management California Coast can surely help. We are experts in single-family rental property management, and we certainly can take care of all maintenance for you. Contact us online to learn more about our quality and excellent services.

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