Landlords bear most of the responsibilities when it comes to property maintenance. That's why we encourage regular rental property inspections and a proactive maintenance plan.
However, tenants have eyes on your property far more than you do. Do they have any legal obligations when it comes to maintaining your property?
The short answer is yes, but you may be surprised by what those obligations are. Read on as we share everything landlords need to know about a tenant's property maintenance responsibilities.
Required Property Maintenance for Tenants
First, let's start with the easy part. Florida law does protect tenant rights, but it also lays out tenant responsibilities. When it comes to property maintenance, tenants must comply with health and building codes, particularly in relation to sanitation.
To put it simply, tenants must:
- Take care of their waste and garbage
- Keep the property reasonably clean
- Maintain plumbing via cleaning and reasonable use
In some cases, these measures will require the landlord's assistance. For example, if tenants notice a pest problem, they must report it to you ASAP so you can invest in proper pest control.
What Tenants Shouldn't Do to Your Property
It's often easier to assess a tenant's legal maintenance responsibilities in terms of what they shouldn't do. While wear and tear is expected, considerable damage is a legal violation.
Wear and tear includes things like:
- Worn carpet pile
- Loose fixtures
- Mild scuffs on hard flooring
Considerable damage includes things like:
- Broken windows
- Large stains
- Water damage caused by neglect
You may also have stipulations in your lease. For example, your lease may prohibit putting holes in the walls with nails. If a tenant puts holes in the walls regardless, they're breaking a legally binding contract.
Optional Property Maintenance
One benefit of establishing good tenant relations is that tenants may be more willing to help with maintenance. If they care about you and the rental property, they may take extra steps like tightening loose fixtures or cleaning and polishing the floors.
When it comes to working together, make sure it's easy for tenants to report maintenance issues. A tenant portal allows tenants to give you quick notice of a problem so you can schedule repairs.
How to Address Property Damage with Tenants
There are a few ways to protect yourself from property damage caused by tenants. The first is to collect a security deposit to cover any undue damage.
The second is to stay in contact with your tenants when you notice early signs of lease violations or damage. Staying on top of lease enforcement can limit your need to follow the eviction process.
Need Better Orange Park Property Management?
Landlords bear the brunt of the responsibility when it comes to property maintenance. However, tenants have certain legal obligations to meet you halfway. When relations are good between tenants and landlords, they may even go above and beyond.
Do you need assistance with property maintenance or lease enforcement? PMI offers customizable property management services to fill in the gaps or take over so you can get the most out of your investment. Let us know how we can help today.