While it may seem obvious, some renters just don’t realize their Tenant responsibilities when it comes to maintaining their rental property. In order to help them be successful, and to keep a property properly maintained, go over expectations with tenants during the lease signing process and consider providing a Tenant Handbook as part of their move-in welcome package.
Tenants’ maintenance responsibilities should be outlined in the lease so they understand their contractual obligation in regards to maintaining the property properly. Including maintenance expectations in the lease agreement provides leverage if a tenant damages the property and refuses to pay for repairs.
The following items are the responsibility of the Tenant, at their expense, while living at the property (not all-inclusive):
• Replacement of light bulbs with the correct wattage.
• Replacement of HVAC filters every month (low to mid-grade recommended)
• Replacement of refrigerator filters and range hood vent filters.
• Replacement of smoke alarm batteries, CO2 batteries and thermostat batteries.
• Report non-functioning smoke alarms immediately if batteries do not solve the problem. The property must always have working smoke alarms.
• Report and schedule all repairs, all maintenance items and all water leaks in a timely manner.
• Professional steam cleaning and spot cleaning of carpets, as needed, throughout lease term.
• Minor irrigation repairs after the first 90 days of tenancy (i.e. leaking sprinkler/drip system repair).
• Normal pest control (bees, spiders, scorpions, ants, etc.).
• Normal rodent control (mice or rats).
• Keep property clean, inside and out, free of grease, mold, mildew, cobwebs, etc.
• If you have a pet, all pet waste needs to be disposed of regularly.
• Operation and setting of the landscape irrigation clock based on watering needs.
Preventative Cleaning Tips
- Clean the inside of your trash can when smelly or sticky
- Always put food away and wipe up food debris.
- Clean pet bowls regularly to avoid attracting ants, rodents, and other insects.
- Do not allow grease to build up in the kitchen; use a sponge and soapy water regularly on the counter tops, stovetop, and hood filter.
- Avoid cooking with very high heat. Very high heat will add to more grease build-up and cause damage to appliances. It can also be dangerous.
- Use the dishwasher at least once a week. The appliance seals may dry out and the motor may be damaged by long periods of non-use.
- Avoid mildew by venting bathrooms properly, particularly after baths and showers. If your mirror is fogged up after a shower your fan should be on.
- Clean bathroom tile or other surfaces regularly to prevent the build-up of grime.
- Following use of the shower, remove any residual water from the glass enclosure with the squeegee while the area is still wet.
- Clean toilets regularly to avoid build-up of grime, rings, and mildew.
- Mop tile, wood, and linoleum to avoid “dust bunnies” and the build-up of grime.
- Do not use a lot of water when cleaning laminate flooring.
- Vacuum all flooring regularly, particularly carpets. This will save in carpet cleaning bills.
- Improve the efficiency of your Heating, Venting and Air Conditioning (HVAC) equipment and avoid costly heating and cooling bills by changing your air filters every month. Low to mid-grade filters are recommended. Avoid high quality filters as they can restrict air flow causing the unit to freeze up and stop working.
- Avoid a potential fire hazard by cleaning your dryer’s lint trap filter after each use. This also helps extend the life of the dryer.
- Regularly pick up debris and pet waste in outside areas.
- Unique Accidents? Google is best way to find out ways to remove! (wine, chocolate, butter, mustard, tomato, gum peanut butter, crayons, ink, permanent market, etc.)
Safety Tips & Tenant Responsibilities
The following are several tips to ensure the safety of you and your family in your home:
- DO NOT LEAVE CHILDREN UNATTENDED NEAR OPEN WINDOWS: window screens are not a safety device.
- If young children are present: use child protector plugs when you are not using outlets.
- If young children are present: keep all window covering cords well out of the reach of children and eliminate any dangling cords.
- If young children are present: move all cribs, beds, furniture and toys away from windows and window cords, preferably to another wall.
- Keep all objects at least 3 feet away from the water heater. Never store items in a water heater closet.
- Unplug all heat-producing small appliances like toasters, irons, and coffee makers when not in use to prevent fire hazards.
- Never leave a burning candle unattended.
- Turn heating pads and electric blankets off when you leave the room to prevent fire hazards.
- Never leave water running unattended in a plugged bathtub or when leaving the residence.
- If you have an upstairs bathroom, and you see water in the ceiling below, report the leak immediately to Rice Real Estate.
- Do not operate electrical appliances while standing or sitting in water.
- Place lamps on level surfaces and use the correct wattage.
- Avoid running extension cords over walkways, under rugs, or any place that could cause a tripping hazard.
- Never use multiple extension cords or power strips together. This is a common cause of electrical fires. Do not overload extension cords or outlets.
- If you suspect an electrical problem, report it to Rice Real Estate immediately.
- Do not remove smoke alarms, particularly if they are beeping. Change the batteries. If the alarm appears defective, please contact Rice Real Estate immediately. Smoke alarms are for safety and removing them can endanger all residents and guests.
- Do not allow children to leave toys on walkways and sidewalks.
- Replace outside light bulbs so you can utilize lights properly when it is dark.
- Keep a portable fire extinguisher in the kitchen, garage and all levels of the house; they are available in most hardware supply stores.
- If you use a grill or BBQ, use common sense and never leave grills unattended. Do not set grills up against the house. You could start a fire.
Pay rent, request repairs, add a pet, submit move-out notice, better understand tenant responsibilities and more! We’re here to take care of Residents 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.