Renters’ Rights: Your Landlord’s Responsibilities

Professional landlords know that their job doesn’t end once the monthly rent check is collected – read on to learn about the basic responsibilities charged to every quality landlord.

Once the lease agreement has been signed, keys have been delivered, and you’ve moved in to your new apartment, townhome, or corporate housing unit, you may feel like the majority of the work is complete. If you are the renter – you’re largely correct. If you are the landlord, your job has truly just begun. Landlords have a responsibility to take care of their tenants by ensuring a clean, safe, and comfortable living environment. You can expect the following:

Keys in door lock

Safety

Landlords must ensure that tenants always feel safe within their homes. While safety is the responsibility of both the tenant and the landlord, property managers must first verify that all doors have appropriate locking mechanisms, like a deadbolt lock. Windows should be properly secured and include locks on both first and second floor windows. Lastly, landlords must confirm that no one else has a key to the rental unit and that the locks have been rekeyed between tenants.

Cleanliness

While landlords are not responsible for making beds and folding laundry, there is an inherent responsibility to make sure that the interior of the home is sanitary and free from insect infestation, rodents, or other similar concerns. Depending on the terms of the lease agreement, you may not be able to use insecticides or poisons yourself to rid your unit of roaches, bedbugs, or mice. Instead, contact your landlord and they will coordinate with a professional pest control organization.

A quiet environment

Renters who live in apartment units or townhomes must be conscious of their own noise levels, lest they be branded as “bad neighbors.” Your landlord has a responsibility to not only screen tenants during the application process, but to also reinforce quiet hours policies or other nuisance issues.

Repair issues promptly

Landlords must follow through on repair orders in a timely manner, with sensitivity paid to those issues that present an immediate health or safety risk to the tenant. A leaky faucet might be annoying, but it doesn’t require an emergency trip from a plumber. A broken furnace, on the other hand, can be dangerous in the wintertime and can result in further damage to the property if the pipes freeze up. Your landlord should have a good grasp on the varying levels of severity when it comes to making repairs.

Properly manage deposits

In most states, landlords or property managers that oversee multiple rental units are required to keep tenant security deposits in a separate bank account that earns interest. Once the lease expires, the landlord is generally required to return the security deposit and any related interest accrued to you within a specific amount of time – typically 30 days.

As a renter, you should expect superior service from your property management company and landlord. After all, your monthly rental payment creates a binding contract that compels you to abide by a whole host of rules – the same applies to your landlord. Make sure that you partner with a responsible and reputable property management company to make sure that your tenant rights are upheld at all times.

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