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February 10, 2017

Who Is Responsible For Rental Property Maintenance?

Modern Apartment ComplexPeople who rent a home or apartment want to live in a safe, well-maintained place. But as with any home, rental properties can have maintenance issues from time to time. This is one reason why renters insurance is so critical; the policy can protect a renter’s valuables and liability in case a peril affects the property.

Even if they have insurance coverage, renters should be able to determine who’s responsible for the home’s maintenance; this can reduce the likelihood that a claim is denied for negligence. For instance, renters should know who’s responsible for maintaining the structure’s foundations, and who is obligated to take care of electrical or heating problems.

These responsibilities can vary from property to property, so it’s important to know what the law and your lease require of you. Tenants and landlords each hold responsibilities for home maintenance.

Renters have rights to a safe home, while landlords have rights to know that their property is in good hands. There are many laws in place that will protect renters and their rights to a safe environment.

State laws usually requires landlords to take responsibility for certain maintenance tasks. Local laws might also require that all rental properties meet housing codes. Additionally, a landlord is often responsible for making the home code-compliant before a tenant moves in.

Maintenance that falls to the landlord might include:

  • Electrical maintenance
  • Foundation, roof and structure maintenance
  • Security maintenance — including the installation of theft-prevention devices, such as locks and alarm systems
  • Safety maintenance, such as the installation of smoke detectors and other warning devices

The landlord is also responsible for maintaining the property while the tenant is living there. A landlord sometimes can allow a tenant to take on maintenance tasks by him or herself, but they’ll generally need to compensate that tenant for the work they’ve done.

However, tenants should remember that a landlord is not responsible for daily maintenance. Renters are responsible for keeping a home sanitary and safe from day-to-day. They also must take steps to avoid negligent risks and preventable damages.

If a renter’s actions cause damage or maintenance problems, the renter is likely responsible for repairs. These repairs could also be excluded from renters insurance policies, meaning the renter will have to pay for them out of pocket.

Your lease can provide you with valuable information about maintenance responsibilities. Also, be sure to explore your renters insurance options to learn how policies cover maintenance.

Get coverage today! Call Cloverleaf Insurance at (800) 530-5822 for a free renters insurance quote.

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