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What Responsibilities Does a Landlord Have?

As a landlord, you hope that your rental properties will be lucrative investments with minor headaches, however it is a job that comes with a lot of responsibilities. Now, depending on where the property is located you may be inclined to follow local and state laws. That may include maintaining your property to a standard that ensures tenants have a safe & clean living space. These laws can hold tenants to certain responsibilities as well if the law does not hold them to it the lease could.

A landlord should be aware of all local laws, however having a good relationship with an attorney can be a big help too. It is important to clearly communicate with your tenants their responsibilities compared to what a landlord is responsible for.

Landlord Responsibilities

Landlords are responsible for providing a safe, clean and healthy living environment for their tenants. Most municipalities have local building codes and state laws that lay out standards. The specific rules and requirements often vary based on the state that your property is located, but here is a general list of landlord responsibilities:

Provide Habitable Living

Consider conducting regular maintenance checks and make any necessary repairs to the property. Depending on local law you may be obligated as a landlord to:

  • Supplying Trash Cans

  • Keeping Structural Elements on The Property Safe & Intact

  • Maintaining Common Areas

  • Keeping All Electrical, Plumbing, Sanitary, Heating, Ventilation, and Other Equipment in Good Working Order

  • Handling Any Vermin or Infestation, Such Ants, Rodents, Bed Bugs, & Roaches

  • Disclosing Any History of Environmental Hazards, Such As Lead Paint

Having a firm understanding of local and state laws ensures that you're providing a healthy living environment for your residents. Consider adding provisions into your leases that way your tenants can notify you ASAP when problems arise.

Ensure a Quiet Living Environment

While you want your tenants to enjoy their time in their home, you also want to make sure they are not disturbing other residents. Being very clear during the lease signing process that tenants should maintain a reasonable noise level.

Maintain Tenant Safety

Check with a landlord that is familiar with the local laws to see if you are responsible for tenant safety. Legal requirements may vary by local law, so it is important to have an understanding of what is required in your area. Regardless of where you live, there are several actions you can take to ensure tenant safety. These actions include screening tenants, maintaining locks, removing hazards, providing safety equipment, supervising all hired personnel, and giving notice of entry.

Respond to Repair Requests and Perform Repairs

Major issues that can negatively impact your tenant’s quality of life or their ability to live comfortably in the rental unit require immediate action. Here are a few examples of what are urgent landlord repair responsibilities:

  • Heating & A/C

  • Indoor Plumbing

  • Electricity

  • Security Concerns

  • Flooding

  • Pest Infestation

  • Mold

Response times obviously vary on the request. How long you may want to hold out on a repair may be dictated by local laws. More serious requests should be handled within 24 hours, while minor repairs may take up to a week or weeks.

Track Unit Conditions & Wear and Tear

When a tenant decides to move out, landlords should repair anything that may be considered normal wear and tear. That can include stained carpets, scuffed walls, worn hardware. Having a walkthrough checklist is ideal to ensure that you do not miss anything before a new tenant moves into the unit. Collecting a security deposit will allow you to minimize unexpected repairs.

Contact Attorney Bucklin for All Landlord Questions!

If you are questioning the responsibility as a landlord contact Attorney Bucklin today for clear and concise information. Attorney Bucklin has years of experience in the state of Massachusetts when it comes to both landlord and tenant issues. Andrew will work alongside you to clean up leasing agreements to ensure a smooth transition for all tenants! Get started by filling out a contact form on the website or by calling directly at 781-632-8675.

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