The Two-Way Street of Landlord-Tenant Relationships
Every relationship is a two-way street with different responsibilities for the parties involved. This is a brief guide to the responsibilities and legal duties of both landlords and tenants.
Landlord responsibilities & legal dutiesLandlords have different responsibilities, and they vary by state, we've broken things down so you as a landlord have a better idea of what you're responsible for when you are renting out your property. General responsibilities: (1) by law, a rental residence must be habitable or fit to live in - this is the most important responsibility of any landlord, the house must be in livable condition; (2) tenants should feel safe in their property - working locks are a must have, just like announced visits, do not drop in announced; (3) residents should feel safe outside of the property - ensure all doorways are well lit and free of hazards also, be compliant with garbage regulations; (4) effective waterproofing and weather protection of roof and exterior walls; (5) plumbing facilities in good working order, including hot and cold running water; and (6) pest control - this is part of the whole make the property habitable or fit to live in.
Tenant responsibilities & obligationsTenants should feel right at home when they decide to rent out a property. However, there're some responsibilities associated with the maintenance of the property you're renting: (1) keep the premises clean and sanitary; (2) dispose of trash and garbage in a clean and sanitary manner; (3) do not destroy, damage or deface the premises or allow anyone else to do so; (4) notify the landlord when door locks or windows are not working; (5) use and operate gas, electrical and plumbing fixtures properly; and (6) do not sublet -have extended guests if your contract doesn't allow you to do it.
Tips for a healthy landlord-tenant relationshipAs a landlord, you come to expect a general behavior and respect from your tenant. While screening tenants can help avoid the bad apples in the bunch, you never know what may come up, so it's good to have these responsibilities written down and even reviewed with your tenant before they start using the rental property. Setting expectations at the forefront can be an excellent way to ensure your landlord/tenant relationship is a good one. Not only will doing so help the relationship, but it will contribute to protecting landlords from issues that may arise, and ensure the tenants are enjoying their time in a given rental unit