Who is responsible for a broken toilet in a rental property? Tenants and landlords often come into disputes over small things like a broken screen to large issues like bed bug infestations. What are the tenant responsibilities? Here are some common tenant issues and repairs that often arise.

Tenant Responsibilities

While maintaining the property is primarily the responsibility of the tenant, there are some other things the tenant needs to know. Here are some of the most common tenant responsibilities:

  • Pay rent on time
  • Paying fees on any bounced checks
  • Disposing of garbage in a timely manner
  • Keep the rental unit clean and in good condition
  • Keep noise level to an appropriate level
  • Not taking in additional tenants without consulting with landlords
  • Repair damage they caused to the rental unit by themselves or a guest of theirs
  • Inform the landlord if there are problems in need of repair
  • Maintaining a safe property and not causing hazards for other tenants
  • Provide the landlord with notice if they are planning to move
  • Allow the landlord permission to enter the property when given notice
  • Inform the landlord if they will be away from the property for a long period of time, but will come back. This is common for military members on active duty
  • Return keys to landlords upon final inspection

Leaks and Water Issues

If there is a water problem due to a leaking pipe or faucet, the responsibility to repair it will go to the landlord. If the water damage is caused by tenant issues such as allowing water to pool outside of the shower, causing water damage to the flooring and walls, the repairs fall to the tenant. Water issues are one of the largest problems facing property owners. Landlords are required by law to provide working fixtures and repair them as needed.

Tenants do have the obligation to follow through with daily maintenance. A basic clog in the sink or bathtub can be handled by the tenant. In many cases tenants forget to clean the drains, causing a blockage to occur. If tenants do end up with blocked pipes that will not drain, they need to contact the landlord immediately. A small blockage could be hair, or it could be something serious like tree roots in the pipes.

If tenants have blocked toilets due to misuse, they are liable for the repair and replacement of the toilet. Similar to other situations, most landlords are willing to work with tenants to pay for some of the cost. Clear and open communication is essential to tenant and landlord relationships.

Broken Appliances

Washing machines, dishwashers, refrigerators, and other appliances that are part of the property need to be repaired or replaced by the landlord. However, in some rental agreements, landlords do state that renters are liable for repairs and the landlord is only liable for the replacement of an appliance. Maintaining a cordial relationship with your tenants is the best way to ensure you can come to an agreement on the repair and replacement costs.

Since tenant and landlord agreements can become complex and confusing, we recommend working with a good property management company. Keyrenter can assist in helping you manage all your Richmond properties. Contact us for more information about the most common tenant responsibilities.