A landlord’s responsibilities go far beyond simply allowing tenants to live in a rental property in exchange for monthly payments. Rentals need to be properly maintained by landlords so that they remain clean and safe homes for their tenants, but tenants are still responsible for alerting landlords of health and safety problems.

Landlord Responsibilities for Rentals

Landlords are responsible for providing safe living spaces for their tenants. This means that rental properties must be held to certain standards of safety, health and cleanliness. These standards cannot be restricted by a lease agreement that says otherwise. These standards are usually set by a municipal building code, which often imposes stricter standards than a basic habitability threshold. For example, a landlord may be required to keep plumbing and electrical systems in proper working order at all times, and they may have to address health and safety issues such as mold or fire hazards within days of being notified of them. The lease may outline other duties.

In most cases, landlords must respond to serious issues with rentals within 24 hours, especially if said issues would render a home uninhabitable. If a landlord fails to respond, they may be required to pay for alternative temporary living arrangements such as a hotel room or temporary shelter.

Tenant Responsibilities for Rentals

Tenants are generally responsible for the basic upkeep of rental properties, meaning they must stay sanitary and in good repair. Landlords are usually not responsible for any damages caused by a tenant’s carelessness, and in some cases tenants may be considered responsible for damage if they fail to report a problem in a timely manner. Tenants may also be held responsible for problems stemming from a failure to discard trash, removal of permanent fixtures, damages caused by pet violations or a use of the premises for unlawful purposes. Tenants may also be responsible for costs associated with normal wear-and-tear, although landlords are usually expected to make basic repairs after tenants move out of a rentals.