Who is responsible for rental property maintenance

Understanding responsibilities around a rental property can be complex and it is best that right from the start, tenants, landlords and property maintenance companies are all clear on their responsibilities. This can be outlined in a document, but it is also important to verbally discuss what needs to happen at the end of the tenancy as well as maintenance and repair responsibility during the term of the lease.

The tenancy agreement
The tenancy agreement document is important when setting out shared responsibilities for a rental property. The more specific and informative this document is the better. If everyone goes into the tenancy with a clear sense of what is expected, it can alleviate any issues down the line. As the lion’s share of property maintenance does fall to the landlord, it is not unreasonable to include elements of responsibility that will fall to the tenant. This agreement must act as a base level that clearly catalogues the condition of the property at the start of the agreement and how it should be returned to the landlord. It can cover what will be deemed normal wear and tear as well as situations that go beyond these parameters.

What is a tenant responsible for?
Good tenants are worth holding onto. Those that commit to a long lease and pay rent in a timely manner will always be desirable for the landlord and their investment. Ultimately the tenant is living in a property that is their home and the vast majority will treat it as such. This means that they look after it day to day, keeping it clean and carrying out low-level general maintenance where necessary. The landlord may strike gold and have a tenant that is more than happy to carry out small repairs and maintenance. The expectation of this must be discussed and set out clearly in the tenancy agreement.

The landlord’s responsibilities
As a general rule of thumb, the landlord is responsible for the structure and exterior of the property. This means its foundations, drains guttering and external pipework. It also means the walls roof windows and external doors. Most landlords will ensure that they have adequate insurance to cover them in the unfortunate event that the property needs costly work. The logistics of managing this for landlords – specifically those with a portfolio of properties or ones that live a distance from the rental property - will mean they often engage a property maintenance company to support them.

How a property maintenance company helps
Most landlords understand that their property is an investment and therefore planned and reactive maintenance will be necessary. A reputable property maintenance company is a critical part of ensuring the investment is protected. It also means a landlord has peace of mind knowing they can pick up the phone and use a professional property service team that has experience in the kinds of repairs and maintenance that will need to be actioned.

If you are a landlord or property management company and need support maintaining your assets, The Complete Property Group can support you in the Portsmouth and Hampshire area.

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