Have you ever wondered what your responsibility is as a tenant caring for a rental property? While treating the property with respect and not intentionally doing damage to the property should be understood, there are other gray areas where renters may not be sure what their rights and responsibilities are in the rental situation. In most of these cases, these questions can be resolved by carefully reviewing the rental agreement. This can provide the renter a great deal of insight regarding which items will be corrected by the leasing agent and which items are the responsibilities of the renter.
Treat the Property Like it Is Your Home
The heading to this subsection is certainly appropriate in theory. In reality, it may not be true. The theory behind treating a rental property like it is your home is that you should treat the rental property in the same way you would treat your own home. This means the renter should not intentionally damage or otherwise neglect the rental property. It also implies that the renter should care for the rental property by making necessary repairs as they arise.
However, renters are often not free to treat a rental property like it was their home. Homeowners are free to make modifications at any time to their property. Renters do not have this option. They are only allowed to make modifications which are permitted by the contract agreement. These permissible modifications are usually rather insignificant in nature.
Seek Assistance from the Property Manager When Warranted
Renters should also seek assistance from the property manager when there are repairs which fall under the jurisdiction of the property owner or manager. Such repairs might include items such as unclogging drains, fixing appliances and making modifications to the residence such as installing lighting features. Although the renter may be capable of performing some or all of these actions, the rental agreement may specify these items are the responsibility of the property owner or manager. Renters who attempt to fix these items may be held liable for damages which occur during these attempts.
Similarly, the rental agreement may imply, by omission, that certain items are the responsibility of the renter. These may be small items such as changing light bulbs or similar items. In these cases the renter is free to make the adjustments. However, in other situations where the rental agreement specifies the apartment manager will handle certain complaints, these complaints should be called to the attention of management.
When the Property Manager Isn’t Doing His Job
Renters may encounter a problem where the apartment manager is not being responsive to his complaints and is not addressing situations which are brought to his attention. When this occurs the renter may have no choice but to bring this to the attention of the property manager’s supervisor. When a property manager is required to make certain repairs and address certain issues and fails to do so, he is creating a hazard for the members of the community.
This is why the renter should not allow these transgressions to occur. The renter should also not be fearful of retaliation by the property manager because the contract will likely specify the renter’s rights to complain to a higher authority about the quality of service they are receiving.