by Danielle Mason June 07, 2019 3 min read

As a landlord, you have a responsibility to maintain a safe, clean and habitable property that your tenant can live in. But this is not a one sided coin. Your tenant also has a role to play in keeping your property in tip-top-shape.

It is important to be fully aware of the laws and regulations regarding maintenance in your state, but to get you started, we have a non-exhaustive list of the 4 top issues your tenants are responsible for.

Related: The Smart Landlords Pet Policy

tenant responsibilities

Rubbish Disposal

Rubbish attracts pests; pests attract bacteria. Avoid this vicious cycle by making sure your tenants abide by their obligation to keep your property clean and sanitary.

This means taking out the trash, whatever waste disposal service is available to them. Advise your tenants of whether there is a rubbish collection service available to them or if they have to go to the rubbish dump themselves. Be clear from the outset that your tenants have a responsibility to dispose of waste, before it attracts pests.

Pest Control

No one likes unwanted guests - let alone when they come in the form of mice and cockroaches!

Make sure that before your tenant moves in, there are no sneaky pests hiding beneath the floorboards. This includes addressing any structural issues that may allow rodents and bugs to enter your property.

Once your tenant has moved in, they assume the responsibility to keep the place pest free. The best way to do this? By following best hygienic practices and keeping the property clean and tidy.

If you do find your property has a pest infestation due to unacceptable hygiene practices kept by the tenant, do know that the tenants could be financially liable for the cost of pest eradication.

Related: 10 Maintenance Jobs you can do yourself

tenant responsibilities

Outside Maintenance

Now, whether your tenant is responsible for maintaining your property’s landscape will depend on the clauses of your lease. If you can’t be bothered with mowing lawns and trimming hedges, it can be a good idea to assign this responsibility to your tenant - just make sure they are aware of this.

Related: 5 Easy ways to Boost Resident Retention

Yard maintenance includes ensuring the property is safe, by removing obstacles such as fallen trees and keeping the property up to city or council standards.

In the winter time, this may include the removal of snow and should be done in a timely fashion (some municipalities will impose a fine for failure to do so). Again, specify this in the lease - otherwise, you may find yourself shovelling snow off your tenant's driveway…

Related: What you NEED to know about Renting House with a Pool

Mold Prevention

This has to be one of the most common issues with rentals, especially, in cold, damp places that don't see the sun. 

Mold arises from moisture, so if your property has dampness issues, it pays to thoroughly check for mold. 

If a building leak or faulty plumbing is causing mold to grow, it will likely be your responsibility to fix it.

However, if the mold is caused by the tenant drying wet clothes inside or having poor hygiene, it may be the tenant’s responsibility to clean mold away.

Related: What's the Most Important Property Renovation

We hope you found this blog interesting! However, do note that it should not be used as a substitute for competent legal and/or other advice from a licensed professional.

Danielle Mason

"Danielle is a specialist content creator with a keen interest for real estate and tenanting issues. She loves travel and works remotely when she can. Prior to joining LandlordBoss, Danielle wrote for companies in the technology, retail and start-up industries."


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