A Basic Guide to Landlord and Tenant Responsibilities
Who is responsible for rental property?
Is it the landlord or the tenant? Well, that depends on what it is exactly we are referring to.
It is a relevant topic – if not the one we always like to have.
A way to prevent disputes and arguments is to know what house owner duties come under the landlord umbrella and what the tenant is directly responsible for.
Landlord and tenant responsibilities are often a minefield and you will have heard them come up in forums about property owner duties and tenants’ rights time and time again.
If we take the lease, for example; should a tenant abide by the rules of the lease, even if they have only just moved into the property?
Property owner duties can vary depending on how many houses a landlord owns. A good example is the security deposit.
The security deposit must be returned to the tenant between 15 and 45 days after the date the renter has moved out.
Usually, if the landlord owns several properties, he will want time to make sure the recently vacated property is in good shape. In these cases, the full 45 days can be used.
Hold On to The Deposit
But what happens in the cases where a landlord wants to hold on to the deposit because he feels there is some damage or unpaid rents to consider?
An itemised list in writing must be submitted to the tenant within the legal time frame.
This should highlight the damage and quote repair costs.
If a landlord fails to do this, he could be liable for court action from the tenant who will want their deposit returned.
If it does end up in court, a landlord could end paying more than double the deposit and court costs.
Therefore, it is important to know who is liable for what and the landlord responsibilities.
Damage – Who is Responsible?
This is a grey area. Normal wear and tear should not be the sole responsibility of the tenant.
Minor paint damage, worn carpets, faded rugs, light bulb replacements, rust in the bathroom and a smell coming from the bin areas.
However, more extensive damage does fall under the remit of the tenant: holes in any of the walls, pet fouling, broken windows, broken doors, malfunctioning appliances and decorations that have not been approved by the landlord.
Property owner duties also include maintaining the common areas and ensuring the building structure is intact.
So, not all times renters are in charge of repairs.