To successfully navigate your relationship with your tenants, you need to understand what is a homeowner responsibility and what is a tenant responsibility when it comes to your Chapel Hill, NC rental property. Keeping your home maintained and in good condition is something you’ll both need to work towards.
As the property owner, you will be responsible for most maintenance and repair issues. The only situation in which you would not have to pay for a repair is when the tenant causes damage. If a tenant breaks an appliance while using it or flushes something down the toilet that causes it to overflow, then the tenant can be held responsible. However, unless you can document the tenant damage, you will need to cover maintenance costs.
Systems and Functions
Your tenants should be expected to change the air filters in the air conditioning system, replace light bulbs, and change batteries in smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. This should be their responsibility while they’re living in the property. Include language in your lease that requires tenants to change air filters every month. This will ensure your HVAC system has a longer lifespan. However, during periods of tenant turnover, you will want to take care of these things as a landlord. Replace all filters, batteries, and bulbs when you have a new tenant preparing to move in.
Paying for Utilities
In most rental properties, tenants are responsible for paying the utilities, and should set up utility accounts in their own names. When they set up their own accounts, you won’t have to worry about collecting utility payments as well as rent. Your lease should reflect what you expect from tenants in terms of utilities. You want to make sure they understand that they will be responsible for the electricity, water, trash, sewer, and other costs like cable and internet.
If you have any questions about how to determine what is an owner responsibility and a tenant’s responsibility, please contact Mill House Properties.