Skip to Content

Basic Rental Property Maintenance: Who Does What?

Cypress Tenant Replacing a Battery in the Smoke DetectorAs a Cypress property owner, it is highly important to ascertain clearly who is responsible for what regarding basic rental property maintenance. To keep your rental property in the most pristine condition and profitable, it’s principally important to have a proactive property maintenance system in place. This maintenance may be executed by you or by a service technician. But besides that, there are indeed several small maintenance tasks that you can and should expect your tenant to work on. Here are some of the most common rental property maintenance tasks and who is normally responsible for each one:

Clogged toilets.  If a toilet becomes clogged, it is most often the tenant’s responsibility to fix the blockage. Yet, there may be exceptions, that is to say, if the blockage is caused by plumbing issues unrelated to the tenant’s use. In this event, you would surely have to handle the repairs yourself or call a professional.

Broken windows. If a window is broken, it is most probably either the landlord’s or the tenant’s responsibility to repair or replace the window. The reason is that the responsibility for window replacement lies with the primary cause of the breakage. If the window was broken due to tenant negligence, they should pay to replace it. But, if a window is damaged due to severe weather or other occurrences out of a tenant’s control, the property owner is responsible for repairing it. Take into account that this may be a security issue; mitigation is the key here.

Lightbulbs. As a rule, tenants are responsible for replacing lightbulbs in their rental homes. The reason is that most light fixtures are considered part of the tenant’s living space.

Carpeting and flooring. With regards to the cleanliness of flooring, this would be the tenant’s responsibility.  If the flooring gets damaged and all torn up or worn out, then the responsibility generally falls to the Cypress property manager. This is because these are features of the property that see a lot of wear and tear over time. Every so often, though, tenants may be responsible for damage to carpeting or flooring. Hence, the tenant would need to pay for the repairs.

Batteries in smoke and CO detectors. Smoke and CO detectors are essential for keeping a rental property safe. The batteries in these devices should be consistently tested and replaced whenever necessary. In particular cases, state law states whether it is the landlord’s or the tenant’s responsibility to replace the batteries. Irrespective of with whom the responsibility lies, as a landlord, you should be making sure you are regularly checking and replacing batteries two times per year.

Air filters.  Air filters certainly help keep the air in a rental property clean and free of pollutants. As a general rule, it’s the tenant’s responsibility to replace the air filters. Having said that, a lot of properties have air filter systems that tenants cannot instantly and easily access as well as change themselves. If this is the case in your rental property, it is your responsibility to make sure that your air filters are changed as needed.

When assigning maintenance tasks to your tenants, it’s greatly beneficial to all parties involved to include clear language signifying all responsibilities in your lease. This will help to get away from any contradictions or disagreements down the road. By discovering who is responsible for what regarding rental property maintenance, you can keep your property in tip-top condition and steer away from any potential legal problems.


Rental property maintenance can be tedious and completely time-consuming, precisely if it entails constantly investigating whether your tenant is fulfilling their responsibilities. But Real Property Management Republic can help. We are experts in single-family rental property management, and we can practically take care of all maintenance for you. Contact us online to learn more about our quality services.

We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.

The Neighborly Done Right Promise

The Neighborly Done Right Promise ® delivered by Real Property Management, a proud Neighborly company

When it comes to finding the right property manager for your investment property, you want to know that they stand behind their work and get the job done right – the first time. At Real Property Management we have the expertise, technology, and systems to manage your property the right way. We work hard to optimize your return on investment while preserving your asset and giving you peace of mind. Our highly trained and skilled team works hard so you can be sure your property's management will be Done Right.

Canada excluded. Services performed by independently owned and operated franchises.

See Full Details