Tenants have a lot of rights when they rent a Lakewood home, but they also have a lot of responsibilities. This can be easy to forget when you’re a property owner working hard to provide a safe and well-maintained property. While you are generally responsible for the care and maintenance of the home, tenants have a part to play as well.
The biggest responsibility your tenants have is to pay rent on time. You also expect them to follow the lease terms. Good tenants should be held accountable for the cleanliness and general upkeep of the property while they’re living there.
Here are some of the responsibilities for the tenants renting your Lakewood property. Make sure you’re clear about these expectations ahead of the lease so they know what they need to do.
Paying Rent on Time
Every tenant can be expected to pay rent on time and in accordance with the lease agreement. This is not only a responsibility; it’s a contractual requirement. If the tenant doesn’t pay rent, the landlord can evict that tenant.
Make it easy for the tenant to succeed with consistent, on-time rental payments. Include your rent collection policy in your lease agreement and discuss it in detail before your tenant moves in. You want your residents to understand:
- How much rent is due every month.
- When rent is due and whether there are any grace periods.
- How to pay rent.
- What the consequences are for late rent, including late fees and eviction.
When tenants sign the lease agreement, they acknowledge that they understand this responsibility.
Reporting Maintenance and Repairs
Tenants are also responsible for letting you know when something needs to be repaired or replaced. If tenants don’t immediately report that a sink is leaking, for example, you could find yourself with a far more expensive problem later on, when they do get around to telling you about the issue.
Sometimes tenants won’t think that something is a big deal. Let them know you want to know right away when something is broken or damaged. Deferred and unreported maintenance leads to property deterioration and larger expense bills.
Have something in the lease that lets tenants know it’s their responsibility to report maintenance needs. The lease should also tell them how to make those reports. Maybe it’s a phone call or maybe it’s in writing. Don’t let them avoid reporting the issue because they aren’t sure how to tell you about it. Be specific.
Cleaning and Maintaining the Home
Everyone has different standards when it comes to cleaning a home. Some tenants are obsessive about cleaning, others let things go, and most tenants are somewhere in between those two extremes. Your lease should require tenants to keep the property clean enough that there are no pests, insects, or excessive wear and tear. Trash shouldn’t be allowed to pile up in the kitchen, for example.
Minor maintenance issues can also be a tenant’s responsibility. You can require your residents to change air filters, for example, and light bulbs. Batteries for remote controls are also their responsibility. Some owners want their tenants to be responsible for landscaping and snow removal. That’s fine if the tenant agrees to it, just be sure to include it in the lease agreement and remember - if it’s their responsibility, they might not have the same standards as you. If you’re particular about your lawn or your flowers, hire professional landscapers to take care of these issues and then include the cost of that service in the monthly rental amount.
We can help you establish and enforce tenant responsibilities. Please contact us at Assured Management, Lakewood property management experts serving residential landlords in West Denver and the surrounding areas, including Littleton, Golden, Wheat Ridge, Arvada, and more.