Rental Property Maintenance: What are the Landlord’s Responsibilities?

Landlord Rental Property Maintenance

The Landlord Responsibilities for Maintaining Rental Property

Residential properties need routine maintenance to keep them in excellent condition. Compared to single-family homes, rental buildings often need consistent maintenance because of their size and the higher number of occupants. What are the landlord’s responsibilities when it comes to property maintenance? And can a tenant sue a landlord for falling down the stairs?

According to the landlord-tenant law, rental property owners must keep their buildings in a specific condition. These requirements vary significantly depending on state law. Here are some of the common responsibilities of a landlord.

Making sure that the building adheres to all construction codes

Landlords are charged with the duty of keeping their tenants safe. An effective way of doing this is by ensuring the building complies with all construction and safety codes. These codes regulate the following aspects.

  • Smoke detectors
  • Lead-based paint for all buildings constructed before 1978.
  • Safety guards on windows
  • Asbestos
  • Plumbing
  • Toxic mold
  • Maximum number of people per unit
  • Electrical wiring
  • Carbon lighting common areas
  • The overall structural integrity of the property
  • Use of fire retardant paint

In most towns and cities require landlords to have their properties to be inspected by an expert before they can accept tenants. The inspector’s main objective is to make sure that the building complies with all safety standards and codes like having carbon monoxide detectors, functional smoke detectors, and meets the existing standards for habitability. For example, it must have running water and other essentials.

Installation and maintenance of piping (for water) and electricity

If you are a landlord, you are responsible for making sure all important processes are functional. All plumping, heat, gas, central air conditioning, electricity, and other systems are operating efficiently. However, you may not be required to finance the utility bills. Your responsibility is to ensure all the systems that supply all utilities are functional and efficient.

All necessary repairs must be handled on time

You are also responsible for making sure that the building is in an acceptable and habitable condition. This requires you to make all repairs and doing anything else ‘reasonably’ necessary to maintain your building in good condition. For instance, roof leaks should be fixed, slippery floors addressed, and ensure that the elevators and staircases are well-lit and well-maintained.

Provide your tenants with trash receptacles

As a landlord, you should provide the right garbage cans and recycling bins for trash that can be recycled. These bins should be fully equipped to effectively store the waste until the garage is transferred.

The number and size of the bins should be appropriate for the entire building. For instance, having a single trash bin for a building with 50 occupants isn’t going to cut it. Remember, you are responsible for the removal of this garbage.


Property managers and landlords have a duty to ensure that their rental buildings are safe for the tenants. But what you’re responsible for depends on the local statutes and state laws.

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