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Taking Care of a Rental Property

Those who live in a rental property may have concerns about how to care for their home. While it is important to treat the property with respect and not intentionally cause harm to it, there are some gray areas in which tenants may be unsure of their rights and obligations in a rental situation.

The majority of these issues can be remedied by carefully examining the rental agreement. This can give the renter a lot of information about which faults will be corrected by the leasing agent and which items are the tenant's responsibility.

Taking Care of a Rental Property
Taking Care of a Rental Property

Treat the property as though it were your own home

In principle, the header for this subsection is correct, but in practice, it may not be. The notion behind treating a rental property as if it were your own house is that you should treat the rental property as you would your own home. This means that the tenant must not intentionally harm or neglect the rental property. It also suggests that the renter should take care of the rental property by performing any necessary repairs when they occur.

However, this is not always the case because tenants are not always free to treat a rental property as if it were their own home. Homeowners are free to make changes to their property at any time. Renters do not have this choice and can only make changes that are permitted by the contract agreement. These permitted adjustments are typically minor.

When necessary, seek assistance from the property manager

When repairs come under the jurisdiction of the property owner or manager, renters should seek assistance from the property manager. Unclogging drains, repairing appliances, and making changes to the home, such as installing lights, are examples of such repairs. Although the tenant may be capable of executing some or all of these tasks, the rental agreement may state that these are the property owner's or manager's responsibilities. Renters who attempt to repair these objects may be held accountable for any damages that arise as a result of their efforts.

Similarly, the rental agreement may imply, by omission, that some issues are the renter's responsibility. These could be minor tasks like changing light bulbs or other such stuff. In certain circumstances, the renter is free to make the necessary changes. However, in other cases where the rental agreement stipulates that the apartment manager will handle particular issues, these complaints should be brought to management's notice.

When the Property Manager Isn't Performing His Duties

Renters may confront a scenario in which the apartment management is unresponsive to complaints and fails to handle situations brought to his attention. When this happens, the renter may have no choice but to notify the property manager's supervisor. When a property manager is expected to perform certain repairs and address specific issues and fails to do so, he is putting the residents of the community in danger. As a result, the renter should not allow these violations to occur. The renter should also not be concerned about reprisal from the property manager because the contract will almost certainly state the renter's rights to protest to a higher authority about the quality of service they are receiving. 

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