Tenants - the importance of knowing your rights & responsibilities

Evolve News

As a tenant, it is important to know your rights and responsibilities when it comes to maintaining and repairing your rental property. While landlords are generally responsible, tenants also have specific obligations. In this article, we'll explore what repairs you, as a tenant, are typically responsible for.


1. Routine Maintenance


Tenants are typically responsible for routine maintenance tasks, such as:


- Keeping the property clean: Regular cleaning is your responsibility.


- Changing light bulbs: Replacing light bulbs during your tenancy is usually your duty.


- Gardening: If the property includes a garden, you are likely to be responsible for mowing the lawn, weeding, and general upkeep.


- Pest control: It is often the tenant's responsibility to address minor pest infestations, like ants, by keeping the premises clean.


2. Minor Repairs


Tenants are generally expected to cover the cost of minor repairs that result from regular wear and tear. These may include:


- Replacing broken windows due to accidental damage.


- Fixing minor plumbing issues, like a blocked sinks or toilets, unless the problem is the result of pre-existing issues.


- Bleeding radiators.


- Changing batteries in smoke detectors.


- Regularly testing smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.



3. Reporting Maintenance Issues


Tenants are responsible for promptly reporting any maintenance or repair issues to the landlord. Even if you're not directly responsible for the repair, notifying your landlord of the problem is crucial. This allows them to take appropriate action and arrange for professional repairs as needed.


4. Major Repairs and Landlord Responsibilities


When it comes to major repairs and structural issues, the responsibility usually falls on the landlord. These may include:


- Plumbing or electrical problems that are not the result of tenant actions.


- Roof leaks, structural damage, or issues with the foundation.


- Major appliance malfunctions not caused by tenant misuse.


- Heating and cooling system failures.


- Issues related to safety, such as broken locks or faulty smoke detectors.


5. Tenancy Agreements


Your specific responsibilities regarding repairs are outlined in your tenancy agreement. Make sure to carefully read and understand your agreement, as it may contain clauses specifying who is responsible for certain repairs and maintenance tasks.



Understanding your responsibilities as a tenant when it comes to repairs and maintenance is essential for a harmonious landlord-tenant relationship. While tenants are generally responsible for routine maintenance and minor repairs, major structural issues and certain safety concerns are typically the landlord's responsibility. Always refer to your tenancy agreement for specific guidance, and don't hesitate to communicate any issues that require attention in your rental property.

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