Most renters assume that nearly every inch of the rental property is the responsibility of the landlord, but this is not the case! Before you are left with a sizable bill you were not anticipating, check out these common repairs that tenants are responsible for.
Light Bulbs, Batteries and HVAC Filters
This may not be a surprise, but tenants are responsible for day-to-day routine upkeep. Changing light bulbs after they burn out, replacing batteries on your smoke and CO2 detectors and changing HVAC air filters are all minor home improvement tasks that are typically the tenant’s obligation. Be sure to check your lease – they may even be required.
Clogged Drains That Are Your Fault
This should motivate all renters to be mindful of what they are sending down the drain. If your drain is clogged and it was your fault – like if you tossed some eggshells or cooking grease into the disposal – you may be stuck with the plumbing bill. No two leases are the same, but this often goes for toilets and shower drains as well. When it comes to plumbing, the rule is, “You break it, you buy it.”1
Routine Lawn Care
If you are renting a single-family home, you’re likely responsible for routine landscaping duties, such as mowing the grass, trimming the bushes and pulling the weeds. Some landlords may also put the burden of homeowners’ association landscaping fees on the tenant, so you might want to read through the renter’s agreement so you are not left with any expensive surprises.2
Broken Appliances After Misuse
Wear and tear is a normal part of using any appliance, and it will usually be covered by your landlord if it results in the appliance needing repair. But like a clogged drain, if user error or negligence contributes to the appliance failure, your landlord may not be required to fix it. This rule typically applies to all rental repairs. If tenant carelessness is to blame, the landlord is generally off the hook.3
Holes in the Wall
An easy way to make a rental property feel more like home is to hang some family photos and decorations on the walls. However, when it is time to move out, you may be responsible for patching holes or reapplying paint to cover up the damage. If that does not sound appealing to you, consider using no-damage wall hangers. Otherwise, part of your security deposit will be put toward a new paint job.4
Some home improvement projects are unavoidable. In these instances, being financially prepared can make a big difference. If you need assistance meeting your financial goals, American Financial Solutions has the credit counseling or debt management plan you need. Call (888) 864-8548 to speak with a counselor or visit us online today!
Published Oct 10, 2018.