Legal and Optional Tenant Maintenance Responsibilities

Legal and Optional Tenant Maintenance Responsibilities

Living in a place that isn't well-kept isn't only a bother; it can be bad for your well-being. For example, mold in your apartment might just cause sneezing or red eyes, but it can make things much worse for many people. Yet mold is just the start of issues that rental homes can have.

You need to know who's supposed to handle serious problems like this and everyday chores like taking out the garbage. Being clear about property maintenance helps you stick to your lease terms, enjoy your home without worry, and look after your health. Keep reading to learn about your maintenance duties as a tenant in Tennessee.

Tenant's Legal Role in Property Maintenance

A tenant's main duty in property maintenance involves keeping the rental space clean and safe. The lease agreement outlines this. Tenants are usually expected to:

  • Perform regular cleaning

  • Communicate repair needs

  • Avoid damage

  • Maintain private gardens

To illustrate, a clean kitchen is the tenant's obligation. Tenants should also use appliances, the electrical system, and plumbing without causing harm or undue wear and tear.

It's also important for tenants to check smoke detectors. Replace batteries when needed and change the lightbulbs.

They should make sure nothing blocks ventilation. Depending on the lease, they might also handle small upkeep tasks, such as changing filters or unclogging drains.

To prevent damage, tenants need to act seasonally. This means preventing pipe freezes in the winter and ensuring good airflow in the summer. If damage occurs through a tenant's action, whether intentional or accidental, they may need to pay for repairs.

Optional Maintenance Responsibilities

Generally, the landlord's duties include maintaining rental properties, major repairs, and communal areas. However, tenants can do some tasks themselves for benefits like rent reduction or personal satisfaction.

For instance, if a property has a garden or lawn, tenants can choose to maintain it. They may mow the grass, remove weeds, or plant flowers to keep the outdoor spaces tidy and pleasing.

Requesting Property Repair

Send your landlord a written request for repairs, clearly explaining the issue. Make sure to use the address specified in your lease for such notices.

In Tennessee, landlords have 14 days from receiving your notice to complete the repairs.

Unless you're responsible, the landlord or property manager must fix problems that threaten your health or safety. They're not allowed to ignore these repairs.

If repairs aren't made in time, you can sue for damages or get a court order for repairs. Winning in court might also mean the landlord has to pay your legal fees.

You can't pay for repairs yourself and take the cost out of your rent without getting the landlord's approval first. Exceptions may apply if the landlord intentionally fails to provide essential services.

Simplifying Property Maintenance Duties

Understanding your duties as a tenant is crucial for a smooth rental experience. Keep your rented space clean and notify your landlord promptly of any needed repairs.

In Tennessee, landlords typically have 14 days to make repairs once alerted. You have rights if requirements aren't met, including legal action.

For help with property maintenance, consider PMI Main Source. As industry veterans with over 20 years of experience, we're experts at making properties stand out in Nashville, TN. Contact us for top-notch property management services.