The well-being of a tenanted property is dependent on how well maintained it is. Poor maintenance leads to the quick dilapidation of buildings. Most residents believe that house maintenance is a sole responsibility of landlords. This notion can never be further from the truth. Landlords have a role to play in the overall well-being of property. Their involvement in house maintenance is limited to major responsibilities that housing laws and regulations do not allow tenants to be involved in. Day to day maintenance of the property is tenants responsibilities. Tenants should not delegate this duty to landlords. It is the routine maintenance of a property that increases its longevity.
Primary tenant responsibilities include frequent cleaning of the premises. It is absurd to expect a landlord to clean a building. Most tenanted properties do not have residential owners. Some landlords live very far from their properties. The owners sometimes take years to visit the property. The landlords hire real estate agents to help with rent collection. The landlords cannot come to the building every other day just to clean it. The tenants must clean their premises. They may hire someone else to clean the property but must still take financial responsibility for the cleaning.
The most interior decoration is the responsibility of the landlord. A tenant is not allowed to paint a house, add a ceiling or install a fireplace. However, he must ensure that electric gadgets and the plumbing system of a house are in order. He can repair appliances, install doorbells and replace a fuse. A tenant is not allowed to replace the main fuse without the consent of the landlord or the real estate agent who is in charge of the building.
The same tenant responsibility of repair and maintenance applies to the bathroom. A landlord installs sinks, toilets and bathtubs. The type of a bathtub or toilet installed in the bathroom is at the discretion of the landlord. However, a tenant can ask his landlord to install a particular kind of toilet appliance. The much a tenant can do in the bathroom on his own is replace toilet seats, change stoppers and chains for baths and sinks, and replace baths, sinks and drainers. He can only replace those that are damaged through wear and tear and not those that are not poorly fixed. If an appliance if not fixed well, the tenant must ask the landlord or his agent to fix or replace it.
Tenants must pay rent to their landlords or a real estate agent. Rents are regularly paid, usually after every month. The rent is the cost of living in a freeholder’s property. The amount of rent payable is typically fixed and non-negotiable. However, prospective tenants, especially those of residential homes can negotiate for lower rents. Failure to pay rents is punishable. Residents usually sign a document indicating the dates of rent payment. If a tenant fails to pay rent after this day, disciplinary measures can be taken. The defaulting tenant may have to pay a fine or be asked to vacate the premises.