I am a Tenant: What am I Responsible for in my Rental Home?

When a landlord rents their property to a tenant, they do so hoping the tenant will respect and take care of the property while paying rent on time. However, this is not all that is expected of a tenant. Landlords have their own set of tasks to provide a suitable and comfortable space for their tenant to live in, but some responsibilities also come with being a tenant. So what exactly are you as a tenant responsible for?


Now when I say maintenance, I don't mean fixing plumbing and AC issues, as that is usually left for the landlords. Tenants are responsible for keeping the property clean and sanitary. Your landlord will not be sending a cleaning lady once a week to manage the property as this will be your duty.

You should discard trash, prevent mold growths and excessive buildup on walls and floors. As your home, you should maintain the property and the provided appliances to a certain standard.

Prevent excessive damage

Keeping the rental clean is not your only duty, any damage due to recklessness or negligence should also be avoided. This does not mean normal wear and tear, but instead damage that leaves the unit in worse condition than when you got there. This can include things like;

  • Removal of light fixtures, appliances or permanent decor
  • Fires caused by negligence and its consequential damage
  • Tampering with smoke detectors
  • Violation of occupancy rules regulations

Report Issues

If you do a walk-through before moving in, you should point out any repairs and issues you would like fixed beforehand. By keeping a copy of the rental walk-through checklist, you can avoid any damage charges that haven't been made by you at the end of your lease. Just remember, any damages that are outside normal wear and tear will be covered by your security deposit.

Another responsibility would be to report needed repairs as soon as possible to prevent additional damage due to negligence of the issue over many months.

Repair Your Damage

Sometimes damages that you've caused can be repaired by either you or the landlord. Things like holes in walls can be patched, or broken doors can always be replaced. However, check with your landlord to make sure they are okay with the method you are going to use to repair the damage.

Furnished Rentals

In the case that you are renting a fully-furnished, or a partially-furnished property, you will have some additional responsibilities. Before you move in you would have to note the condition of the furniture as it is to prevent any misunderstandings in the future. You will be required to handle the furniture and all appliances with good care. Chances of you having a rental come with furniture are slim to none, however there is a good chance of getting one that comes with some (or all) appliances. Any damage to these appliances that does not fall under the condition ‘normal wear and tear’ will be your responsibility and may come out of your security deposit.

As a tenant your goal is to be a reliable and agreeable resident who can respect the property and its belongings. This is beneficial to both you and the landlord, and means you’ll get your security deposit returned to you if no other issues exist. If you are a good tenant you could also get a good reference from your landlord for the next property you move to.

Buckeye Northwest Realty provides houses for rent in Toledo, Ohio and the surrounding areas. To learn more about houses for rent, contact us today!

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