As a landlord with a rental property in Texas, many responsibilities come along with this investment. From following local regulations to acquiring tenants to paying taxes to maintaining the property, you have a lot on your plate.when are tenants responsible for maintenance?

Fortunately, there are some maintenance and repairs that tenants are responsible for making to ease your stress as a landlord. 


While it is crucial that you keep the property well-maintained and habitable for tenants, little maintenance things, such as changing lightbulbs, can be done by your tenants. 


By the end of this article, you’ll have a better idea of exactly what you and your tenants are responsible for when it comes to maintenance and repairs. 

Tenant Maintenance and Repair Responsibilities

When leasing your Texas rental property to tenants, there are specific responsibilities they must take on to maintain it. 


For this reason, it’s crucial that you lease your property to good tenants that you trust to take on these responsibilities.

Prompt Notification of Issues

If something is damaged or broken on the property, the tenant is responsible for notifying the landlord or property manager of it. 


Unfortunately, many damages and issues that are left unattended for too long turn into major repairs that can be costly and time-consuming for the landlord. 


In your lease, state that tenants have a certain amount of time, ideally one or two days, to report a problem after they notice it. 

Changing Lightbulbs and Batteries

There is a common misconception about who is responsible for changing lightbulbs and batteries in smoke detectors. New renters, especially those in college, expect the landlord to take care of this. 


The good news is that the tenant is responsible for this maintenance task. 


Since this task is fairly easy to complete and not costly, it can be fully taken on by the tenant living in the property. You can make special considerations for higher ceilings.  

Damage Caused by Misusing Appliances

Household appliances such as dishwashers, garbage disposals, ovens, and AC units can be damaged due to misuse. 


For example, if a tenant puts potato peels down the garbage disposal, it can become clogged. This could eventually cause a leak under the sink if not attended to. 


Now, because the garbage disposal is functional and it was an act by the tenant that caused the damage, they are responsible for the repair. 

Seasonal Maintenance

For single-family renters, tenants take on the responsibility of maintaining the yard, such as cutting the grass, cleaning the gutters, and keeping the yard looking nice.  


However, if you own a multifamily building, then you, the landlord, are responsible for the seasonal maintenance. 

Keeping the Property Clean

One of the best ways to prevent damage, pests, and unnecessary repairs is to keep the property clean and free of trash and dirt. 


Tenants are responsible for maintaining the property and taking care of it as if it were their own. 


They are expected to take out the trash each week, or as the schedule is set, clean up food and crumbs to prevent bugs, and keep exits free and clear in case of an emergency. 

Damage Caused by the Tenant or Gueststenants are responsible for damage they cause

Tenants are responsible for repairing any damage that is caused by the tenant or guests they host at the property. 


Marks or holes in the walls from moving, broken door handles, stained carpets, or other damages directly caused by the tenant will be their responsibility to fix before moving out of the property. 

Preventing Major Damage

While tenants are living in the rental property, they are responsible for taking precautions and preventing major damage, such as mold or damage to plumbing fixtures. 


Leaky pipes and flooding can cause mold growth if not taken care of promptly. If the tenant notices there is a leaky pipe or the roof is leaking during a storm, they must notify the landlord or property manager of the issue. 


If the temperature does drop below freezing, then frozen pipes can also cause major damage. When freezing weather is expected, tenants must pay attention to the pipes and do what they can to prevent them from freezing. 

What Maintenance is the Landlord Responsible for?

Now that we know what type of maintenance and repairs tenants are responsible for let’s dig deeper into what landlords can expect to handle. 

Keeping the Building Up to Code

Owning a rental property means keeping the building up to code, safe, and in habitable condition for tenants. 


Ideally, this means that there is running water, heat during the winter, electricity, and shelter from the elements. 


The Texas building code must be followed at all times, or you could be fined and the lease broken if the situation is serious. 

Pest Control

If cockroaches, ants, or rodents infest the property due to a previous tenant or another tenant in the building, landlords take on the responsibility of pest control. 


The cost of traps or a professional exterminator will come out of the landlord’s maintenance expenses. 


However, if the tenant keeps the house dirty and is the cause of the pest infestation, they could be held responsible for the pest control costs. 

Common Area Maintenance

In multifamily buildings, the landlord is always responsible for maintaining common areas such as lobbies, front sidewalks, and any yard space around the building. 


As mentioned before, in the case of a single-family home, the tenant is responsible for maintaining the entire property.

Requested Repairs

Lastly, the landlord is responsible for coordinating maintenance requests. Even if the tenant will take on the cost of the repair, it is still the landlord’s responsibility to refer a contractor or service that they trust. 


When receiving a maintenance request, landlords should respond promptly and take action within 24 hours. Whether it’s calling to make an appointment or making the repair themselves, swiftness is key. 

Never Worry About Maintenance Requests Again

Other than maintenance and repairs, owning a rental property in Texas comes with a baggage of responsibility for landlords. 


While tenants may be responsible for a handful of maintenance and repairs, there is an easier way to lift this responsibility from your shoulders. 


The answer is Residential Leasing & Management Company


As Houston’s leading property management company, Residential Leasing has decades of experience in managing and maintaining rental properties throughout Greater Houston. 


We handle all maintenance requests and coordinate repairs for hundreds of Texas landlords while keeping tenants happy and satisfied. 


Are you ready to say goodbye to maintenance requests once and for all? 


Consider Residential Leasing Property Management for all your property management needs today.

Request a FREE rental analysis to get started!