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Thursday, 05 August 2021 13:55

Is the Landlord or Tenant Responsible for Repairs?

Western North Carolina has experienced unprecedented growth in the last few decades. There are no signs of that growth slowing even as property values rise. With new residents searching for places to live, there has never been a better time to own rental property in the Asheville area. 

Whether you are new to managing tenants or you have been doing it for years, you need to make sure you are taking care of your renters and yourself. 

There are differences in opinion about who is responsible for repairs, maintenance, and security. It is vital for your experience as a rental property owner to make sure you establish responsibilities in a manner that is both fair and consistent with municipal and state regulations. 

As you navigate the process of managing your rental properties, we want to help you answer questions about who is responsible for what. 


Typical Responsibilities for Landlords

Owners bear the brunt of responsibilities for their properties. Here are a few of the key responsibilities for landlords:

1. Legal Requirements

Every municipality and state has legal requirements regulating rental property. There are codes and ordinances you must meet in order to be in legal compliance with Asheville and Buncombe County. Ordinances and codes will apply to systems and components such as:

  • Electrical wiring and outlets
  • Plumbing pipes and appliances
  • Types of windows 
  • Flooring and subflooring
  • Sewage and sump pumps 
  • Decks, porches, and other outdoor spaces

It is up to owners and landlords to make sure their homes comply with local ordinances. 

2. Habitable Living Spaces

Your tenants rightly expect and deserve a habitable home. As an owner, making a home habitable includes:

  • Making sure the roof is in good condition and not leaking
  • Exterminating termites and other damaging pests
  • Providing trash receptacles 
  • Maintaining driveways, parking lots, and common spaces
  • Ensuring there are no potential outdoor hazards such as dangerous decks, outbuildings in disrepair, discarded vehicles, and precarious trees
  • Working heating and air conditioning
  • Remediating mold and dealing with any other potential toxic hazards

3. Repairs and Maintenance

Significant repairs will typically be the responsibility of the landlord. Property owners typically must respond to a tenant repair request within 24-hours for a significant issue like HVAC, plumbing emergency, electrical concerns, etc. 

Minor issues may have a longer grace period for response. Nevertheless, your reputation as an owner might be in the balance if you cannot deal with the issue in a timely manner. 

4. Tenant Safety 

Maintaining security and safety measures is vital for property owners. Landlords must make sure their tenants are protected. 

  • Locks: Door locks should be rekeyed before a new tenant moves in. 
  • Windows: Windows should be repaired and window locks checked before a tenant moves in. 
  • Lights: Security light maintenance should be a priority for landlords. 
  • Background Checks: It is vital for other tenants and neighbors to make sure your tenants are properly vetted. 
  • Fences: Fences should be maintained and repaired for tenant safety. Gates and gate locks should be replaced if they are showing signs of excessive wear and tear. 
  • Pools: Pool fencing should be installed in compliance with local and state laws. 
  • Notice: You must provide adequate notice of entry before you enter your property. 

5. Responsiveness

Whatever your tenant needs, when they contact you, it is important to respond in a timely manner. Your tenants should know beforehand what to expect in regards to your responsiveness.  

Typical Responsibilities for Tenants

While the majority of responsibilities fall on the property owner, there are certain things for which the tenant is responsible:

  • Tenants should be responsible for daily trash removal and cleaning. 
  • Tenants should be responsible for general cleaning. 
  • Tenants may be responsible for lawn maintenance and landscaping. 
  • Tenants may be responsible for some repairs and maintenance per the rental agreement. 
  • Tenants are typically responsible for replacing indoor light bulbs. 
  • Tenants must either replace batteries in fire alarms and carbon monoxide detectors or at least notify property owners. 
  • Tenants are responsible for communicating leaking plumbing, roof damage, HVAC concerns, and other issues in a timely fashion before they become major repair needs. 
  • Tenants are responsible for not causing excessive damage. 

One of the most challenging aspects of property ownership in western North Carolina is managing tenants. There are seasons where it may feel like all you do is drive to your property to make repairs. You can mitigate that frustration by hiring the right property management company. 

Asheville Phoenix Properties has been helping owners and tenants manage every aspect of rental property ownership. 

In reality, managing tenant relations, staying on the right side of the law, being on call for any emergencies that come up, staying on top of home maintenance, conducting periodic property inspections, and handling the accounting and taxes can be a time-consuming effort. 

Take back your precious time by hiring the team at Asheville Phoenix Properties. Contact us to find out more about how you can restore the joy of property ownership