Entering into a lease agreement means that both landlords and tenants are agreeing to specific responsibilities. As the property owner, you promise to provide a habitable property for your residents and they agree to pay you rent every month.
Some of the responsibilities and duties are fairly obvious, but others can often be confusing. Who pays for the utilities in a multi-family building, for example? What if there’s a pool?
Today’s blog will focus on determining what the landlord should provide and what the tenant can be expected to take care of.
Typical Fort Worth Landlord Responsibilities
The most important job of a landlord is to provide a property that is clean, safe, habitable, and well-maintained. Before a tenant moves in, you must make sure everything is functioning as it should. You’re responsible for inspecting the property prior to occupancy to identify and repair anything that’s broken or not working. Landlords are expected to clean the property and in Texas, it’s also important to re-key the home. Your tenants will expect that no one else has keys to their new home, except for their landlord or property manager.
In Fort Worth, landlords must follow additional requirements found in the Texas Property Code. Security features are the most important responsibilities. You’ll need to install:
- Window latches on every exterior window.
- A doorknob lock or keyed dead bolt on every exterior door.
- A pin lock and a handle latch or security bar for sliding exterior doors.
- A keyless bolt and door viewer on every exterior door.
During the tenancy, you’ll need to respond to repair and maintenance requests. You aren’t responsible for cosmetic issues necessarily, but you do have to take care of problems with heat, air conditioning, plumbing, and electrical issues. If a refrigerator stops working or the roof begins leaking, these are your responsibilities. Take care of these things immediately to avoid tenant complaints and disputes.
Typical Fort Worth Tenant Responsibilities
Tenants are required to pay rent on time, honor the lease agreement, and take care of minor issues around the home while they are residing there. Your residents can be expected to change light bulbs and batteries in smoke detectors and remote controls as necessary. You can also require your tenants to change air filters on a regular basis and take care of lawn care, landscaping, and pest control. Many landlords prefer to take care of those things themselves, or to hire professionals and then simply include the cost in the rental amount.
Your tenants are also responsible for any damage that they cause or their guests cause. Property damage can be an accident, but even if it’s an accident, it’s the tenant’s responsibility. Something might break due to neglect or abuse. If a tenant’s child was using a cabinet door as a swing and it breaks, that’s the tenant’s expense to incur.
Documenting the condition of your home is extremely important so you can easily identify damage at the end of a lease period.
Fort Worth Lease Agreements
Lease agreements are designed to protect your rights and those of your tenants as well as outline the expectations and responsibilities of each party. An inclusive and detailed lease agreement makes it easy for the tenants to answer their own questions when they’re wondering who is responsible for mowing the lawn or maintaining the roof. Your lease agreement must stipulate who is responsible for utilities and whether there are any pool or landscaping responsibilities that land with the tenant. If you hire professional services for things like pools, landscaping, and pest control, the lease should also reference that.
These are some of the most common responsibilities for landlords and tenants. If you’d like to talk about your property and your lease agreement specifically, please contact us at Trend Property & Management. We can help answer all of your Fort Worth property management questions.