Legal and Optional Tenant Maintenance Responsibilities

Legal and Optional Tenant Maintenance Responsibilities

Last year, eviction rates rose across North Carolina. While failure to pay rent on time or in full was one of the biggest reasons for this spike, property destruction was a close second.

If you've found yourself evicting tenants who have damaged your property, it's time to take a more proactive approach. Knowing what responsibilities tenants have to maintain your property can help.

Read on as we explain what tenants should do, what they can do, and what you can do to see an improvement in property maintenance.

Tenant Legal Obligations and Property Maintenance

North Carolina tenant-landlord laws aren't quite as specific as some states. There is limited language about what tenants must do or not do in terms of property maintenance.

However, tenants are required to prevent undue damage. You have to anticipate basic wear and tear, but you shouldn't have to deal with things like broken windows or destroyed appliances. Tenants must also take reasonable steps to keep the place sanitary (e.g., disposing of trash and reporting pest problems).

The Value of a Clear Lease

Though state laws may leave you asking questions, your lease is a legally binding document that can provide clarity. In your lease, you can create stipulations such as:

  • No nail holes in the walls
  • No painting the walls
  • No replacing landlord-owned appliances

If your property has lawn access, you can also outline your expectations for tenants to handle lawn care. For example, if you expect tenants to keep the lawn mowed, make sure to say so in the lease.

Partnering with Tenants for Better Results

Tenants often have a better sense of what's going on with a property than their landlord does. Landlords are responsible for the majority of maintenance, but you can only fix problems that you know about. Regular inspections can help, but having tenants who report problems will make the biggest difference.

Tenant portals are great tools for tenants and landlords, alike. With the right tenant portal, tenants can make maintenance requests that improve their living experience and keep your property in good shape.

Protecting Your Investment

What if a tenant does neglect tenant maintenance responsibilities? Oftentimes, you don't need to resort to eviction to address undue damage. Instead, you can make better use of security deposits.

Security deposits are designed to provide financial security when tenants leave your property in worse shape than they found it. Remember, some wear and tear is expected. However, if you need to extensively clean or repair a property after move-out, you can use the security deposit to cover the cost.

PMI Knows Tenant-Landlord Laws in NC

With eviction rates on the rise, it's time for more active property management. Knowing your rights and enforcing a tenant's property maintenance responsibilities can prevent damage from getting out of control.

Are you struggling to keep up with your Raleigh properties or the ever-changing laws in North Carolina? PMI property managers have the expertise to tackle both. Learn more about our property management services today to start setting up your customizable package.