Rental Property Maintenance: Should Tenants Do Their Own Repairs?

Rental Property Maintenance: Should Tenants Do Their Own Repairs?

An estimated 38% of Boulder's population are renters. For property investors, that makes Boulder a great place to expand your portfolio.

The only hitch? In order to remain competitive, you're going to need to provide an appealing place to live and take good care of your tenants. A big part of that is staying on top of rental property repairs.

During the course of your tenant's lease, maintenance issues are bound to arrive. Should tenants take care of their own property maintenance or should you take care of it for them?

As Boulder property managers, we know a thing or two about maintenance coordination. Read on to find out everything you need to know.

Landlord Obligations to Perform Property Maintenance

Before you ask your tenants to perform their own maintenance, it's important to understand your legal obligations as a landlord. Under Colorado state law, it is the property owner's responsibility to ensure things like:

  • Weather protection
  • Working plumbing, gas, and electrical wiring
  • Pest termination
  • Compliance with all relevant building, health, and housing codes

If a maintenance issue falls under any of these categories, you can't expect tenants to schedule or pay for maintenance. However, tenants must provide notice that a maintenance issue has arisen in order for your legal responsibility to come into play. Make sure that you provide an easy-to-use system for maintenance requests, including an emergency line.

What to Consider Before Letting Tenants Perform Repairs

What if a tenant has a maintenance request that you aren't legally obligated to meet? For example, let's say that your tenant complains about clogged gutters. If the clogged gutters aren't leading to structural water damage, you can ask them to deal with it on their own.

The question is, should you? Before asking tenants to perform repairs on their own, consider two things: liability for their safety and liability for your property. A tenant could get hurt or cause expensive damage if they unclog your property's gutters on their own, so it may be best to handle that maintenance request by hiring an insured professional.

That said, your tenants should handle basic day-to-day maintenance. This includes things like keeping their rental units reasonably clean (e.g., vacuuming, dusting, and wiping down surfaces). You can also ask tenants to take care of small, simple tasks like changing lightbulbs or furnace filters.

PMI Can Boost Your Boulder Rental Properties

If you're expecting tenants to perform property maintenance on a regular basis, you may be breaking the law or taking on unnecessary liabilities. However, it's not always easy to stay on top of relevant laws or assess liabilities with accuracy. This is where our expertise can come in handy.

PMI Coal Creek is proud to provide property management services in the Boulder area. If you're ready to increase your ROI and earn a passive income, contact us. We look forward to making your investment portfolio work in your favor.