Vancouver, WA Landlord & Tenant Responsibilities: Who Does What in a Rental Property?

Landlord & Tenant Responsibilities: Who Does What in a Rental Property? - Article banner

The responsibilities of renting out a property in Vancouver are pretty straightforward; you have to provide a safe and habitable home for your tenants, and you need to maintain that home. Tenants have similarly straightforward responsibilities; they need to pay the rent and follow the lease terms and help you take care of the home.

It’s not always so cut and dry. There are frequently gray areas, such as utilities and pest control and even landscaping. Who should be responsible for which things?

There are many ways to organize and divide these duties. The important thing is to make sure they’re clearly spelled out in your lease agreement. 

Vancouver Landlord Responsibilities: Habitability and Responsiveness

Most lease agreements and laws use terms like “safe and habitable” when describing what your rental property condition should be. Specifically, this means the property has to be structurally sound. The home has to be clean and free of leaks, mold, and safety issues. Tenants will need to access running water and heat. 

Habitability is a critical responsibility. When you rent out a Vancouver property, you are required to keep that home in good working order for the tenant at all times. You need to respond right away to habitability maintenance issues such as plumbing and electrical problems. It’s also important to keep appliances operational.

You’re also responsible for treating your tenants well. Be open and communicative and remember that while you own the property, your tenants are living there – it’s their home. Tenants are entitled to privacy and quiet enjoyment. You can’t show up unannounced whenever you feel like it. Tenants will notice if you’re slowly driving past the home every few days. Don’t be a nuisance. 

Vancouver Tenant Responsibilities Depend on the Lease Agreement

While maintaining the home is predominantly your responsibility as the owner, you can expect your tenant to take care of minor issues. Just make sure all responsibilities are clearly stated in the lease and reinforced before they move in. 

You might require tenants to change air filters and smoke detector batteries. They can be expected to take care of light bulbs when they burn out and even any landscaping and lawn care that’s appropriate. 

Tenants are also responsible for reporting maintenance issues as they occur. Deferred and unreported repairs will only lead to more expensive and costly problems, so you want to avoid them. Make sure your tenants understand that you want to hear about maintenance issues right away.

You will pay for most repairs, unless they’re caused by a tenant or a tenant’s guest. For example, if a window gets broken because golf balls are being hit across the backyard, that’s your tenant’s responsibility. 

Be clear about responsibilities before the lease begins so there won’t be any misunderstandings or conflicts. A good relationship with your tenant will also help you engage in ongoing discussions about responsibilities and the shared upkeep of the Vancouver rental property. 

We can help with all of your Vancouver property management needs. For more information, please contact us at Utmost Property Management.