The wonderful part of renting is that you don’t have to worry about things like paying for expensive roof leaks or a pipe bursting inside your unit. With that being said, there are some things that you, as a tenant, are still responsible for.
1) Changing the air filter in your furnace: These are either found inside your furnace or in an air intake around the house. These filters are what keep the dirt and allergy-causing air from being spread around your apartment. Generally, are changed once per season (or every three months). We have teamed up with the team at SecondNature.com to make this easier on our tenants! They deliver your filters on a quarterly basis, so all you have to do is pop the old one out and insert the new one!
- This is very important for two reasons: One, to ensure the air you are breathing is fresh and clean. And two, to keep the furnace running properly. Failure to do so can not only cause you stress when your heat or A/C go out (generally at the worst times possible!), but also financially - a landlord could charge you for damages to the furnace!
2) Light bulbs: When you move in, all the lights should be working, but over time they will go out if you stay long enough. As a tenant, it is your responsibility to buy new light bulbs and change them throughout your tenancy. One caveat is if the lights are special-order or in hard-to-reach areas, you may want to call your management company. Ask if they would like you to install it, or if they can send someone.
3) Plunge the toilet: Look, sometimes, things just don’t go down the way they are supposed to. Every tenant should own a plunger to try to easily rectify toilet issues before calling for maintenance help. Now, if a plunger doesn’t work, the toilet may need to be rodded, and you will want to call your management company for that.
- One caveat to the rodding being paid for by management is, if what comes out shouldn’t have been flushed down the toilet. If it can be traced to you, most likely you’ll have to cover the bill. We’ve seen beach balls, door handles, and a lot of weird stuff flushed down the toilet and thereby causing issues.
4) Keep it clean: This one seems obvious that a landlord is not going to pay to have your home cleaned. However, the results of a dirty house, such as roaches, ants, or extreme odors, will generally be charged to the tenant as well. This is why you should keep your home clean - to keep those critters out of your home and pocket book!
5) Physical damage to property: Wear and tear is going to be on the landlord to pay for. But, if you tackle a roommate through the wall, you are going to have to cover the costs of the landlord sending someone out to fix it. Basically, if it broke because of misuse, it is more than reasonable for the landlord to charge you for the repair.