What Rental Property Maintenance Is Your Renter Responsible For?

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Out of the 62,000 homes in Charleston, SC, nearly 45% are rental properties. If you're a property owner in the area, you have the potential for a large and successful portfolio here. However, that also means you'll find yourself with plenty of side work if you handle all maintenance and repairs.

It becomes relevant with this potential workload to consider which maintenance requests must be handled by you as the property owner, a trusted vendor, or reliable property management Charleston SC offers. However, that also brings up the alternative: which forms of repairs and maintenance your renter is responsible for.


Not all maintenance must be done by you as the property owner! The renter living in your single-family homes also has a list of tasks as part of the lease agreement that they are supposed to manage. Of course, if you haven't included these tasks in your lease, it's time to go over your lease agreement with experienced Charleston property managers or an attorney.

Keep in mind; we may be the best property managers in Charleston, but we aren't attorneys. This blog isn't intended as legal counsel: when you need real-time aid, get in touch with us here at Charleston Property Company!

Woman signing a real estate contract

Why Does Your Renter Have to Do Maintenance?

  • Under certain rental guidelines, the renter is responsible for a variety of tasks that ensure the cleanliness of and general respect towards the rental homes they are renting.
  • Each state has specific laws as to exactly what those tasks are, and you, as the property owner, are free to add certain things to that list with your lease.
  • You will therefore want to clearly state in the lease agreement what the renter must do to maintain a good status on your property to avoid confusion.New call-to-action

What Are the Responsibilities of the Renter?

Regular maintenance and repairs will help to keep your property in good condition and help to avoid any significant maintenance issues.

Your renters need to notify you of any real damage to your rental property, but they are also responsible for certain forms of regular upkeep. It is the renter’s responsibility to maintain the cleanliness of their rented space. This includes:

  • Regularly cleaning the interior of the rental property, such as kitchens and bathrooms
  • Handling any spills or minor accidents immediately rather than encouraging long-term damage
  • Keeping outdoor spaces tidy by avoiding leaving out trash to attract pests or other forms of messes.

Other requirements for the renter would include not deliberately causing damage to the property:

  • Not removing or updating elements of the property in ways that are not permitted by the lease
  • Not allowing someone in their residence to purposely or carelessly damage the property
  • Properly using and caring for any heating or air conditioning units on the property
  • Using the available electrical and plumbing in the correct and safe manner.

What Additional Tasks Can I Ask a Renter to Do?

There are several maintenance tasks that you may decide to have your renter take care of and can add to your lease agreement. These can be everyday small jobs that you feel confident that you or property management Charleston SC provides do not need to make the trip to oversee.

A few examples that your renters should be able to handle include:

  • Fixing any minor damage they cause after informing the property owner or manager
  • Lawn and yard maintenance including watering, mowing, or weeding
  • Changing light bulbs in single-family homes
  • Snow and ice removal.

Man with lawnmower

These jobs can be cared for by the renter, but you or your property manager should regularly check to be sure the tasks are being done to your satisfaction. If a renter does not properly remove snow or ice and they are injured because of it, you as the property owner could be held liable. The North Charleston area rarely gets snow, but we do get 'freak' snowstorms once in a while, so it's worth including it in your lease regardless.

Another option available to property owners is to roll the costs of these upkeep tasks into your rent in the form of a hired service, such as professional landscaping that visits the property occasionally.

What Are You Responsible for as the Property Owner?

  • As the property owner, you are responsible for providing a habitable residence. This includes having running water, properly working electricity, and a safe environment.
  • This also means removing any potentially hazardous materials from the home and keeping all provided appliances in working order.
  • You should do regular inspections of the home to ensure there are no leaking pipes, sinks, tubs, or washing machines, which could cause mold to grow.
  • If your renter notifies you of any issues in the home (which is part of their responsibilities), you should promptly arrange for it to be looked at and repaired.

How to Properly Maintain Your Property

Discussing with your renter exactly what you expect of them can go a long way in having a well-maintained home. Once they understand and agree to everything outlined in your lease, it is then their responsibility to uphold.

If you work hard to stay on top of inspections and your regular maintenance, your renters will feel obligated to do the same. They no doubt want a comfortable and clean home to live in, so giving them a list of tasks to care for can help to keep it that way. 

As a Charleston property owner, you can also feel more confident that your property is being well cared for if you work with the professional property management Charleston SC offers. There are thousands of rental properties in Charleston, and working with professional property managers ensures you have an expert to keep an eye on your property so that your rental homes remain competitive.

What kind of tasks do you need to keep on top of year-round as a property owner? See what forms of maintenance should be handled to keep your investment property in great shape with our handy Seasonal Maintenance Checklist! This also gives you an idea of what to include in your lease agreement if you operate single-family homes.

Get The Checklist

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