Are you planning to become a landlord? There's more to it than renting out rooms for tenants. Different responsibilities will lie on your shoulders, such as ensuring that the building follows the building code or that the property is kept well-maintained and habitable.
While these legal obligations might differ from one place to another, here are four responsibilities that all landlords have:
1. Maintain the Property
It is the landlord's responsibility to ensure that their property is well-maintained. Any repairs that are needed to be carried must be done, and anything else that needs to be fixed, replaced, updated, and so on should be handled as well. However, this doesn't mean that the landlord will have to do something unreasonable to keep their property maintained.
For example, if a roof started to look bad, a landlord is obligated to fix it. However, they are not expected to replace the entire roof, but to have a professional come over and fix the problematic spot.
2. Make Sure Utilities Are Functioning
Some tenants might come to argue with the landlord, wondering why they must pay extra for utilities, such as electricity and water. That's because it isn't part of the landlord's responsibility to provide for them unless explicitly stated in the contract.
What is expected of the landlord is that all these utilities are in working order, that the plumbing, gas, electricity, air conditioning, and so on are all functioning.
3. Ensure that the Common Areas Are Habitable
The common areas of the building should always be safe and clean.
To make sure that the areas are safe, it should have enough lighting, and the lighting fixtures should be working. The place should also be risk-free. For example, there should be no jutting objects on the pathways to reduce the risk of tripping and injuring tenants.
4. Make Garbage Bins Available
Tenants are going to accumulate garbage in their rooms inevitably and will need a place to throw all of that away.
Landlords must provide enough large bins both for garbage and recyclable materials for the tenants. For example, if the landlord is maintaining a building with ten units, one garbage bin will not be enough. Also, these areas should be kept a slight away from the place so that the smell of rotting items will not pollute the air.
It is the landlord’s responsibility to ensure that the trash in the bins is disposed of by having them gathered by the city’s garbage collectors on schedule.
The Bottom Line
The landlord is responsible for ensuring that their property is habitable, that it is safe and danger-free. Utilities must be working, and the property should be well-maintained to ensure that anyone deciding to stay there lives comfortably. If you want to become a landlord, these are just a few things you're obligated to follow, as well as location-specific rules you'll need to research about. If you decide to hire a property management company in New York City, they should be well aware of these responsibilities as well.
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