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Tips for Tenants: How to Take Care of Your Rental

Taking care of your rental property is best for you and the landlord. These tips will help make your time in the property easier and they’ll save you money.

Being a great tenant is beneficial for both you and your landlord. Taking care of the property that you’re renting can save you money and help the landlord keep their home in great condition, even when they aren’t the ones living there.

Don't Flush Baby Wipes

This is a very common mistake we see with our tenants. Even wipes that say they’re able to be flushed can do a lot of harm to the plumbing in the home. Baby wipes don’t break down, so instead of dissolving like toilet paper, it will clog the drains. Even if it does make it all the way through the pipes, it can become more of a problem as your pipes age. It also causes problems at water treatment plants.

Know What You Are Responsible For

Locking Yourself Out

We’ve all made the mistake of accidentally locking ourselves out. As frustrating as this can be, the cost for the locksmith is usually paid for by the tenant. This is something you need to be prepared for if it happens to you.

Internet Installation

Tenants often ask us for assistance with setting up their internet. However, landlords are not responsible for setting up your internet or helping with installation. This is something that will need to be handled directly with the provider.

HVAC Filters

Changing the HVAC filter on a regular basis is key to the health of the heating and air system. On average, you should put a new filter in every 6 months. You might want to consider changing it more frequently if the home is larger or you have pets.

If your smoke detector starts to beep, it likely means the battery needs to be changed. This is also a tenant responsibility. If your smoke detector is in a hard to reach space (i.e. tall and vaulted ceilings), reach out to your landlord for the best course of action.

Landscaping

Be sure to check your lease for your landscaping responsibilities. Some owners hire a gardener that will come weekly or monthly so the tenants don’t have to worry about it. Some will require that you maintain the landscaping yourself, whether it be making sure the sprinklers run regularly or watering plants.

Clean Regularly

One of the best things you can do for yourself and your rental is to clean regularly. This will help with the longevity of the home and its appliances. Cleaning the oven, microwave, and refrigerator are often overlooked but are common sources of a high cleaning bill after you move out.

Make sure you are properly ventilating your bathroom. Mold and mildew can grow easily in a humid room and cause damage to your shower and bathtub. It’s also important to know the difference between mold and mildew to properly address the situation. If you start to notice any minor microbial growth, you can review these home remedies. If you think you have a mold issue, contact your landlord ASAP.

Take care to clear any calcium buildup from faucets (shower and sinks). You can do this by mixing white vinegar with water and letting it soak for 30 minutes.

Note HOA Rules and Regulations

Living in a neighborhood with an HOA can be an adjustment for some tenants. HOAs typically have strict rules and regulations that must be followed. This can be anything from designated move in and move out days to what you’re allowed to have on your balcony. If you break one of these rules, even accidentally, there are hefty fines.

If you have questions or concerns about any of the HOA rules, it’s best to contact the HOA directly. Contacting your landlord or property manager will only prolong the process, as your landlord likely is not as familiar with the rules as the HOA themselves.

Garbage Disposals

Knowing how to reset your garbage disposal can save you and your landlord a lot of time. Many tenants often think a professional will need to come repair it, but in most cases it can be resolved with a simple reset.

If you turn it on and you don’t hear any noise, you’ll want to reset the breaker on the bottom of the disposal under your sink. There should be a button (often red) for this. If you turn it on and instead hear a humming sound, you’ll need to unjam it with a garbage disposal wrench. Make sure you turn off the unit prior to doing this.

Good Life has a short video on how to reset or unjam a garbage disposal.

Notify The Landlord of Big Issues

If there are major maintenance issues at the property, it’s best to let your landlord know as soon as possible. Big issues can turn into bigger issues if left unattended. Some tenants don’t want to bother their landlord with complaints, but typically the landlord will appreciate your concern for their home.

Keep Everything in Writing

Any correspondence with the landlord should be in writing. This makes it easier on both parties, especially in regards to lease renewals, roommate changes, and maintenance issues. This can also help you in the event of a landlord-tenant dispute, especially if it goes to court.

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Rental Property Repairs: Landlord vs. Tenant Responsibilities

When it comes to rental property repairs, the responsibility burden between landlord and tenant can quickly lead to a finger-pointing battle. In this blog post, we cover everything you need to know about landlord vs. tenant responsibilities for your rental. With proper understanding, repairs and maintenance issues can be addressed quickly and efficiently.  

Read More »

Hey guys, Mariah with Good Life here and today I’m going to give you some tips and tricks on how to take care of your rental property which will end up saving you and your landlord money in the long run. Number one is to know how important it is to not flush wipes of any kind. Even those that market them as flushable. These can cause damage to the pipes especially if the pipes are older and if deemed your responsibility you could be held liable. Tip number two involves HVAC filters. Typically HVAC filters should be changed about twice a year especially if your house is large or if you have pets. The debris from just living in the house can really gather up and so it’s best to change them for six months. Tip number three, smoke detectors. If your smoke detector starts beeping it typically means that you need to change the battery. If you find that your smoke detector is in a too high of a place and you can’t reach go ahead and reach out to your landlord for how to best take action. Tip number four, landscaping. You’re going to want to check your lease agreement to verify who’s responsible for the landscaping of the property. Is it you or is it the landlord? Typically some landlords were hire their own gardeners to come on monthly or weekly visits and that way you don’t have to worry about it. But if there is a clause in your landscaping addendum within your lease you will need to make sure that the sprinklers are on a timer or certain plants around the property are getting water properly. Tip number five, cleaning. Now this tip has two parts. First part is going to be revolving around the kitchen. Specifically, the kitchen appliances. These are often overlooked and result in high security deposit cleaning bills. So make sure that your oven, your microwaves and your refrigerators get a deep cleaning every now and then to help lower those costs once you move out. Part number two is going to revolve around your bathroom, specifically ventilating in between uses. So after shower go ahead and flip on the switch, show on your fan and open up your window to help reduce the mold and mildew growth. It’s really important to know the difference between mold and mildew which you can read in our blog down below. And if you’re unsure you can go in and contact your landlord on how to proceed if you do see that mold or mildew is growing. Tip number six is going to revolve around your garbage disposal. Typically from time to time you will need to reset this. We have a separate video explaining and guiding you through the process and the link below. Next I’m going to talk about the proper use of your garbage disposal and how to avoid clogging. This also goes hand in hand with your dishwasher. So you’re going to want to make sure that you’re actually rinsing your dishes, getting all that food residue off when you load your dishwasher. That way when it runs it doesn’t clog your garbage disposal. Next thing you need to know are items that you’re actually responsible for. Things like getting locked out, knowing your HWA rules and regulations as well as internet installation. These are all things that your landlord is not responsible for. So you want to make sure that you read up on those rules and regs, make sure you completely understand them. Of course you have any questions go ahead and reach out to your landlord or the HWA directly. That way you can grasp a better understanding. If you lock yourself out and you find yourself that you need to get back in, you would be responsible for those locksmiths charges to come out and go ahead and get you back into the property as well as internet installation. So when you first move into the property you are solely responsible to contact your internet provider, pay for any installation wiring, cause boxes, satellites and things of that sort. And last but certainly not least any major maintenance issues that you’re experiencing within the property. You’re going to want to notify your landlord ASAP. This is going to help solve the problem sooner rather than later as well as save you and possibly your landlord a lot of money. We also recommend that you do this in writing. So go ahead and send an emails and a text message. Something in writing that can timestamp when you notify your landlord can really help keep records and save everybody in the long run. I hope you guys enjoyed these tips. The full blog is linked below. Go ahead and hit that like and subscribe button and stay tuned for more material. Have a good one.