What are Your Responsibilities as a Tenant?
Renting a home is a great step up to owning a property of your own. Knowing there is a landlord who is responsible for keeping the house habitable can be a relief, but it’s an important two-way relationship. You have responsibilities as a tenant, too, and understanding your end of the bargain can make or break your rental agreement. Middel Realty wants to make your rental experience easy and stress-free, which is why we offer 24/7 maintenance and help! Call us anytime with questions and we will do our best to give you the answers you need. Read on to understand your biggest responsibilities as a tenant and contact Middel Realty today to explore our beautiful Fort Collins rental properties!
Keep It Clean and Safe
Your landlord is not a replacement parent — you need to clean up after yourself! Your unit doesn’t have to be spotless, but it does need to be safe. Don’t block fire escapes and remember that if you leave food out long enough, it might eventually be considered a health hazard. You are responsible for taking out the trash and other chores, depending on the rules and ordinances of your neighborhood. You might be the one expected to shovel the sidewalk and mow the lawn, and there can be consequences for both you and the landlord if you shirk your duties. Non-compliance with neighborhood codes can cause your unit to be labeled as a public nuisance. Look closely at your lease and research your neighborhood’s expectations so there are no unpleasant surprises.
Take Care of Minor Repairs
Your landlord is responsible for taking care of anything that threatens your safety or the habitability of your unit – a hole in the roof caused by storm damage, for instance – but you will be expected to take care of smaller problems. Changing light bulbs is your job, as is repairing any appliances you brought with you to the unit. If you installed a showerhead you prefer or brought your own microwave, you are responsible for any issues with those items. You can probably call your landlord for issues with important systems like plumbing, but only so long as you were using those systems as intended. If your young child flushes a strange object down the toilet and it causes a blockage, it unfortunately falls to you to either fix the problem yourself or pay for the repair.
Be Accountable for Your Guests
Remember that you are responsible for whoever you bring into your unit, and you will have to pay for any damage caused by your guests. You are also in charge of keeping your guests safe while they are in your unit. A landlord’s insurance very rarely covers damage caused by guests or injuries suffered by anyone on the property. If you want to cover your bases, renter’s insurance is a good idea. Some landlords may require you to have it, so be sure to double check your lease agreement for any fine print on insurance.
Comply with Local Laws
The most important thing to remember is that you are just as responsible for adhering to the laws in your area as your landlord. Do your research on local laws BEFORE you sign anything to make sure you’re getting a good lease! For example, Fort Collins has clear limits on the number of occupants allowed in a residential unit. The “U+2” rule stipulates that in one home there can only be one family plus an additional person, or two adults and their dependents in addition to an unrelated resident. Unless the property is in a zone approved for “over-occupation”, a potential landlord shouldn’t be offering you a lease on a property that already has three unrelated residents. Even if they do, you shouldn’t sign that lease! It’s up to you to determine if your lease is legal. To learn what else you should look for before you make that commitment, read our two-part series on signs of a good lease.
Your landlord is responsible for a lot when it comes to your rental property, but renting a home or apartment is not like staying in a hotel. You have responsibilities as a tenant, from following local laws and neighborhood ordinances to keeping your unit free of health or safety hazards. Middel Realty wants you to have an amazing rental experience, which is why we offer help and maintenance 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you have any questions about what your responsibilities would be as a tenant, please give us a call! Ready to find your perfect rental home? Explore our Fort Collins rental listings and contact Middel Realty today!