Renters have maintenance duties as well as landlords

by Tom Simplot

Apr 4, 2014

Allergy season is in full bloom in Arizona, and that means it's time to change the air filters in your house. This simple task can make a major difference in the quality of the air inside.

When you move in, the landlord should have conveyed the apartment or home with a clean air filter, but continuing to change those filters each month is the renter's responsibility.

At move-in, your landlord is responsible for ensuring all smoke alarms are operational. You may also want to double check plumbing (all sinks, toilets and drains) to be sure they are working properly. If they are not, notify your landlord right away.

Broadly, the landlord is responsible for maintenance and repairs that ensure your housing unit is safe and meets all applicable building codes.

Though apartment living can be mostly hassle-free, there are a number of important safety and welfare maintenance actions that are your responsibility.

Here's a general list:

• Change your air filters (monthly or every other month in the winter).

• Replace lightbulbs (including exterior lights).

• Change smoke alarm batteries.

• Use the gas, electrical and plumbing properly.

• Repair/maintain tenant-owned appliances (ie: washer/dryer not included in the apartment).

• Dispose of trash and maintain a clean living area.

Your landlord must provide a clean and habitable living space and do the following:

• Provide adequate and safe heat.

• Maintain weatherproofing, including windows and doors.

• Provide properly functioning appliances.

• Keep housing free of pests and vermin.

• Keep plumbing and electrical functioning properly.

If you need any repairs, be sure to follow your lease rules to request maintenance