What Property Maintenance Is Your Renter Responsible For?

What are you responsible to repair as a landlord or owner of a rental property versus what is your tenant obligated to repair. In this post, we explore who is typically responsible for what and how to best navigate.


As a landlord or property manager, it's important to understand the responsibilities of both yourself and your renters when it comes to maintaining a rental property. In this post, we'll dive into rental property maintenance required by landlords, what is rental property maintenance, and what property maintenance responsibilities fall a renter.

What is Rental Property Maintenance?

Rental property maintenance refers to the upkeep and repairs necessary to keep a rental property in good condition. This includes both preventative maintenance, such as routine inspections and cleaning, as well as reactive maintenance for unexpected issues that may arise. As a property owner knows, this investment property is a large asset of their investment portfolio as keeping the rental property maintenance up will also help maintain the property value.

Landlord Responsibilities

As a landlord or property manager, you are responsible for ensuring that the property is safe, habitable, and compliant with local housing codes. This includes making necessary repairs to the structure, plumbing, heating and cooling systems, electrical wiring, and appliances provided in the rental unit. Landlords are also responsible for maintaining common areas, such as hallways and laundry rooms. Landlords must also ensure that the rental property complies with any applicable health and safety regulations, including providing smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. A landlord will want to make sure they comply with local laws.

San Diego Specific Laws

In San Diego, landlords are indeed responsible for adhering to local housing and safety regulations. According to the San Diego Municipal Code, landlords must ensure that rental properties comply with the local building, plumbing, electrical, and mechanical codes. They also need to keep the premises sanitary and vermin-free. Additionally, landlords must adhere to the San Diego Lead Hazard Prevention and Control Ordinance, which mandates testing for lead hazards in property built before 1978 and disclosure of these hazards to renters. If a landlord fails to comply with these rules can lead to penalties and potential legal action. Landlords should always take the time to familiarize themselves with the specific laws and regulations in their area to avoid liabilities.

Renter Responsibilities

While property owners are responsible for the majority of rental property maintenance, renters also have a role to play in keeping their living space in good condition. These conditions should be outlined within the lease agreement that would be signed by both the landlord and the tenant. A few items that are the tenant's responsibility are:

    • Routine cleaning and upkeep such as vacuuming & dusting.
    • Properly disposing of trash and following any recycling guidelines.
    • Keeping the rental property free from damage caused by anyone visiting the premises with their permission.
    • Taking care of any minor maintenance tasks such as changing light bulbs and smoke detector batteries.
    • Reporting any necessary repairs or issues to the landlord in a timely manner.

Renters need to understand their responsibilities, keep the property within normal wear and tear, and communicate with their landlord if any issues arise. By taking care of the rental property, renters also help maintain its value and create a positive living environment for themselves and others.  

What Maintenance Responsibilities Can Be Shared?

In some cases, there may be maintenance responsibilities that can be shared between the landlord and renter. For example, both parties may be responsible for keeping the outdoor area of the rental clean and maintained. It's important to clearly define these shared responsibilities in the rental agreement to avoid any confusion or disputes. A lot of the areas that are shared rental property maintenance expenses should be outlined within the rental lease.

Limited Time or Too Much Stress?

At Crestmont Realty, we understand the importance of proper maintenance for a successful rental property. That's why we offer comprehensive property management services that include regular inspections, prompt responses to maintenance requests, and proactive maintenance to prevent larger issues from arising. We comply regularly with state laws and San Diego housing laws to ensure the safety and integrity of the leasing process.

When working with Crestmont, a property management company, we make sure your maintenance costs are within the property owner's budget limits. We also have a network of trusted vendors and contractors to ensure that any necessary repairs or maintenance are done efficiently and up to code. With us as your partner, you can trust that your rental property will be well-maintained and appealing to potential renters while still valuing your time.


Rental property maintenance is a shared responsibility between landlords and renters. By understanding the responsibilities of each party, you can ensure that your rental property remains in good condition and satisfies both parties involved.

If you are looking for a professional property manager in San Diego, CA, contact us at Crestmont.  We specialize in helping owners and investors achieve Higher Income & Less Stress.

The Crestmont Team


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