Tenant Responsibilities When Renting a SFH

Sometimes there is a little confusion on what a tenant is responsible for when it comes to renting out a single family home. Generally speaking they are responsible for the following:

  1. All utilities – It’s a good idea to have the tenant’s place all utilities in their name. If they don’t pay it doesn’t fall on you!
  2. Changing HVAC air filters – We have a standard provision in our contract that requires tenants to change their filters at least 1 time every month. This is to ensure that the system is maintained free of dust and that it operates as efficiently as possible. 
  3. Landscaping – It’s a good idea to make this a tenant requirement unless your HOA takes care of it or you have a very high end property ($400K+). If you’re concerned about it getting done, you can require that they use a professional service and submit evidence of this service as confirmation. Just note, if you offer landscaping as part of what they pay in rent, and your landscaper damages the property/sprinkler system, that damage and cost to repair may end up falling on you. Feel free to contact me if you want my opinion as it is case by case depending on the property. 
  4. Refrigerator, Washer and Dryer – Once in a while some of our clients will offer those appliances. When they do, we recommend that they be non-warranted appliances especially in the case of a washer/dryer as overloading them could result in damage and many investors wouldn’t want to bear the cost of the repair due to tenant negligence. 

If you are considering renting your home out, feel free to reach out to us to help you come up with a game-plan and give you best practices.