Albuquerque Tenant and Landlord Responsibilities for Rental Utilities and Maintenance

Deciding whether a landlord or a tenant is responsible for a repair or an issue at your Albuquerque rental property can be tricky, especially if the expectations and responsibilities aren’t clear in the lease agreement.

Legally, landlords are responsible for safety and habitability issues. You have to maintain your home to the extent that your residents are safe living there. Beyond that, you can decide which things you should be responsible for maintaining and which things you’d like your tenant to handle.

Discuss the lease and your expectations with your new residents, and make sure everyone is on the same page.

General Albuquerque Landlord Maintenance Responsibilities

Landlords are responsible for providing their residents with a safe and habitable home, and for maintaining that home throughout the tenancy.

A landlord is also required to care for any of the appliances that were provided with the property when the tenant moved in. If the dishwasher you had in the kitchen breaks down, you have to repair it or replace it. However, if you didn’t provide a clothes dryer, but the tenants moved in their own and it breaks, it will be the tenant’s responsibility.

Maintenance Responsibilities Shared by Landlords and Tenants

Both landlords and tenants are responsible for items like smoke detectors and air filters. You have to make sure the smoke detector and the cooling system in your property work. But, the tenant has to be responsible for changing batteries and air filters. Make sure this is outlined in your lease.

If you have a pool or a hot tub at your rental property, you’ll have to decide whether you’re comfortable with your tenant maintaining it or if you’d prefer to have this professionally handled. You don’t necessarily want the tenants handling pool chemicals, but since they are enjoying the pool, they should be responsible for contributing to its care and maintenance. One option is to hire a professional pool service and then include the cost in the rental amount.

Tenant Responsibilities in an Albuquerque Rental Home

Your tenant is responsible for paying rent on time, taking care of the property, and preventing any damage. A good tenant will communicate transparently and let you know when there’s a repair that’s needed. Sometimes, tenants will hesitate to report problems because they don’t want to get blamed for it. Make sure your tenants understand that you need to know about repairs right away, regardless of who is at fault.

Tenants should be expected to make minor repairs. A garbage disposal can be easily reset by tenants, for example, and they can also handle issues like keeping drains free from clogs and preventing mold from growing in the shower.

It can be helpful to give your tenants a bit of instruction when they move in. Show them how things in the property work, and explain what they should handle themselves and what they should report to you as a maintenance need. Communication can really solve a lot of the confusion about who should be responsible for what.

Utilities in Albuquerque Rental Homes

maintenance toolsTenants are generally responsible for establishing their own utility accounts and paying the bills for electricity, gas, trash, and water when they rent a single-family home in Albuquerque. Most multi-family tenants expect the same thing. Some landlords prefer to include the utilities, but since costs are based on usage, it generally makes more sense for the tenants to pay them. Some landlords will include utilities, like trash collection and sewer, in the rent. HOA fees are often paid by landlords.

While a rental property is not habitable without water and electricity, additional services like cable, internet, and smart home technology are optional services that most tenants can decide whether they need or don’t need. Landlords in Albuquerque are under no obligation to provide free cable or internet to their tenants.

If you have any further questions regarding tenant and landlord responsibilities or anything pertaining to property management and leasing in Albuquerque, please contact us at Bruni Karr Rental & Management Agency.