Who’s Responsible for Home Security Maintenance: Tenant or Owner?

The tenant-landlord relationship can be pretty different for each situations. In some situations, the relationship stays very friendly and open. In other cases, misunderstandings can lead to a tarnished relationships over time. But for a landlord and tenant to cooperators appropriately, there has to be understanding between the two.

A lot of confusion surrounds who should pay for certain services and expenses—and this topic is no exception. Security is a bit of a gray area about who should be maintaining it.

Responsibilities of the Landlord 

The laws for what a landlord must pay for varies from sate to state. But there are still some similarities. The landlord (or property management) is responsible for renting out the property to other people and making sure said property is ready to move into and live in. Basically, the owner must make the space “habitable” for those living there, including full function of heating, electrical systems, and protection from the elements.

Besides this, basic security measures must also be handled to ensure safety of tenants.

Responsibilities of the Tenant

The responsibilities of the tenant are under the same laws set for the landlord. For the tenant, housekeeping is key. They must take care of all amenities they’ve been provided and will have to replace any damages.

Some problem tenants have the false impression that rent is the only expense they have to worry about, but that’s just not true.

So, Who’s Responsible for Security?

The responsibility of maintaining home security is pretty much split evenly between the landlord AND the tenant. One one hand, the landlord must make sure all of the basic safety measures are there, such as emergency exits, deadbolts, and window locks.

And the owner must also control upkeep of the security measures so they function correctly over time.

On the other side, tenants hold the responsibility if they damage something (or someone on their property that they know damages something). Or, if the tenant decides to add their own additional security measures to the home, they will then be responsible for those extras.  If the tenant wishes to make these additions, they should notify the landlord.

The most successful tenant-landlord relationships are built on mutual understanding about where responsibilities lie. If you can attain this with your tenant(s), it will be much easier to talk about areas like security maintenance.

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