Legal and Optional Property Maintenance Responsibilities for Tenants in Council Bluffs, Iowa
Just like every other state, there are certain rules and regulations that both landlords and tenants in Iowa must follow. But which ones are strictly legal, and which ones are optional?
If you are a new landlord, you may be wondering which tenant responsibilities you need to implement. Here is a brief guide to what you need to enforce for your property maintenance,
Legal: Follow the Lease Agreement
Your tenants may have tenant rights, but they need to follow the stipulations in the lease agreement. These can be as broad or as specific as you choose.
If you do not have anything specific, you can use a boilerplate lease agreement and edit it for factors such as price and personal information.
Legal: Keeping the Unit Sanitary
Tenants must clean up after themselves to avoid problems such as pests. By not throwing out trash or keeping the unit clean, it can lead to bigger issues that may cost a lot of money. You should note any issues during rental property inspections.
If you notice the unit is dirty or there are pest problems, you may be able to charge the tenant a cleaning fee or make them pay for the cost of pest control.
Legal: Abide by Housing Codes
Make sure your tenant is fully aware of housing codes. These can differ by state, or even by city. Include a copy of the codes with their lease agreement and provide resources where they can research further if needed.
When a tenant violates any of these housing and property codes, it could be grounds for an eviction. If you aren't sure, it is best to speak with an attorney to see if you have a case, especially regarding tenant rights.
Optional: Lawn and Yard Care
You can include lawn care as a lease requirement, but it may be better to leave it up to the tenant. You can consider taking a bit off their rent if they are willing to perform lawn care themselves.
For instance, if they have a pet, it may be easier for them to make the yard more pet-friendly than relying on a property maintenance company to do the landscaping for them.
Seasonal maintenance tasks can be tricky, and it might be easier for the tenant to perform them. For instance, before winter comes, you will need to do things like clean out gutters, rake leaves, and make sure the lawn is ready for colder weather to set in.
Remember These Property Maintenance Tasks
If you are new to property management, you should always remember the tenant responsibilities for people who rent your properties. With this guide, it will be easy to distinguish between what is legally required and what is optional for property maintenance.
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