As a property owner and landlord, your responsibilities to your tenants are established under federal, state, and local laws, as well as the lease you establish with your tenants. Some of the basic responsibilities that you, as the landlord, must manage include:
1. The overall cost to maintain your rental property structure, such as maintaining/managing:
- the roof, doors, windows, paint, and surrounding grounds, and
- the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in all individual rental units (required under state law), and
- reported pest issues
2.Handling tenant complaints in a timely manner, which may involve issues such as:
- complaints involving other tenants
- unit-specific appliance or maintenance issues, etc.
3. Preparing units for rental upon vacancy, which may include:
- cleaning, painting, and providing needed repairs or upgrades,
- interviewing potential tenants, and
- determining who would be the best tenant for the rental you are providing
Under California law, tenants may withhold rent for periods in which their unit does not meet a minimum standard of habitability. As an out-of-state property owner, you are not likely to be able to handle all unexpected problems on a timely and cost-efficient basis. Hiring a responsible individual or property management company to oversee the daily management of your property can improve the overall experience for both you and your tenants.