Being a landowner comes with its own sets of perks and responsibilities. You get to enjoy recurring profits, but at the same time you’ve a great responsibility towards the property and the tenants. In fact, most property owners have to be negotiators, problem solvers, handymen, and caretakers. They should know how to deal with tenants and neighbors while simultaneously meeting bylaws and other such requirements. In this blog, we have put together the roles of a landlord in Pakistan in the light of legal and ethical aspects.
If you’re a landowner, this guide will help you understand the primary and complicated obligations and avoid issues with tenants and the lawmaking bodies. For tenants, this guide will be a small brief as to what they can expect from the property owners.
What Are the Roles of a Landlord?
It goes without saying that landlords are primarily responsible for providing a decent and well-managed accommodation to the tenants in exchange for rent charges. It means that property owners must make sure that the property is well-maintained, secure, clean, and accessible before listing for rent.
Another major role of a landlord is to take care of the structure and foundation of the property and make sure that it is secure for occupancy. They must also take care of the internal fixtures. If there are any hazards or major repairs, it is best to get them fixed before renting out an apartment.
Besides maintenance and upkeep, landowners are also responsible for paying property taxes, addressing tenants’ problems, eradicating security threats, and providing them a healthy space for living. Amongst the many roles that a landlord plays, being a negotiator, realtor, repairman, and screening tenants are also considered to be their roles. Before renting out the apartment, they must make sure that the tenant has a good credit score, is reliable, and has a solid rental history.
Even though the roles and responsibilities are pretty clear and easy to understand, it’s difficult to distinguish whether what responsibility is due to tenants and which ones to the property. Hence, we have divided this blog into two separate sections. First, we will list the responsibilities a landlord has towards the tenants. Afterwards, we will take a look at the responsibilities of a landlord towards the property.
Responsibilities of a Landlord to Tenants
Contrary to popular belief about the roles of a landlord, the duties go beyond singing agreements and receiving rent for their property.
Here are a few responsibilities that the landlord has towards their tenant. We’ll discuss these duties and responsibilities in detail:
- Ensuring a safe environment
- Maintaining peace and cleanliness
- Responding to maintenance requests
Ensuring A Safe Environment
The home should feel like a warm blanket on a cold day – cosy, comfortable, and secure. Therefore, you need to prioritise the security factor in your property. As a role of a landlord, you double-check all the openings in the property. Make sure they are properly locked and secured – main gate, doors, fences, windows, and everything else.
Replace locks to ensure there is no security breach when an old tenant moves out and a new one moves in.
Some people don’t just own one apartment, but instead own a building with multiple tenants occupying different rooms, portions, or apartments. In such scenarios, allot different keys to each tenant, so that there is no trespassing between the various tenants occupying the same building. One ethical consideration also includes to never let a repairman enter a tenant’s house without their permission and unsupervised.
As much as it’s important to secure the inside of your property, the outside security shouldn’t be neglected. If anything from the front door and pavements to car-parking and fences is broken, get it fixed before the occupancy. Just make everything fit for purpose.
Maintaining Peace and Cleanliness
Tenants can be from any age, with any kind of medical conditions, and even if they are absolutely fit; they shouldn’t have to live in a disturbing environment. It is the responsibility of the landlord to make sure that the environment of their property is not just secure but also peaceful.
There should be rules in place for loud noises, disturbance, cleanliness, and other inconveniences caused to the occupants of the property.
In addition to maintaining a peaceful environment, make sure there are proper disposal mechanisms for the tenants to keep the property clean and maintained. Imagine walking out of the house to a strong displeasing smell of a day or two old garbage bags? Nobody likes the sound of it. It’s absolutely important to provide your tenant with adequate disposal options.
In case the property is infested with termites or bugs it is the responsibility of the landlord to hire an exterminator before it starts getting out of hand.
Pro Tip: Take help from our recent guide on how to inspect and eliminate termite infestation in case you are renting out a property.
Responding to Maintenance Requests
The dispute between a tenant and a landlord is not something unusual. Most disputes are associated with property maintenance.
If you are wondering ‘who is responsible for the upkeep and repairs?’ Well, the responsibility is commonly shared by both the landlord and tenants. Majority of the tenants think that it is one of the roles of a landlord to completely maintain the property even though they are just as responsible for the property they occupy.
The maintenance of a property is divided into two parts: interior and exterior. Tenants are responsible to maintain and fix the interior of the property that they use and occupy; meanwhile the exterior repairs of a property are all the responsibility of the landlord.
Exterior repairs would include repairing the cracks in the walls, replacing broken or burst pipes, repairing broken steps, and other structural damages. While the delegation has been cleared out, it is extremely important that the landlord responds to the call of help by their tenant as soon as possible without causing much delay.
Responsibilities of a Landlord to Property
The roles of a landlord isn’t only restricted to the tenant, but also to the property they are renting out. Now that we have discussed the roles of a landlord towards their tenant, here are all the responsibilities they have towards their property:
- Maintaining proper insurance
- Responsibility to pay taxes
- Paying utility bills
Maintaining Proper Insurance
Property owners are responsible for property insurance. As you’d expect, property insurance works as a safety net against natural disasters, fire-related accidents, others such as slip-and-fall claims. In case you own a property and have already bought an insurance plan, it is extremely important for the landlord to pay the premiums regularly.
There are two main types of insurance plans for landlords, these include homeowner’s insurance and landlord’s insurance. A homeowner’s insurance plan is designed to protect the personal residence and belongings of the policy holder in case of any incident. On the other hand, the landlord’s insurance protects the policyholder’s investment as a property owner.
Responsibility to Pay Taxes
According to landlord-tenant law in Pakistan, people who own property are legally expected to pay the taxes that are generated against their properties. The thing that needs to be understood is that even if the property is rented out, the responsibility to pay taxes remains on the landlord. In certain cases, the tenants pay the property tax, but they are liable to a reimbursement for the amount they invest into it.
Whether you own a property and are occupying it or you have rented it out, you are expected to pay the property tax to the government. In most cases, you will be expected to pay income tax against the rent that you receive for your property.
Paying Utility Bills
Tenants in common, pay their own utility bills. In exceptional cases, however, the total amount of the rent is inclusive of all the utilities. It makes the landlord liable to timely pay all the utility bills. If it happens, the landlord is responsible to pay the bills before the due date to ensure there is no inconvenience caused to the occupants of their property.
Cleaning old utility bills is considered as one of the main landlord duties towards their own property. Paying the bills on time would ensure that the tenants don’t lose water, electricity, or gas. Any kind of maintenance and property repairs are also amongst some of the legal and ethical responsibilities of a landlord.
We genuinely hope that the information in this blog is useful for you. If you’re wondering how to put your property up for rent, you might want to list your property on Jagah Online, to reach as many potential customers.
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