Tenants and landlord incur different expenses during the term of a tenancy. Any expenses related to the maintenance of the property must fall on the landlord. On the other hand, any expenses related to utilities or anything the occupants of the property consumes, fall on the occupants.
However, there are some expenses that appear to be in the gray area and uncertainty between who shoulders these costs arises. Here are some common gray area expenses and clear guidelines on who bears the burden of the costs:
Pest control is a common gray area expense and most people are uncertain about who should shoulder the costs. It does not help that it is a substantial expense that may cause a strain between landlord and tenant. If an infestation is due to a natural occurrence, the landlord bears the burden of the pest control expenses, as it is their responsibility to provide a livable environment to their tenants.
If the infestation is due to a tenant’s behavior or actions, the tenant must pay for the pest control expenses incurred. However, in the case of bed bug infestations, landlords must first be aware of any prevailing laws regarding this issue before a tenant sends a complaint. If the property was endorsed to the tenant free of such pests, then tenant bears the costs of the bed bug pest control service.
Another expense that is commonly unclear between tenant and landlord are insurance premiums. Insurance to cover the property against fire is commonly required by financing institutions if mortgaged, therefore, paid by the landlord. Insurance coverage against acts of nature protects the property and must also be shouldered by the landlord.
However, insurance coverage against theft of the belongings inside the property protects the tenant’s belongings and, therefore, should be paid by the tenant.
Association Dues and Special Assessments
Association dues are payments towards expenses incurred for the operations of the property and upkeep of the common areas and amenities enjoyed by the residents. Since tenants enjoy the common amenities and benefit from the continued operations of the property, then tenants bear the costs.
By learning about the common gray area expenses and their nature, you can hope to eliminate uncertainties and misunderstandings and avoid tenant-landlord tension.