Make sure to do an inspection of your home before you move in. Plumbing and electrical should be in safe working order. In addition, household appliances should be functional and doors and windows should have locks that work. After inspecting the home, make a list of any problems and ask the landlord to fix the problems before you move in.
A lease should say what you and the landlord agreed to. It should say how much the rent and security deposit will be. It should say when you must pay rent. It should say who can live there and for how long. It should say who pays the bills for gas, electric and water. It should say if you can have pets or not. It should say what the rules are and what the landlord can make you pay for repairs.
Damage & Noise
Keep your place clean and safe. In addition, don’t damage the property, or upset the neighbors with noise, etc. It is also your responsibility if your guests act up, break the law, etc. A landlord can take you to court and/or have you evicted for complaints.
As a tenant, you are responsible for the following:
Changing air ﬁlters monthly
Changing batteries in smoke detectors and thermostats
Unclogging drains and toilets
Garbage disposal repair/replacement costs if foreign object is found
Cleaning dryer vents
Cleaning front load washer seals
Replacement or repair of blind mechanics if they break
Paying for key replacements if lost or stolen
Replacing blown interior and exterior light bulbs
No-show with a scheduled vendor
Basic lawn care (if applicable)
The best rule of thumb is to change your air filters once a month — even if they don’t appear dirty. Make sure you use the proper type of filter as the wrong type of filter can limit air flow and possibly even freeze your air conditioning system. You may consider checking your filters more regularly if you have one or more pets. A helpful hint is to change your filter the same day you receive your electric bill. Failure to change your filter monthly may result in the failure of the HVAC system. If the tech deems the failure was caused by a dirty or clogged filter, the cost to repair will be your responsibility.
Changing and replacing lightbulbs throughout the home and outside the home is the tenant’s responsibility. LED bulbs are the longest lasting and most efficient. Consider changing out bulbs to LED bulbs, as they can last up to 25 times longer than a regular bulb.
GFCI power outlets should be tested at least once a year by the tenant. Most power outlets in modern homes are ground fault circuit interrupter outlets (GFCI). This device adds a greater level of security by minimizing risk of electric shock. A GFCI outlet is more sensitive and acts faster than a circuit breaker or fuse and is thus an important safety feature.
A GFCI outlet has a “Test” and a “Reset” button. Pressing the “Test” button will trip the outlet and break the circuit. Pressing the “Reset” will restore the circuit. If pressing the test button does not work, then replace the GFCI outlet. If the outlet does pop when you press the “Test” button, but the outlet still has power, the outlet is miswired. A miswired outlet is dangerous and it should be called in immediately.
It is the responsibility of the resident to change and replace batteries in smoke detectors. No one likes to get stuck with a beeping smoke detector late at night. To prevent this, change the batteries in each device twice a year. While you are changing the batteries check for any dust build-up on the unit and vacuum if necessary.
Dust blinds and window coverings regularly to prevent build up. You also may consider deep-cleaning your blinds every 3 to 4 months. Gently dust the blinds with a feather duster to remove light dust. You can also use a soft cloth or a vacuum with the upholstery brush attachment. Rotate the blinds and remove dust from the front and back surfaces. You may also consider dusting the window seal and also checking the window to ensure no excess moisture has entered through the window.
It is your responsibility to keep kitchen and bathroom drains clean and clear. You don’t need an assortment of chemicals to minimize drain odors or to keep your sinks fresh. In fact, use household items to prevent clogged drains, but be sure to clear them if they do become clogged. Use a plunger to unclog your drain. Place the plunger over the drain in your sink and use the handle to push and pull several times to unclog your drain. Be sure to keep large food scraps and liquid grease out of kitchen drains and to run the garbage disposal regularly with water. Keep hair out of bathroom drains. Install screens over drain in showers and tubs, and pull out what hair you can every few weeks.
It is the responsibility of the resident to clean the dryer vent and ducting of lint regularly. It is extremely important to perform this task often as it is one of the most common causes of house fires. Lint tends to build up in 3 areas: inside the lint trap, inside the flexible duct hose behind the dryer, and inside the in-wall duct work leading to the outside vent flap.
There are also professional companies that can clean for you. VillagePM recommends:
Every home should have a properly rated, up-to-date fire extinguisher that is readily accessible in the home. Fire extinguishers come with a warranty (typically 10 years) and should be replaced once the warranty expires.
To help prevent uninvited guests, always make sure you are keeping trash in an appropriate and approved container and are disposing of it regularly and properly. Look for droppings and possible damage done to wiring, insulation, siding, rooﬁng, etc. Also, make sure to check attic areas and crawlspaces — especially during colder months.
For granite, marble, concrete, or other stone countertops, use a sealer to protect your stone and be sure to clean up spills immediately. Clean stone surfaces with a sponge or soft cloth. Preferably, use a speciﬁcally formulated stone cleaner, but warm water and a basic liquid dish soap will do for quick clean-ups. However, repeated or excessive use of soap will cause buildup and dull your countertop’s shine. Use trivets or mats under hot dishes or cookware and placemats under china, ceramics, and other objects that could scratch stone surfaces. Never use cleaners that contain acid such as bathroom cleaners, grout cleaners or tub cleaners in the kitchen.
Hardwood flooring naturally expands and contracts throughout the seasons and will react to moisture. Be sure to wipe up spills on hardwoods immediately and place rugs and doormats along high traffic areas. In addition, keep animal nails trimmed to prevent ﬁnish scratches and use furniture leg protector pads on all furniture to prevent scratching.
Use stainless steel cleaner on smooth top surfaces such as electric cooking range, refrigerator, and other stainless steel appliances.
The landlord and/or property manager must notify you he or she is coming 24 hours ahead of time. The landlord can show the place to someone who wants to rent it, but only during the last 30 days you live there. And the lease must say that it is okay. The landlord may enter without warning only in emergency situations like fires or floods, if you are gone longer than 7 days without notifying someone, or if you move without telling the landlord.
Your landlord can tow your vehicle or bike but must leave written warning first. Depending upon the situation, a landlord must leave a note on your car from 24 hours to 10 days prior to towing. If your car is towed, you will have to pay to get it back.
It’s against the law for your landlord to change locks, turn off utilities, or remove your things in an attempt to force you to leave before your lease is up even if you are behind on rent. He or she can’t change the locks even if you have broken the lease. This is against the law. The landlord can’t set your things out on the street either. Only the sheriff’s department can do that. However, your landlord can take steps to have you evicted if you do not abide by the rules.
For non-emergencies make sure you put in a work order via the tenant portal. This is the fastest and easiest way to report a problem.
In addition, it’s important you make proper arrangements when scheduling a maintenance appointment. A missed appointment may result in extra fees or charges to you.
Maintenance FAQs » Read More
In the event of a local power outage, please call your local area electric provider directly.
Nashville Electric Service (NES)
Report a Power Local Outage to NES
24 hrs/7 days
In the unfortunate event that you are locked out of your home, the fastest and most economical solution is to call a locksmith. However, you may also submit a non-emergency work order and our team will respond to you within a few hours. Remember, you may not rekey your home under any circumstance.
You may also pay your rent by mail. Please make sure your rent arrives by the first of the month.
VillagePM | P.O. Box 90048 | Nashville, TN 37209