The Smart About Money website will be retiring on July 31, 2021. Learn more about this decision.

4: Make Your Housing Plan — Rent

Maintenance and Repairs

ScrewdriverAs you would expect, your home will require maintenance and repairs. A great thing about renting is someone else is responsible for the upkeep of the building and the property. But not all services in your rental unit are free — it’s important to know just who pays, for what, and when.

  • Major issues are the kind that would prevent you from living safely in the rental unit. Most often these issues are the landlord’s responsibility. Remember, the landlord is responsible for providing a safe and habitable place. 
  • Minor issues, such as a blown lightbulb or furnace filter, can be your responsibility. Defects, like worn carpet or a stained toilet, are minor because it doesn’t make your rental uninhabitable.
  • Maintenance issues, like lawn mowing, snow clearing or trash pickup, may not be free. 

Before you sign a rental agreement, get in writing those expenses that are factored into the cost of your rent and those that are extra.

Course Home