Many people think that because they rent instead of owning their own home, they don’t have any responsibilities. While it is true that your landlord is responsible for taking care of repairs, maintenance, etc., as a tenant you do have certain responsibilities when it comes to home maintenance. If it costs you any amount of money, you may be able to get a break on your rent. Let’s break those responsibilities down to the seasons, and what you should be doing each month.
Every year, we all say that it is time to get the spring cleaning done. Here is a rundown of what you should be doing during the spring months.
- March – Start opening windows and airing the place out. This is also a good time to clean range hood filters, clean the kitchen sink disposal, and clean or change HVAC filters.
- April – Clean the windows so they sparkle and let the sunshine in. Have carpets cleaned and wash rugs.
- May – Clean the gutters (if you rent a house). Walk around and look at the exterior of the home and report any weather damage to the landlord. Look at the surrounding trees, and if they are interfering with power lines, call your local utility.
Now is the best time for outdoor work. If you are renting a place that has a yard, here are some of your responsibilities.
- June – Look for cracks in the driveway and report any you find to the landlord. Clean off the patio, deck, or yard area that you use and get it ready for summer fun. Clean out the garage and get rid of unnecessary junk.
- July – Check the yard for insect infestations. If there is a problem with ants or other insects, the landlord may need to call an exterminator.
- August – Fall is coming, so take care of outdoor chores that you won’t want to do once it gets cold outside. Towards the end of the month, put away summer outdoor toys, outdoor furniture, etc. to prepare for fall.
Now you need to start prepping for winter to make sure that you have no major issues and that you stay warm.
- September – Remove window air conditioning units and seal up windows with plastic if there are drafts. Test the sump pump to make sure that it is working properly.
- October – Depending on where you live, it could start snowing soon. Buy salt and other items you will need to prepare for winter. Again, check the driveway for cracks that should be sealed before winter. Turn off outdoor faucets.
- November – Look for drafts in doors and windows, and seal them off if necessary with caulking or weather stripping. Move furniture that may be blocking heating vents. Get fireplaces ready for winter. Replace batteries in smoke/carbon monoxide detectors.
- December – It’s time to clean up for the holidays. Do some painting touchups on trim and other areas that may be looking old. Test your electricity, because you will likely be using more for holiday lighting. Also, test Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) outlets and plugs. Check all locks on windows and doors, and replace if necessary.
- January – With the holiday hubbub over with, you may be bored. It’s time to clean out the basement. Check around outside for icicles and remove them before they become dangerous. Clean showerheads and remove any sediment.
- February – Before you start the spring cleaning and maintenance, go around the house and look for any loose doorknobs, drawer handles, etc. and tighten everything up. Stock up on spring cleaning supplies. Check caulking around showers and tubs, and repair or replace if necessary.
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