NONE!  Well-trained tenants will take care of routine maintenance issues inside their own living space … and often in common areas as well.  If you give them the right tools.  That may be a simple as a small step stool, a rake, a broom or a mop.  Or as simple as a short tutorial about removing a light fixture globe or old light bulb.

Leases should set expectations about routine maintenance inside the tenant’s living space: change batteries in smoke & carbon monoxide detectors, purchase & replace burned out light bulbs, oil or polish specialty countertops, change A/C or furnace filters.

But tenants should be handling some routine maintenance in common areas as well. How much is expected depends on the type and size of building they live in. Tenants of all sized buildings should be replacing laundry tub lint traps, removing lint from dryer lint traps after every use, wiping bleach & detergent from the outside of machines & folding tables, cleaning welcome mats outside their apartment door.

In single family homes, tenants should be responsible for lawn maintenance, sweeping & hosing down porches & decks, removing snow, replacing A/C & furnace filters, and most other routine maintenance items.

In larger multi-unit buildings, tenants can be trained to do a lot of routine maintenance items in common areas as well.  Like picking up & recycling junk flyers left in front of their building and near mailboxes, replacing common area hallway light bulbs, cleaning welcome mats outside their apartment doors, sweeping area of porches and hallways right outside their doors.

Their is no excuse for owners or property managers to run over to each building a couple times a week to take care of these simple items better done by those living at the site.

(See other posts to find out WHY doing each of these items is important.)