Dear Landlord Hank: Do You Ask Tenants Or Maintenance To Replace Light Bulbs?


The definition of what is normal wear and tear in a rental can be somewhat subjective at times. That’s why veteran landlord and property manager Hank Rossi answers questions from other landlords and property managers around the country about their rentals.

Dear Landlord Hank:

When do you have maintenance replace tenant light bulbs vs asking tenants to replace bulbs themselves? Some light fixtures can be difficult to work with. And, are you replacing with LED bulbs when you do it? What are you putting in leases about this these days?


Dear Landlady Nancy,

I make sure initial walk through states that all light bulbs are working for a new lease.

I also write into the lease that tenant is responsible for burned out bulbs during the lease.

In areas that are difficult to access (high ceilings, etc.) I use long lasting bulbs, otherwise I use what is on sale.

If a tenant can’t reach a light bulb or can’t replace a bulb in a fixture we can have maintenance do so with understanding, up front, that tenant pays for this service.


Hank Rossi

About the author Landlord Hank:

“I started in real estate as a child watching my father take care of our family rentals- maintenance, tenant relations, etc , in small town Ohio. As I grew, I was occasionally Dad’s assistant. In the mid-90s I decided to get into the rental business on my own, as a sideline. In 2001, I retired from my profession and only managed my own investments, for the next 10 years. Six years ago, my sister, working as a rental agent/property manager in Sarasota, Florida convinced me to try the Florida lifestyle. I gave it a try and never looked back. A few years ago we started our own real estate brokerage. We focus on property management and leasing. I continue to manage my real estate portfolio here in Florida and Atlanta. “ Visit Hank’s website here.


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