Is A Landlord Responsible For Dryer Vent Cleaning? (Find Out Now!)

Jessica Allen
by Jessica Allen

Between landlords and tenants, who needs to complete maintenance and cleaning tasks is a bit of a gray area. In general, tenants are responsible for cleaning up after themselves and keeping up with minor maintenance tasks. But is dryer vent cleaning something they need to take care of, or is that the landlord’s responsibility?

Whether the landlord or tenant must complete dryer vent cleaning depends on the lease terms and local laws. If the washer and dryer came with the property, the landlord is typically responsible for maintenance, including dryer vent cleaning. Failing to clean the dryer vent before move-in can violate the landlord’s obligation to provide a safe and habitable property.

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Should The Tenant Or The Landlord Clean The Dryer Vent?

Whether you or your landlord is responsible for cleaning the dryer vent depends on a few factors.

Terms Of The Lease

The terms of your lease often determine who is responsible for cleaning the dryer vent. If the lease states that your landlord will take care of appliance-related repairs, then it’s their responsibility. If the lease states that it’s your job to take care of appliances, then it’s up to you.

But what if your lease doesn’t explicitly state whose responsibility it is? In that case, it may depend on the other factors listed below.

Type Of Property

The type of property you’re renting can also play a part in who is responsible for the dryer vent. For instance, if you live in an apartment complex, then it’s most likely your landlord’s job. Meanwhile, if you live in a duplex or house, it may be your responsibility as the tenant.

State And Local Laws

State and local laws can also influence who must take care of dryer vent cleaning. Do some research on laws in your local area to find out more.

Whether The Washer And Dryer Came With The Property

Let’s say that your landlord provided the washer and dryer for you to use. In that case, they are usually responsible for the maintenance of those appliances. This typically includes dryer vent cleaning.

But if you brought in your own washer and dryer, that’s a different story. Since your landlord didn’t provide the appliances, it’s likely your responsibility to take care of cleaning the dryer vent.

General Landlord Obligations

Landlords are required to provide a safe and habitable property for their tenants. A clogged dryer vent presents a huge fire hazard. Because of this, many people believe that vent cleaning should be up to the landlord.

However, dryer vent cleaning tends to be a gray area, with many opposing opinions. Some think it’s strictly the landlord’s responsibility, and others say it’s up to the tenant.

Landlords are typically responsible for appliance maintenance, so following that logic, they should take care of vent cleaning. This is especially true if the vent system is particularly complicated. In this case, it’s not in the landlord’s best interest for the tenant to take things into their own hands.

Why Is Dryer Vent Cleaning Necessary?

Dryer vents, along with dryer ducts, must be kept clean to remain safe. Over time, dryer vents inevitably become clogged with lint and present a fire hazard. They can also harm the air quality within a property. Mold, dust, and other contaminants can build up and potentially cause health issues to tenants.

A good rule of thumb is to clean your dryer vents once a year. To be especially cautious, inspections every six months will prevent blockages and lint buildup.

Signs Your Dryer Vent Needs To Be Cleaned

There are many signs that your dryer vent needs a good cleaning. The first is that your dryer doesn’t seem to be working well; clothing may take longer to dry completely.

Unusually Hot Clothing

The second sign is that your clothing is unusually hot to the touch after it goes through the dryer. This could mean that the airflow in the dryer vent is restricted, so the dryer is overheating. Similarly, you might notice that the laundry room becomes much warmer when the dryer is running.

Burning Smell

A burning smell in the laundry room is another indicator that the vent needs to be cleaned. This typically shows that there’s a buildup of lint in the vent.

Dryer Stops Working

If the lint flap isn’t opening or the dryer stops working, that’s also a signal to clean your dryer vent. Many dryers have a built-in safety mechanism that causes the dryer to turn off when it becomes too hot.

Hasn’t Been Cleaned In A Year

A final sign that it’s time to clean your dryer vent is that it’s been over a year since you last cleaned it. Regular cleaning and maintenance are key to eliminating this fire hazard.

How Much Does Dryer Vent Cleaning Cost?

Dryer vent cleaning normally costs an average of $250. This can vary, depending on the company you work with or if you choose to clean the vent yourself. It’s best to get written estimates from multiple HVAC cleaning companies.

One thing to look out for is all-inclusive deals that are extremely cheap. Generally, these deals will not provide the necessary cleaning for your vent. As a result, you may end up needing to get the dryer vent cleaned again shortly after receiving the service.

What Happens If You Don’t Clean Your Dryer Vent?

Dryer vent fires become a huge threat to your safety without regular cleaning. Dryers are responsible for thousands of house fires every year. It’s not worth it to skip cleaning the dryer vent just to save some time and money.

Aside from the risk of a fire, a clogged dryer vent can result in much longer dry cycles. This can be a major inconvenience.

Failing to clean the dryer vent can also cause more wear and tear on your dryer. You may have to replace your dryer more often because it won’t hold up as long as it’s supposed to. You may also need to completely replace the vent system due to damage caused by high heat.

Another potential issue is the buildup of dust, mold, and other contaminants in the vent. These can be problematic for tenants’ health and safety.

Can You Clean Your Dryer Vent Yourself?

It’s always recommended to hire an HVAC professional to clean your dryer vent. This is especially true if a proper cleaning hasn’t been done in a while. If the dryer vents to the roof or is otherwise complicated, it’s best for an HVAC professional to clean it.

However, it is possible to clean a dryer vent yourself. One method is to use a shop vac to suck up all of the dust and lint inside the vent. Another strategy is to use a leaf blower to blow all the lint out of the vent.

There are also lint brushes on the market specifically created for use with dryer vents. These brushes are usually inexpensive and make it simple to DIY this maintenance project.

Do You Need Dryer Vent Cleaning?

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Related Questions

Is the landlord responsible for pest control?

Whether the landlord is the tenant is responsible for pest control depends on the local laws. In most states, pest control is the landlord’s responsibility. However, if the tenant directly caused an infestation, the landlord may charge the tenant for extermination.

Is the landlord responsible for mold?

There are no federal laws regarding landlord responsibilities related to mold. In most cases, the responsible party is determined by the cause of the mold. If the mold developed due to the tenant neglecting ventilation and regular cleaning, then the landlord generally isn’t held responsible.

Can the landlord charge for dryer use?

Whether your landlord can charge you for dryer use depends on the terms of your lease. If the signed lease states you must pay for dryer use, then you will have to pay for dryer use. Conversely, if it was not stated in the lease, then your landlord cannot charge you for using the dryer.

Jessica Allen
Jessica Allen

With a lifelong passion for writing plus strong enthusiasm for home improvement and DIY projects, joining the team at Upgraded Home was an easy choice. Jessica Allen likes to share helpful information with current and aspiring homeowners. Aside from writing, Jessica loves doing yoga, playing the piano, and dabbling in graphic design.

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