Most people don’t know when a repair is their responsibility as a renter and when it’s the landlord’s job. In fact, many renters end up in disputes with their landlords because they believe that they are responsible for certain repairs, while the landlord believes that it is their responsibility.
It can be hard to know who is responsible for what, but there are some general guidelines that can help you figure it out.
Who Is Responsible for A Repair
The general guidelines for determining who is responsible for a repair are as follows:
Check Your Lease Agreement
First, you should always check your lease agreement. Your lease will likely have a section that outlines the responsibilities of both the landlord and the tenant when it comes to repairs. This is the first place you should look to see who is responsible for what.
Check Your State’s Laws
If your lease doesn’t say anything about repairs, then you can check your state’s laws. Each state has different laws about what landlords and tenants are responsible for when it comes to repairs. You can usually find these laws online or by contacting your local housing authority.
Once you know your state’s laws, you can start to narrow down who is responsible for the repair.
Tenant’s Repair Responsibilities
As a tenant, you are generally responsible for any damage that you or your guests cause to the rental unit. This includes things like
- holes in the walls
- stains on the carpets
- broken windows
You are also responsible for making sure that the unit is clean and free of clutter. This means that you need to do things like sweeping the floors, emptying the garbage, and dusting the shelves.
You are also responsible for making sure that all of the appliances in the unit are in good working order. This includes the stove, oven, refrigerator, dishwasher, washer, and dryer. If any of these appliances break down, it is your responsibility to call a repair person to fix them.
Cleaning and Maintaining the Property
In addition to keeping the unit clean, you are also responsible for maintaining the property. This includes things like mowing the lawn, shoveling the snow, and trimming the bushes. If you don’t do these things, the property will start to look run down and this could result in a decrease in the value of the property.
Reporting Any Damage or Problems
Finally, you are responsible for reporting any damage or problems with the rental unit to the landlord. If you don’t report the problem, it could get worse and this could end up costing the landlord more money to fix.
Following the Terms of The Lease Agreement
Finally, you are responsible for following the terms of the lease agreement. This includes things like paying rent on time, notifying the landlord of any changes in your contact information, and so on. If you don’t follow the terms of the lease agreement, the landlord could have grounds to evict you from the property.
So, if you’re ever unsure about your responsibilities as a tenant, be sure to check your lease agreement or state laws. And, if you’re ever in doubt, it’s always better to err on the side of caution and contact the landlord.
The Bottom Line
As you can see, there are a lot of things that you as a tenant are responsible for. It is important to know what these things are so that you can avoid any disputes with your landlord. If you have any questions about what you are responsible for, you should always ask your landlord. They will be able to give you the specific information that you need.
Landlord’s Repair Responsibilities
Generally, landlords are only responsible for repairs that are necessary to keep the property in a habitable state. This means that if there is a problem with the following the landlord is usually responsible for repairing it.
- heating/cooling system
Landlords are also usually responsible for repairing any damage that is caused by normal wear and tears.
Landlords are also usually responsible for pest control unless the tenant is specifically responsible for it in their lease agreement.
Any Damage that Occurs to The Rental Unit Itself
Your landlord is generally responsible for any damage that occurs to the rental unit itself. This includes things like
- a leaking roof
- a broken water heater
- a faulty air conditioner.
If something in the unit breaks down and needs to be repaired or replaced, the landlord is usually the one who is responsible for doing so.
However, there are some exceptions. For example, if the tenant caused the damage, then the landlord is not responsible for repairing it. Additionally, if the damage is due to normal wear and tear, then the landlord is not required to repair it.
Landlord’s Responsibility for Health and Safety
Landlords are required to keep their rental units in safe and habitable condition. This means that they must make sure that the unit is free of any hazardous conditions. Landlords must also take steps to prevent any hazards from occurring.
Some examples of hazardous conditions include things like lead paint, asbestos, mold, and radon gas. If a landlord is aware of any of these hazards, they must take steps to remove them or repair them.
Damp and Mould
Your landlord is required by law to address damp and mold issues that are the result of neglect or make the property inhabitable.
Rats, Mice, and Other Pests
Your landlord must also deal with any infestation of rats, mice, or other pests.
This includes taking steps to prevent an infestation from happening in the first place as well as dealing with an existing infestation.
Your landlord must also make sure that the property is fire-safe.
This includes things like making sure that there are working smoke detectors in the unit as well as taking steps to prevent fires from occurring in the first place.
If the property has any gas appliances, the landlord must make sure that they are safe and properly maintained.
This includes things like having the appliances serviced regularly and making sure that there are no leaks.
Landlords must also take steps to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
This includes things like installing carbon monoxide detectors in the unit and making sure that any gas appliances are properly ventilated.
Additionally, landlords are required to install working smoke detectors in all of their rental units. They must also make sure that the detectors are in good working condition and that the batteries are replaced on a regular basis.
In summary, landlords are generally only responsible for making repairs that are necessary to keep the property in a habitable state. If you have any questions about what your landlord is responsible for, you should always ask them. They will be able to give you specific information about their responsibilities.