Landlords’ Duties: Repairs & Maintenance

a sign on a building

Although renting a home or an apartment comes with the downside of not owning the space you reside in, it comes with the advantage of not having to deal with any broken appliances that are vital to maintaining your living situation. In any type of rental situation, a landlord is responsible for making sure that repairs are made and that the property is well-maintained. 

But what exactly is the landlord responsible for, and what might have you take care of on your own? In order to better understand these requirements, take a look at the guide below that will help you learn more about your landlord’s duties in regard to repairs and maintenance. 

What Are Landlords Legally Required To Repair?

When it comes to the legal requirements set forth by the state in which you live, landlords must take care of any repairs or maintenance on items that would make your living situation uninhabitable or dangerous if they were to go unfixed. What do these major repairs include? 

Landlords have to address problems such as: 

  • Any structural damage that could result in potential injury
  • Issues with heating and cooling, electricity, or plumbing
  • Problems that result in a loud or hazardous environment
  • Broken appliances
  • Unsanitary or damaged areas and items

To give you a better idea of what this would include, a landlord would be responsible for maintenance like repairing your sink, cleaning black mold out of your living environment, or handling a door replacement for a broken door. Having safe doors, windows and siding can upgrade the overall value of the home, as well as give tenants confidence their well-being is safe. 

Any time you could potentially be in harm’s way or experience a poor quality of life as a result of your living environment, the landlord must make the necessary repairs in order to rectify the situation. 

What Are Landlords Not Responsible For?

The most obvious repairs that a landlord would not be responsible for would be any pertaining to damages produced by the tenant. For example, if you were to do something that broke your stove, you would be responsible for taking the necessary actions to repair your stove. (According to the experts at Oregon Appliance Repair, you can get excellent repairs done for an affordable price, fortunately.)

In addition to any damage that is caused by a tenant, landlords may not have to make repairs to any issues that are unsightly or minor but may not cause a space to be uninhabitable. For example, let’s imagine that the sink in your kitchen doesn’t quite turn off, causing it to drip slowly throughout the day. While this isn’t necessarily the best thing to have in your apartment, it doesn’t mean that the landlord needs to take care of it. 

That said, you should always evaluate the issue yourself and determine whether or not it may be something that the landlord could take care of. Also, take the time to research state laws regarding the landlord-tenant relationship, look deeper into your lease to see exactly what is covered in the agreement, and record any oral or written promises that were made by your landlord regarding repairs within your rental property. 

If there is a repair that should be made, despite it not being listed in the rental agreement or state laws, that has the potential to impact your current living situation, you can always make a written request that outlines what needs to be maintained, why the landlord take the necessary action to fix the problem, and what the outcome may be if the issue is not resolved. 

Whenever you enter a legally binding landlord-tenant agreement, it is important that you understand the landlord’s responsibilities as well as your own. If you have had any questions regarding maintenance and repairs, use the above to better understand what your landlord needs to take care of and what may be your own responsibility.