Tenant Responsibility for Repairs
As a tenant, you are responsible for any damages caused by you to the property. The landlord typically takes care of other damages but it is important to understand what types of repairs you can handle yourself. Know your Tenant Responsibility for Repairs or ask.
Check lease agreement
If you’re unsure who is responsible for minor repairs such as a broken faucet, check your rental agreement. Most lease agreements have a clause stating which repairs are the landlord’s responsibility and which may be tenant’s. Always seek directions from your lease agreement.
How big is the issue?
If your lease agreement isn’t clear on who is responsible for handling the repair issue, consider whether the problem is big enough to bring to your landlord’s attention. For example, if your entry door won’t lock properly and never has, your landlord should fix it, since your safety is at stake. Similarly, if your cat uses the window blinds as a ladder, destroying them in the process, you should fix it.
If it’s a leaky faucet that keeps you awake at night, or stinky stopped up sink is it the landlord’s responsibility to initiate repairs? No. Simply submit a written maintenance request for something like this if you aren’t sure whether it’s your responsibility.
Check your state’s law
The law states that tenants have a right to habitable living conditions in every state. For example, a functional heat system is a requirement. If your heating unit breaks down, the landlord must repair it, no matter where in the United States you live. So if you find your repair issue is becoming difficult or costly, it is a good idea to check your state tenant laws for more clarity.
Handle what you can
Some minor issues may be spelled out in your rental agreement but it’s usually easier to deal with such repairs yourself than to contact the landlord. For example, if a screw is missing from the deadbolt hardware, replace it yourself. Burnt-out light bulbs, mildew in the shower, a stain in the carpet, etc are minor issues that are easier to deal with on your own.
If you are a Real Property Management Enterprises tenant, please always feel free to reach out to us and ask whatever you issue is. We are here to help and want to help you stay a member of our RPM Enterprises family!
We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.