Every landlord has a responsibility to keep the apartment in a habitable condition. However, there will always be minor cosmetic problems that every tenant will unfortunately face. So, what repairs are landlords forced to repair, and what kinds of repairs may a landlord ignore?
No tenant should ever deal with a leaky faucet or be living in a freezing cold temperature without heat being fixed on the immediate basis. You, as a tenant must always inform your landlord of any such issues.
It’s always good to start off on a good note with your landlord. Stop by a management office and request that someone take care of your issues, as soon as possible.
If your landlord ignore you, make sure you put down your request in writing. This will serve as hard evidence, if in case you’d have to battle it out with your landlord in civil court.
If the landlord still ignores you after your formal written notice, you should withhold your rent, especially if your apartment is uninhabitable
Landlord repairs: What must a landlord fix?
Even if it is not in your rental agreement or lease, your landlord is required to keep your building and unit in a habitable condition. This means that your landlord must ensure that the building is structurally sound, provide hot and cold water, ensure that the roof is not leaking, and keep the plumbing, electrical and heating systems all in safe operating condition. Also, if a rental property
has become infested with pests, landlords must often pay for an exterminator, unless the infestation was caused by your wrongdoing or poor housekeeping.
Landlord repairs: What does a landlord not have to fix?
There are minor problems that a landlord is not required by law to fix. These minor problems may include things like dripping faucets, running toilets, small holes in carpet, grimy grout or torn window screens. Even though these problems may be annoying for you, the tenant, to live with, your landlord may not be under any obligation to repair these issues.
There are only a few occasions when minor repairs may be required to be fixed. If the terms of your lease agreement state that the landlord will fix any of the problems you are having, then the landlord is under a legal duty to do so. In addition, if your landlord ever promised you a repair, either in writing or by talking with you, you may be able to hold your landlord to that promise. Lastly, state and local building codes, as well as state landlord-tenant laws may require your landlord to make repairs that would otherwise be a repair left to the landlord’s discretion.