Common Repairs that a Landlord is Not Responsible For 

Tenants tend to think that when problems arise that automatically the landlord is responsible for the repairs. While the landlord is responsible for the rental property maintenance and ensuring it is habitable, certain repairs are not their responsibility. 

Understanding what repairs you are responsible for can help you take care of your rental unit and avoid potential landlord-tenant disagreements. To help you better understand your responsibilities, let us explore some common repairs that a landlord is not responsible for.

Damage Caused by Mold and Pests

The landlord is not responsible for mold and pest infestation caused by a tenant. That means tenants must take proactive measures to prevent the occurrence of molds and pests in their rental unit. This can be done by discarding the trash often, maintaining proper ventilation, and storing food in sealed containers. 

Also, report water damage and leaks to landlords for timely repairs. 

Damage Caused by You as a Tenant or Your Guests

Tenants are responsible for keeping the rental unit in good condition. They should report any issue to their landlord so they can hire a professional or fix things quickly. 

It is important to note that tenants must pay for the repair costs when they or their guest damage the house during their tenancy. The repairs include damage to the floor, walls, and fixtures. 

In addition, tenants are responsible for any damage caused by your pets. So, ensure pets are supervised to avoid any potential damage.

If Tenants Have Violated the Lease Agreement and Modified the Rental Property

When tenants violate the lease agreement by modifying the rental house in any way, they will be responsible for the costs incurred to restore the unit to its original state. 

A good example is if they paint your house in a different color and the lease agreement does not allow it. In such a case, they must return the house to its original color when moving out. However, they must always seek approval from their landlord before modifying a rental unit.

HVAC Maintenance and Repair

Responsibility for HVAC repairs as a tenant will depend on the terms of the tenancy agreement. Typically, your landlord will be responsible for major repairs or replacements of HVAC systems unless otherwise specified in the tenancy agreement. The tenant, on the other hand, will be responsible for regular upkeep and maintenance of the equipment by changing thermostat batteries and cleaning the air filters. 

While tenants might try to handle the HVAC repair and maintenance, it is best to let a professional do the work. However, you will want to work with a service provider with offices not far from where you live. (For example, if you were a tenant in Columbus, you would want a nearby HVAC repair contractor to fix your system.)

Tenants Are Responsible for Any Minor Repairs

A landlord is responsible for ensuring a property is in good condition and all the appliances are working before the tenant moves in. Therefore, ensure that everything is working as stated in your lease agreement before moving in.

After moving in, tenants will be responsible for minor repairs in their rental unit, including repairs for minor plumbing issues, regularly replacing light bulbs and batteries, or a stained carpet. They will also likely be responsible for maintaining any garden that belongs to the property, if applicable.

On the other hand, your landlord will be responsible for repairs if the appliances fail to work due to wear and tear.

Repairs Due to Tenant Abuse and Negligence of the Property

The rental agreement indicates tenant responsibility and that of the landlord on the property. So, it would be best to take reasonable care of the rental unit during the tenancy. 

If the repair is due to negligence and abuse of the property, it is the tenant’s responsibility to pay for repairs. For instance, issues may occur when holes are put in walls, clogging toilets by flushing things like baby wipes, breaking the window, or blocking sinks due to food build-up. 

An excellent way to avoid being held liable for damage when moving out of the premises is by documenting any pending repair work on the rental unit before moving in. 

Failure to Timely Report Any Maintenance Issue

Tenants must report any maintenance issue in their unit to the landlord to prevent further damages and hefty repair costs. Failure to report the problems on time may cause the damage to worsen, giving the landlord reasons to hold the tenant liable for the additional repairs resulting from the delay.

In some cases, some state laws require a tenant to report repair issues within a set timeframe, lest they lose their right to have the repairs done by the landlord. Therefore, record all emails and phone calls that address the problem to be safer and have proof of contact.

The Bottom Line

Understanding your responsibilities for repairing and maintaining a rental house as a tenant is vital. While the landlord is responsible for major repairs, tenants will likely be responsible for minor ones, regular maintenance of HVAC systems, damage caused by your guests, or any other damage caused during your tenancy.

However, reading your tenancy agreement to understand your responsibilities is always a good idea. Also, communicate with your landlord regarding maintenance or any repair needs on time.