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Who Pays For Appliance Repair

Who Pays The Landlord Or Tenant?

As a tenant, you have the right to reside in a habitable rental property, but when minor or cosmetic problems occur in your apartment or rental house, what should they do? There is nothing worse than having to foot a hefty bill to have your appliances repaired. If you live in a home you own, all repair bills are obviously yours, and you probably have no way to avoid all that. If you live on rental property, however, an immediate call to your landlord could have your problem fixed. But even though you live in a rental unit, there are some appliance repairs that fall in your hands and not your landlord. If, for example, your child scratches the wall in your house or if you cause a lighting issue when trying to replace your switch, the repair bill could be your responsibility.

 

Major Repair Issues

When rental units are occupied by tenants, it is the duty of a landlord to ensure that all maintenance and repair works are done to keep the unit livable. A majority of states in the U.S. usually adhere to an implied warranty of hospitability. This implies that a landlord should fix all problems which render their apartment unlivable or unsafe. Issues that could affect the habitability of a rental unit could include a damaged furnace, severe water leaks, a gas leak or a broken water heater. A landlord is responsible for fixing all major repairs which affect the habitability of a home and must do so promptly.

It is, however, crucial to understand that the law clearly distinguished between inconveniences and habitability problems. If your house has one furnace and it does not heat your property, the law considers your apartment uninhabitable, and there is an urgent need for repair. If your unit has two furnaces and one works fine, the fix is less critical and does not impact the habitability of the unit.

 

Minor Repairs

While we would all love it if our landlords dealt with all appliance repair problems we encounter in our homes, they do not necessarily have to. Responsible landlords usually take exquisite care of their property and will most probably address any concerns you have. Replacing or repairing items which fail because of normal wear and tear is a cost that a landlord will probably cater for but many property owners prefer fixing small problems before they escalate. Your landlord could have a different opinion, however, when you encounter cosmetic issues. According to the law, a landlord should not re-grout your bathtub or replace a stained carpet.

 

Where Is The Catch?

Landlords are supposed to ensure that the units they lease are habitable. However, they are not obliged to fix appliance problems that your guests, your pets, your family members or you cause. Problems that arise because of tenant abuse or neglect are typically the role of the tenant. If you are a renter and break the furnace as you play around with your pet, for instance, you will be responsible for the repair works. A majority of states expects that you will take good care of an apartment when you live there. Most repair responsibilities of landlords and tenants are usually spelled out in a rental agreement so you will be aware of the repairs that fall in your hands.

Whether appliance repair will be done by a tenant or a landlord often depends on several factors that you should be aware of. And while some of these might not be clearly laid out in the rental agreement, it is a good idea to be mindful of them. Here are factors that determine who does home appliance repairs.

 

1. Did the Tenant Break The Appliance?

When it comes to establishing who will do appliance repairs in your home, it is essential that you first determine who broke it before giving your landlord a call. In most cases, most home appliances usually break while in the hands of their owners, the renter’s guests or pets. In instances where appliances are broken or damaged while being used by a tenant, then he is responsible for getting it repaired or paying the repair costs.

 

2. How Old Is The Appliance?

When an appliance in your home breaks down, it is essential for you to determine how old the piece of equipment was. It is normal for appliances to stop functioning as a result of long-term usage. When appliances fail in your house, the chances are that they were being used for a long time and stopped working because of the usual effects of wear and tear. If the appliance was installed by the landlord, then it is their responsibility to pay for the repair costs. If the device was an additional installation by the renter, then it is the responsibility of the renter to pay for the repair costs.

 

3. Was The Appliance Used By The Tenant Alone?

When it comes to determining who pays for appliance repairs between the tenant and the landlord, it is important first to establish whether the appliance was only used by the tenant. If the piece of home appliance was being used by a tenant alone and there had been no people previously living in the apartment who used the broken appliance, then the tenant is supposed to pay for the repair costs. However, if the appliance was used by the tenant and landlord, then the law is clear that all repair costs should be footed by the landlord.

 

Appliance Repair Disputes

It is not uncommon for landlords and their tenants to end up in disputes over who should pay for repairs. In some states, you are allowed to force the landlord to take responsibility for any habitability problems. And if the problem results in a safety hazard, the tenant could pay for the repair costs and deduct it from the rent. However, you can only do this when the repair costs less than your rent and if you have informed the landlord about the problem and accorded him sufficient time to fix it. Some state laws also allow a tenant to relocate and break their lease should a landlord fail to repair the habitability issues.

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