Who is responsible for damages and repairs for a rental property - tenant or landlord?

Who is responsible for damages and repairs for a rental property - tenant or landlord?

Are you considering painting your rental property? Wondering who is responsible for damages to the property? It depends on the type of the damage and who caused it. Learn who should fix the repairs.

Author HomeKasa
Reading Time 3 minutes
Category Tenants
Updated on

You are probably wondering about your responsibilities when it comes to repairs and damages to the property you are renting. In this article, we will demonstrate the areas where the tenant is responsible for repairs and also those that come under the responsibility of the landlord. Let's face it, repairs are not cheap regardless of who is footing the bill. Therefore, it's good to prevent issues from happening in the first place and take good care of the house. That said, stuff happens. Let's see who gets which bills. So, without much further ado, let's get straight into it.

Most jurisdictions mandate certain things that the landlord must provide. This helps to meet the basic needs of a livable place. However, if the tenant caused damage making the place inhabitable like flushing a sanitary napkin or a diaper down the toilet and clogging it, then the tenant is responsible for the damage.

The landlord is responsible for ensuring that their property is in a habitable condition and that it meets the local housing guidelines. For instance, the plumbing should be functional and the house should be free of pests. Likewise, if the HVAC, specifically the heating doesn't work, it makes it harder to live in colder zones in winter. Any issues with the infrastructure such as the wiring could cause fire damages, and weak plumbing could cause water damages. These are the basic requirements for habiting that the landlord must meet. Landlord is not responsible for the tenant's belongings.

A landlord cannot charge the tenant for normal wear and tear. This includes minor wear on the carpet, minor scuffs on the walls, small holes on the walls from nails, sun damage to the curtains, faded paint, etc.

If the tenant or their guest damaged the property either intentionally or unintentionally, the tenant is accountable for the expenses. Some examples of excessive damage that don't fall under normal wear and tear include wine spills on carpet, holes or excessive dirt in the carpet, which requires replacing the carpet, broken floors, sticky doors, grime on cabinets, broken windows, large holes in walls, pet damage, removed doors, damaged appliance due to misuse, etc. The tenant is responsible for these damages.

If the tenant decided to paint the house purple, then the tenant is usually responsible for restoring the house to its original condition.

While the tenant can do minor repairs like replacing the light bulb, it's best to discuss the damages with the landlord and address them to their satisfaction. Trying to cover up the damages or doing a poor job of it causes more expenses for both parties in the long run.

Being transparent with the landlord will help to develop confidence and trust, likely resulting in a more peaceful relationship. Treat the house with care to reduce the headache for both the tenant and landlord. Clear communications avoid mistrust and confusion between the tenant and the landlord.

HomeKasa allows you to manage your rental properties from one place. Use our free checklist for move-in and move-out so that you have records of the condition of the property. Use our free software to pay your rents.

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