Rental Property Repair Guide for Tenants and Landlords

Rental repair requests are typically not anticipated and can be urgent. Therefore, it is crucial that as the landlord, you have protocols in place to help you handle them. There is a lot to keep in mind when damage occurs. Who is responsible for fixing it? What level of involvement is appropriate? How quickly must it be resolved? To make things easier, here are some guidelines to assist you in making better decisions when dealing with rental property repair requests.

Who Is Responsible For Rental Property Repairs?

All repairs and maintenance on a property are the responsibility of the landlord. The property’s condition and expected level of repair should be proportional to its age and rent. Tenants are responsible for keeping the property tidy, considering the condition it was in when the tenancy started. In addition to minimal upkeep, tenants are responsible for routine garden care such as watering, mowing, and weeding.

Rental Property Repairs That Are Urgent

Urgent repairs are damage such as gas leaks, smoke alarm failure, flooding, electrical faults etc.

  • The tenant needs to notify the landlord or dedicated property manager right away if anything of this nature comes to pass.
  • If the landlord or property manager is not available, the tenant can handle the repair.
  • They must use a licensed tradesperson.
  • If the tenant pays for the repair, they should give landlords written notice of relevant expenses within 24 hours after the work is completed.
  • The landlord must pay the tenant back within 14 days of receiving their written notice.

Reimbursement from the landlord is required only if:

  • The damage was not the tenant’s fault.
  • The tenant contacted the landlord and gave a reasonable opportunity to get the repairs done, but the landlord was unavailable.
  • A licensed tradesperson carried out the repairs.

Who Repairs Damages From Natural Disasters?

  • Damages from natural disasters must be repaired quickly and are the responsibility of the landlord.
  • A landlord is not required to pay a renter for harm caused by a natural disaster.
  • The tenant can vacate temporarily and return after repairs. The landlord does not provide temporary housing.
  • For partially damaged properties, the tenant may stay until repairs are made. This should be done only if the damage is modest and there is no ongoing safety risk.
  • Rent should be waived or lowered if the tenant moves out temporarily or stays in the partially damaged property. In this case, any agreement should be in writing.
  • If no mutual agreement can be reached, either the tenant or the landlord may offer written notice of termination. The tenant cannot be evicted unless a Tribunal order is obtained.

Final Thoughts

Regardless of your proactive maintenance efforts, you should budget for rental property repairs throughout the year. A renter and a landlord should always try to reach an agreement. If the issue cannot be resolved, they might approach the Tribunal or the appropriate authorities. Remember that each state has its own rules, regulations, and laws. Before you start, find out what’s relevant locally. Contact us today to discuss your rental property needs.


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