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October 24, 2012

Maintenance Issues: Understanding Your Rights and Responsibilities as a Tenant

by AvenueWest Managed Corporate Housing

Last week, we covered rental agreements and security deposits. This week, we will be discussing a unit maintenance that may arise while you are leasing a property. As a renter, you must take responsibility for any unit damages that were the fault of yourself, anyone staying in the property, your guests, family members, and/or pets. If you company is the lease holder, you will still be fiscally responsible for any damages you may cause during your stay.

A toilet repair is a perfect example of either the tenant or the landlord being responsible – if the damages were found to be caused by the tenant, then additional charges may be assessed. Otherwise, it would be the landlord’s responsibility.

  • The lease agreement that you or your company signs will outline in detail what the landlord’s responsibility would be in terms of any maintenance issues. If any damage can be deemed a defect in the unit not caused by tenant negligence or fault, then the landlord would be required to fix these issues. Some of the items that might be the landlord’s responsibility might include: Faulty wiring; Structural damage; leaking plumbing; mold; rust, etc.
  • If ever there are any issues that the tenant feels are the landlord’s responsibility, the landlord needs to be notified immediately.
  • The landlord also needs to be notified ASAP if there are any major maintenance issues such as a burst pipe; broken furnace/heater; backed up sewage, etc.
  • It is best to submit any requests to the landlord by phone and in writing.

Landlord’s or Tenant’s Responsibility? Be sure you understand what the landlord is responsible for and what you would be responsible for in regards to any unit maintenance.

Again, be sure you know the real-estate laws regarding any maintenance issues in the state you are residing in and be sure that you go over this section in the lease in detail with your landlord.

Stick around for our final post next week regarding a renter’s rights and responsibilities regarding the departure process.

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