What are a landlord’s maintenance responsibilities?

November 22, 2019

If you’re a DIY landlord you probably have the privilege of being your own CEO, accountant, and maintenance person all rolled into one. Since you’re doing everything, it’s sometimes necessary to make a judgment call about what needs to be fixed right away and what can be done at a later date.

However, there are certain instances where it’s illegal to let repairs go unchecked. Here’s a guide to figuring out what your legal obligations are as a landlord.

  1. Local safety code.

    Problems that fall under your local safety code must be addressed immediately. You can find guidelines for your specific state, but most local safety codes include maintenance of smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, cases of toxic mold, and any safety features like banister and railing repair.

  2. Plumbing.

    Plumbing issues are a landlord’s responsibility, and for your own sake, it’s best to take care of these as soon as possible. Water leaks, pipe damage, and sprinkler systems are all included in your list of responsibilities.

  3. Heating and air conditioning.

    You’re responsible for ensuring that a tenant’s home is habitable, so heating and air conditioning repairs are usually up to you. However, a landlord is not legally obligated to install an air conditioning system if there is not one in place.

To make repairs even easier on yourself, sign up for an online maintenance tracking tool where you can receive work orders from tenants online, message them directly, and archive past requests.

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