It can be difficult to determine what areas of maintenance a landlord may be responsible for, particularly when there is a tenant living on the premises. Landlords maintain an “implied warranty of habitability.” This means that they are responsible for providing a safe and livable home for their tenants. Landlord responsibility implies a level of safe responsibility to prevent damage to the tenant or their health.
Major Vs. Minor Repairs
In general, a landlord will be held responsible for major repairs, rather than minor ones. The difference between major and minor repairs is not dictated by the total cost of the repairs. A major repair is a problem that endangers the health of safety of occupants of the building. In general, these are basic, important items. The landlord responsibility is to provide a roof that keeps out rain, heat, hot and cold water, a sturdy structure, reasonable protection from criminal intrusion, and an environment that is free from asbestos, mold, and lead.
What Happens if a Landlord Forgoes Major Repairs
Due to the fact that landlords offer an implied warranty of habitability, there will be certain legal consequences if they fail to make necessary repairs. The tenant may be able to withhold rent or to pay for the repairs themselves and deduct the total amount from the rent. They may also be allowed to sue the landlord or to break the lease without giving the typically required notice. For these reasons, it is necessary for landlords to take responsibility for the safety of their tenants.
A property that can endanger the health or safety of the occupants is not a property that can legally be rented out. Fixing these problems in the early stages is vital to ensure that the problems don’t compound and become far more expensive issues. To learn more about landlord responsibility to provide a safe environment to their tenants, contact our experts at the Keyrenter in McAllen today!