Many tenants do not realize but a landlord has many responsibilities that he is obligated by law to fulfill toward his tenants. One of the landlord’s responsibilities is to ensure that the rental unit is in what is referred to as a habitable condition. This means that it must have running water, both hot and cold, and working electrical outlets. It must be free of vermin and pests. These landlord’s responsibilities are mandated by law and will be enforced by the local municipality where the unit is found. Any tenant who is living in an apartment that is not being maintained so that the living conditions are to code can make a complaint to their local tenant board and it will be investigated. If the landlord is found to have breached these rules, he will be ordered to rectify the situation and will likely be assessed with a fine. In most cities, tenant’s rights are vigorously protected by city law and city officials. Landlords who do not maintain their properties properly are frowned upon by most cities because it makes city property values fall.
The other responsibility of which most people are unaware is the landlord’s responsibilities toward the tenant in terms of providing a safe environment in which the tenant can live. This means that the landlord is obligated to provide working deadbolt locks on all exterior doors, working smoke detectors and adequate exterior lighting in places that are dark. These lights must be in working order and must be turned on at dusk and can be turned off at dawn. The landlord’s responsibilities further extend to complying with all building and housing codes in the municipality in which the rental unit is located.
Additionally, the landlord is responsible for maintaining all the appliances which are included in the terms of the lease agreement. This also includes the maintenance of such things as water heaters, furnaces and air conditioning units if they are included in the lease agreement.
The landlord is responsible for fixing anything in the property that he owns which might affect the safety of the tenant. This means anything like a pane of glass in a window or a broken lighting fixture in a bathroom.
Landlord’s responsibilities also extend to all common areas of any residential building like courtyards, parking lots, laundry room and storage rooms. The landlord is obligated to keep these areas well-maintained, safe and clean. This means that hallways and walkways must be unobstructed and cleared of snow in the winter. Read More →