Rental housing repair: what responsibilities the tenant have

If you rent a house, the responsibility for most repairs is on the landlord. However, as a tenant you also have to do everything possible to ensure that the property remains in excellent condition. What are the responsibilities of the tenant?

What are you responsible for?

If you rent a house from a private landlord and have a model lease, your responsibilities include:

to watch housing as a tenant;

to inform the landlord about the need for repair;

provide access for repair work;

take care of your guests.

You should watch the housing as a tenant.

According to the law, each lease contract - both oral and written - must include an item that obliges the tenant to look after housing and use it "as a tenant".

It means:

perform minor repairs yourself, for example, change the light bulbs;

keep the house in an acceptable cleanliness;

not damage the property yourself and make sure that your guests don`t do this;

use the plumbing and fittings correctly - for example, do not litter the toilet, flushing what should not be flushed off.

In the lease agreement there may be additional items about your duties related to the repair. For example, it can be written there that you are responsible for decorating the place you live in.

The landlord cannot include in the contract an item that will shift his duties to you. For example, he cannot make you responsible for repairing the roof. This item will not be valid.

For what repairs the landlord is responsible.

In general, your landlord is responsible for:

look and structure of the house, for example, walls, roof, floor, drainage, sewage, external pipes, windows and external doors;

repair of sinks, baths, toilet bowls and their pipes;

pipes for water and gas pipelines, electric wiring, tanks with water, boilers, batteries, gas stoves, electric stoves, heaters.

The landlord cannot demand from you a fee for repair work, which he is obligated to provide himself.

You must inform the landlord about the need of repair.

In most cases, the landlord is not responsible for repairing the apartment until he is notified. Therefore, it is your responsibility to tell the landlord that you need to fix something.

In addition, informing about the need for repairs is often part of the lease, so you may be required to report each, even the smallest or the least problematic thing for you.

You must provide access for repair work.

According to the law, each lease contract - both oral and written - must include an item on providing access to housing for repair work.

The landlord has the right to visit your home to see what repairs are needed, and to produce these works. If there is no urgent need, the landlord must notify you in writing of his decision to visit the house at least 24 hours in advance.

If urgent repairs are needed and the landlord cannot contact you, he can get into the housing without your permission. For example, if in your apartment a pipe burst and the apartment below flooded. However, if the homeowner is forced to break into your home to do repair, he will have to eliminate the consequences of the breaking on, for example, repair the door.

If you need repairs at the public area, for example, in the hall or on the stairs, the landlord does not have to inform you about the repair work.

You must take care of your guests.

You must ensure that your guests and their belongings are safe in your home.

Your personal equipment and devices.

You are responsible for repairing any devices and equipment that you have installed yourself, such as a washing machine or shower.

If the landlord has provided you with any electrical appliances, he is obliged to monitor their condition. More information about this can be found in your rental contract.

Your landlord is also responsible for the safe operation of any gas appliances that he provided you.

What will happen if you or your guest damage the property.

If you or your guest accidentally or intentionally damaged the property, you must repair it. In addition, you should report the need to repair the homeowner. He can make repairs himself, by charging you with a bill for work, or agreeing to have you repair it.

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