When it comes down to plumbing maintenance every tenant renting their first apartment or freshly minted landlord on the verge of leasing to their first tenant wants to who is responsible, even seasoned renters and landlords struggle with finding reliable answers to the question posed above.
Landlord-tenant relationships are some of the most interesting relationship you will ever find. Like all commercial relationships, they are filled with contradictions. On one hand, there is interdependence between buyer and seller, but on the other hand, there is also mutual distrust.
The majority of renters and landlords understand this to be the nature of the relationship, and somehow manage to work things out. But for some, the issues are allowed to escalate to the point where they eclipse the benefits that each party gets from the relationship.
One of the main areas where these conflicts arise is in the allocation of responsibility for plumbing maintenance in the home. Given the importance of water for human health and the high risk of water damage and plumbing maintenance issues in a home, this is a real problem.
It is completely normal for landlords or tenants to want to shift the burden of caring for this vital aspect of the home to the other party. But as in all situations, where two parties fail to reach an agreement on a dispute, a middle ground drawn by a neutral third-party can help.
This is what this post is about. It explains in simple terms how the law approaches plumbing issues in a rental property. It explains each side’s roles and assigns responsibility with fairness and clarity. Following these recommendations can help eliminate arguments over the home’s plumbing.
The law makes the maintenance and repair of the plumbing in a rental property the responsibility of both landlord and tenant. However, the landlord bears most of the burden. Here are the details of how that works.
Based on the Implied Warranty of Habitability, the landlord is assumed to have given the tenant an unspoken assurance that the home is in a habitable condition when they leased it to the tenant. As a landlord, once you lease your home to a tenant, it is assumed that the home is livable.
Among the things that make a home livable are the presence of clean water and sanitation. The law expects that not only must the home have adequate plumbing and sanitary facilities, these components must be working to the tenant’s satisfaction at the time of tenant move-in.
Secondly, the law expects that after the tenant moves in, the landlord must keep the home in the same livable state that it was in before the tenant moved in. The reason is that the home belongs to the landlord and if the tenant was not living in it, the owner would still maintain it.
This means that the owner must:
To balance the responsibilities, landlords also have their rights: Garbage Disposal Tips to Avoid a Holiday Plumbing Emergency
The law expects the following from the tenants:
Finally, the tenant has the right to have their complaints about the plumbing adequately attended to by the landlord. Where the landlord fails to do this, the tenants has the right to withhold the rent, move out or initiate a lawsuit.
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