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Questions about Landlord’s Responsibilities

The landlord of a property has a range of responsibilities that extend from repairing and maintaining the property to complying with housing codes and regulations, providing the property with enough keys and locks, controlling insect infestations, keeping common areas free from hazards, providing smoke detectors, and so on.

A few questions on issues related to a landlord’s responsibilities are listed below.

My townhouse has a leaking roof which was a problem that started before I moved in. Now, the leak has caused black mold. Do my landlord’s responsibilities extend to fixing the mold? If it does, can I break my lease and get my deposit back?

You could send your landlord a written notice that states his failure to repair the problem is a breach of the lease. Since he has not cured the breach, you could sue him for not only a breach of contract but also damages. In addition, you could also withhold rent until all the repairs are taken care of. If you choose to go with this option, you would need to put the rent into a separate bank account on time every month and send your landlord proof that you are doing this. If your landlord fails to solve the problem within a stipulated amount of time, you could then terminate the lease due to the breach and ask for damages towards the cost of moving house.

In case of a verbal lease, what are a commercial property landlord’s responsibilities with regard to maintenance and upkeep of the property?

In the case of a commercial property, a landlord would have to take care of all the structural repairs of the property while the tenants look after all the ordinary and necessary repairs. With a commercial property, the possibility of damage is high but it must be looked at as the cost of doing business.

How can I get my landlord to fix repairs that she constantly promises to do but never ends up doing?

When you need to get repairs done in a property, one of the first things you must do is to send a written notice to the landlord that includes the property address, the number of the apartment, and a description of the problem. If the landlord doesn’t make the repairs after a reasonable amount of time, you can get them done on your own and then deduct the cost of the repairs from the rent. However, before you initiate the work, make sure you submit an estimate to the landlord. This estimate can be included in the original written notice. Finally, always ensure the total cost of repairs to be deducted from the rent does amount to more than a month's rent.

My 5-bedroom house has been supplied with only two outdated smoke detectors by my landlord. I have bought 8 new fire detectors and two carbon monoxide detectors. Is it my landlord’s responsibility to foot the bill?

Your landlord would only be responsible for working detectors that are required by the law. You can get reimbursed for these but will have to pay for all the additional detectors.

Maintaining a property, either for residential or commercial purposes, is not easy. That’s why both tenants and landlords need to understand what each other’s responsibilities are. Real Estate Lawyers can tap into a wealth of experience and knowledge to provide answers to all your questions on Landlord’s responsibilities in a quick and affordable manner. So direct your queries to them right away.

Ask a Real Estate Lawyer

Tina
Tina, Lawyer
Category: General
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Experience:  17 years of legal experience including real estate law.
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