Whether your thermostat isn’t working or your shower isn’t running hot water, commercial rental property repairs often aren’t affordable. However, rental properties work differently than other types of property to get repairs done.
If you own your home, then it’s up to you to pay for all the necessary repairs and either do them yourself or hire someone to fix them. The same isn’t true if you live in a rental property. Sometimes the landlord is required to make repairs, but not in all cases. We explore who is obligated to pay for what repairs below and how that’s done.
Commercial Rental Property Repairs: When Do Landlords Have to Pay?
In general, landlords are responsible for providing a rental space that is liveable. This means that all basic necessities are satisfied in a home. These necessities vary as to their breadth in local housing codes and leasing agreement, but generally, they encompass the following:
- Working plumbing systems: this includes working toilets, showers, and bathtubs with the proper drainage without any leakage.
- Working heating (and potentially air conditioning): tenants need to be able to control their heating, and in some cases cooling if air conditioning comes with the unit.
- Controlling pests: A landlord is often obligated to lay traps and control pests like cockroaches, ants, bed bugs, and mice.
- Functioning, safe electrical systems: not only is it in the landlord’s best interest to have safe and functioning electrical systems (to reduce the risk of fire and property damage) it’s generally required as well.
When damages occur to any of the above issues from no fault of the tenant it’s their responsibility to pay for it free of charge.
What Repairs Do Tenants Have to Pay For?
Tenants are responsible for all other quality–of–life improvements and repairs in their dwelling. In some cases, appliances like stoves and fridges may be replaced if it was stipulated in the leasing agreement, but otherwise, tenants are required to pay.
Painting also falls under this category and is required by tenants to do and pay themselves if the leasing arrangement allows for it to be done.
Overall, landlords are required to pay to keep a space habitable, and tenants are required to pay when it comes to quality-of-life improvements like painting, stain removal, and so on.
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