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Who Pays for Maintenance and Repairs in a Rental Property? 

Who Pays for Repairs in a Rental Property? - LawDepot Blog

Do you know who covers the costs associated with the maintenance and repairs in a rental property? The tenant pays money to use the property, so surely all the repair and maintenance costs are covered by the landlord. After all, they are the owners, and it is to their benefit that the property is well looked after.

Both parties will have costs regarding maintenance and repairs in a rental property. Exactly what these costs are and the value of them does depend upon any tenancy agreement, the local laws where the rental is located and the type of and reason for the maintenance or repairs required. 

Costs for Landlords and Tenants

When you own your own home, you are the one who is responsible for any costs associated with repairs and maintenance. However, when it comes to rental property, things are not so straightforward. While the landlord owns the property and is responsible for the structural stability of the home, the tenant also faces costs for some property repairs. Let’s look at the costs both a tenant and a landlord can face:

As a landlord, your rental property is an asset that is likely to appreciate in value. Your tenant pays you to rent to live in the property, and as such, you are required to ensure that it remains in a liveable condition. This usually includes:

  • Plumbing – maintenance costs for plumbing often include replacing old pipes and fittings, upgrading plumbing to meet local regulations, and performing inspections to ensure there are no leaks and fixtures are working appropriately. Repair costs for plumbing are usually associated with burst pipes or blockages, water damage and unsanitary conditions.
  • Heating and cooling – common maintenance costs for heating and cooling systems include things such as annual checks and services. Repair costs when these systems stop working can be expensive depending upon the age and condition of the units and range from minor to more complex. For example, you can expect to be replacing fuses and thermostats if this is not done during an annual maintenance check and face more costly repairs in older units.
  • Appliances – if an oven, stove, or cooking hob is provided by you in the property and it is in working condition when the tenant moves in, you are responsible for ensuring it continues to function as expected throughout the tenancy. The same applies to other onsite appliances, such as dishwashers.
  • Outside – you can expect regular maintenance costs to keep the outside of the rental in good condition, including things such as clearing gutters and repainting. Unless it is in the tenancy agreement, your tenant is responsible for the upkeep of any grounds, including mowing lawns and weeding the garden.

As a paying tenant, you have the right to live in the property and enjoy the amenities it provides. You can expect the landlord to cover maintenance and repair costs for the appliances, electrical wiring, plumbing, the physical building, heating, and cooling.

You are most likely responsible for maintenance costs (if any) for the upkeep of the yard or garden. This includes tasks such as lawn mowing, tree pruning and weeding.  Also, as a tenant, you will probably need to pay costs associated with the repair of any intentional and accidental damage that is caused by you or your guests. 

In conclusion, it is advisable that you chat with a property manager or rental property specialist and check the tenancy agreement to understand exactly who will shoulder the costs for maintenance and repairs in a rental property.

Oscar Jude Thompson: Oscar, a home renovation contractor, shares DIY project guides, renovation tips, and ideas for transforming homes.