The best way to find out if your landlord is legally obligated to make a repair in your apartment is to read up on the warranty of habitability in your state. The warranty of habitability is an implied provision in any residential lease, which means that your landlord is bound by it—even if your lease says that they aren't.
Here are some examples of common repairs that your landlord is required to make:
- Broken heating, plumbing, or electricity
- Broken windows, doors, or ceilings
- Locks on the windows and doors
- Holes in the floor, ceiling, or walls that are letting pests in
Your lease might hold them responsible for additional repairs. Re-read your lease and see if it requires your landlord to fix appliances such as microwaves, washers, dryers, and dishwashers.
If you caused the damage in any way then it is not your landlord's responsibility to make the repair. This can get a bit tricky to parse out in certain situations. For example, if the pipes froze because you never turned on the water, is it your fault? Your best bet if you're dealing with a grey area is to see if your state has laws on the books that specify exactly what a tenant is responsible for. If that doesn't work, then check with a landlord-tenant attorney.
The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice.
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