How to Handle Repairs: A Landlord’s Guide

As a landlord, you know that you have an obligation to provide your tenants with a safe, livable home. But when something repairs are needed, it can be a challenge.

From knowing when to complete repairs to who is responsible for repairing what, this guide will provide all the information you need as a landlord to handle repairs with confidence.

Who is Responsible for Repairs?

The landlord is ultimately responsible for making sure the rental property is habitable and able to be safely occupied. This includes both inside and outside the rental unit. The landlord is responsible for making any necessary structural repairs.

The tenant is responsible for any damage that occurred due to their neglect or misuse of the rental space. However, the tenant is not responsible for any normal wear and tear that can be expected from regular use.

When and How to Handle Repairs

It’s important to be proactive when it comes to repairs. It’s best to inspect the rental unit regularly so that you can catch any potential repairs early. It’s also important to keep up with routine repairs and maintenance to prevent any larger or more costly problems in the future.

When you do find something that needs to be repaired, it’s important to get it done as soon as possible. Depending on the nature of the repair, it may need to be done within a certain time frame, such as within 24 hours if the repairs are essential for health and safety.

Repair Costs & Rentals

In some cases, the landlord can pass on the cost of repairs to the tenant. However, it’s important to understand landlord-tenant law in your area to make sure that the cost you are asking is legal. It’s also important to remember that if the repair is due to negligence or misuse of the rental property, then the tenant is responsible for paying for the repairs.

It’s also important to consider how the repair will impact your tenant’s rent payments. If the cost of the repair is more than minimal, you may want to factor this into your tenants’ rent rate. This is allowed in some states, but make sure that you don’t increase the rent rate too significantly.

Repair Timeline & Process

Once you determine who is responsible for the repair, it’s important to begin the repair process. This includes getting the necessary supplies and scheduling any necessary contractors or handymen. It’s also important to keep your tenants informed of the timeline for the repair and any details that they should be aware of.

When Tenants Refuse Repairs

In some cases, tenants may refuse repairs, especially if they don’t agree with who is responsible for paying for the repair. It’s important for landlords to understand their legal rights in these situations. Depending on the issue, landlords may not be allowed to withhold rent until the repairs are made.

It’s also important to be aware of any potential discrimination laws that may come into play. For example, landlords must make sure that any repair decisions aren’t made on the basis of race, age, gender, or other protected criteria.

Emergency Repairs

In some cases, a repair may be needed immediately due to an emergency situation. This could be a situation where the rental property is damaged, falls into disrepair, or poses an immediate danger to the tenants and must be addressed right away. Landlords must make sure that they are available 24/7 in case of an emergency repair.

Professional Support for Repairs

You don’t have to tackle rental repairs alone. Working with a professional property management company can help ensure that repairs are completed quickly and correctly. Companies such as Real Property Management understand landlord-tenant law and can provide helpful advice on how to handle repairs.

Maintenance & Repairs

Routine maintenance and repairs are the responsibility of the landlord. However, it’s important to keep track of any repairs that the tenant is responsible for, such as repairing worn carpets or replacing broken items.

It’s a good idea to create a maintenance checklist for each rental unit. This will help ensure that all repairs and maintenance are completed in a timely manner and that there is a record of who is responsible for what.

Cost Savings for Repairs

You can save money on repairs and maintenance by taking preventative measures. This can include regularly cleaning and inspecting the rental space, making sure that all repairs are handled promptly, and using quality materials that will last.

You can also save money on repairs by finding ways to reduce energy costs. This can include changing out light bulbs for more energy efficient ones, weatherizing windows and doors, and using insulation materials that will keep the rental space at a comfortable temperature.

Tips for Successful Repairs

When it comes to repairs, there are a few things you should keep in mind:

  • Follow landlord-tenant law and understand your rights and responsibilities.
  • Stay organized and keep good records of all repairs made and who is responsible for them.
  • Keep up regular maintenance and inspections to prevent larger or more costly repairs.
  • Be proactive by checking often for any repair needs.
  • Make sure repairs are completed quickly and correctly.
  • Take preventative measures to save on energy costs.
  • Be available 24/7 in case of emergency repairs.
  • Utilize a professional property management company for repairs and maintenance.


How to Handle Repairs: A Landlord’s Guide provides all the information landlords need to handle repairs with confidence. From understanding landlord-tenant law to utilizing a property management company, this guide will ensure that repairs are completed quickly, correctly, and legally. By staying organized and proactive, landlords can save both time and money when it comes to handling repairs.

What is a landlord’s responsibility for repair costs?

A landlord is responsible for making necessary repairs to their rental property. This may include repairing major appliances, plumbing, electrical systems, and HVAC systems. Depending on the tenant’s lease agreement, the landlord may also be responsible for other repairs such as patching holes in the walls, replacing the carpeting, and more. Generally, any damages caused by the tenant are the tenant’s responsibility for repair costs.

What does a tenant need to do to file a repair request with a landlord?

1. Contact the landlord directly: The tenant should contact their landlord as soon as a repair is needed. This can be done in person, over the phone, by email or via letter.

2. Provide all needed information: The tenant should ensure they provide the landlord with all the needed information regarding the repair, such as the location, what needs to be repaired, and the urgency of the repair.

3. Keep records of communication: The tenant should keep records of all communication with the landlord regarding the repair, including when contact was made, any promises made or actions taken, and any quotes given.

4. Make sure the repair is done: The tenant should follow up with the landlord to ensure the repair is done satisfactorily and in a timely manner. If the landlord fails to make the repair, the tenant may have the right to take further action.

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