Tenant repairs can be risky for landlords who let tenants do work on their rental property. Here are some things you need to know if you are considering this.

There are a few reasons tenants might want to make repairs to your property:

  • In exchange for a discount on rent
  • To cover up damage they don’t want to be charged for
  • They want to upgrade some portion of the property and offer to do it at no cost to you if you will allow them to have it.

The problem is  they are unlikely to have the same respect for the property you do and are much more tempted to cut corners.

That’s why it’s important to discourage all of the above and stress the need for your tenants to contact you as soon as anything shows signs of needing repair or replacement.

You should also carry out periodic inspections.

Remember also it is your duty to make repairs and keep your rental units in good condition.

A rental agreement should specify who has the duty to make repairs. A landlord must make some repairs even if a rental agreement does not specify these duties, according to an article on FindLaw.

Refusal to make tenant repairs

More specifically, a landlord has the duty to provide a rental unit that is fit to live in. Every state imposes an “implied warranty of habitability” on all rental premises. A habitable rental unit will provide heating, plumbing, gas, clean water, a structurally safe roof and flooring, and electricity.

Remember as a landlord if a property remains in disrepair, a tenant may choose to fix the problem. Then they may deduct the cost from the rent, move out, or report the violation to a state building inspector. The failure to make these major repairs when requested can result in a lawsuit against the landlord.