Repair Responsibilities of Landlords

Written by jack s. waverly
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Repair Responsibilities of Landlords
Landlord are required to maintain fire escapes. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Rental units, whether commercial or residential, can have common problems that are solely the responsibility of the landlord. Landlord have the responsibility to repair certain portions of the structure according to governing ordinances. Most municipalities require repairs be provided within 72 hours for non-emergency repairs or as soon as repairs can be commenced. For emergency or health-related problems landlords usually have only 24 hours to fix the problem.


The landlord is required to repair any exterior structural elements such as doors, windows, roof and steps. Load-bearing walls and the subfloor of the unit are also the landlord's responsibility.

Sanitary Devices

Repairs to bath or shower units are included responsibilities of the landlord. Maintaining adequate running water is another. Sinks and toilets also fall into this category.

Heating and Cooling

The landlord must maintain anything that heats the unit such as furnaces, wall-mounted heaters, ducts and registers. Hot water heaters are included in the heating responsibility. The pipes that carry water to and from these devices are also part of the repair responsibility of landlords. Landlords must also repair shared equipment, such as transformers, gas lines inside the building, electrical equipment and lines, air conditioners if they are included, and ventilation.

Shared Services or Items

Landlords are responsible for maintenance of shared areas or items, which include parking areas, egress and access points, walkways for both residential and commercial units, elevators, hallways and stairs providing access to units. Refuse containers and disposal are the responsibility of the landlord unless otherwise directed by local ordinances. The common grounds and green space are also the responsibility of the landlord unless otherwise written into the lease.


Locks and safety devices for doors and windows are the responsibility of the landlord. Fire exits must be maintained per local fire codes. Smoke detectors when required are the maintenance responsibility of the landlord.

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