Normally a landlord is responsible for all the maintenance and care of his or her property. But, it is also up to renters to notify their landlord about maintenance issues in a timely fashion.
This question was posed online to property management guru Robert Griswold: The tenant calls to say that water is leaking from the roof and that “something is wrong with the wood floors.”
Landlord sends a contractor over who finds a loose kitchen faucet, a split pipe underneath the sink and severely warped wood floors.
Renter insists that she was sick all week and never saw the leak. Contractor says extent of damage reflects months of leaking; renter should have not been using kitchen faucet; and that it was clear where the water was coming from.
Who is responsible? Griswold notes, “Because your tenant failed to give you any notice of the leaking faucet and the split pipe, you have a very good argument that the tenant is responsible for not only the damage to the wood flooring but also any other damage caused by persistent flooding over a long period of time.”
Bottom line? Maintenance is a two-way street. Open the lines of communication at the very beginning of the tenant/landlord relationship, everyone will benefit.