Is it Landlords Responsibility to Fix Toilet

Is it the landlord’s responsibility to fix the toilet

If you are a homeowner, you take responsibility for any damages that occur in your home, regardless of the cost. However, when it comes to rental properties, it is not the same. So, is it landlords responsibility to fix toilet? Landlords may be responsible for some repairs that occur in their properties while others may fall on the shoulders of the tenant as well. As either a landlord or tenant, the best way to safeguard yourself from unexpected repair costs is the understand your rights.

In most jurisdictions, it is the landlord’s responsibility to ensure that their rental properties are fit to live in. rental properties must meet the minimum standards for safety and health as per the local housing codes. Therefore, landlords should meet specific standards in order to comply with the set housing codes.

In most cases these standards include the following:

Plumbing

Plumbing repairs such as broken toilets, water leaks and other problems can be unsanitary and may cause serious water damage. As such, they require immediate addressing from the landlord.

Electrical Systems

Faulty wiring and crossed wires can potentially fire hazards that require addressing as soon as they happen.

Pests

Pests such as bed bugs, mice and cockroaches can be not only distressing to tenants by also pose several health risks.

Heating systems

Depending on your locality, a broken radiator can make your home very uncomfortable and without a doubt dangerous.

For damages or problems that may affect a rental unit’s habitability, the landlord must fix the damages at their own cost and not the tenants. It is the landlord’s responsibility to repair or replace damaged appliances, or items that are outlined in the rental agreement. The tenant pays only to live in the property as the lease agreement describes it. However, if a unit is not as described, then the landlord had to take responsibility to make it hospitable.

Nonetheless, the landlord is not always required to fix particular damages, especially those that do not affect the safety of the rental property. For example, the landlord is not responsible for fixing or repairing small holes in the wall, light bulbs, leaky faucets, stained rugs or walls.

Furthermore, if the tenants cause the damage, then they will bear the responsibility and foot the cost for repairs.

What Does a Landlord Not Have to Repair?

Is it Landlords Responsibility to Fix Toilet

There are minor problems on a rental property that the landlord has no responsibility to fix things. These small repairs may include running toilets, dripping faucets, grimy grout, torn window screens or small holes in the carpet. Without a doubt, these problems could be annoying and dealing with by any tenant, but the landlord may not be responsible for repairing them.

However, there are few instances when these minor repairs may need the landlord’s attention. For instance, if the terms of the lease agreement state that the landlord has the responsibility to fix any damage issues you may experience in the rental property, then the landlord has the obligation to repair.

Besides, if the landlord ever promised to handle all the damages, be it in writing or by word of mouth, you may hold the landlord responsible for the repairs. Furthermore, the state, local building codes and state landlord-tenant laws may hold the landlord reliable for repairs that would ideally be a fix left to the landlord’s choice.

How Can I Get My Landlord to Make Minor Repairs?

Is it Landlords Responsibility to Fix Toilet

Often, it is hard to enforce your rights to minor repairs compared to major problems. However, tenants in uninhabitable rental property are legally permitted to either withhold rent or use repair and deduct procedures. However, applying these actions to minor issues can get you evicted.

Fortunately, there are several strategies that you can utilize as a tenant to get your landlord to make repairs to minor plumbing issues that you may have in your apartment. Check out these strategies and apply them whenever you have minor repair issues:

Write a formal repair request

Landlord repairs of minor issues are well taken care of when the request for fixing the issue is made in writing. There are many reasons for putting the request in writing. First, writing down the request will give your landlord time to consider the request and ponder on how the repair may benefit his property in future.

Secondly, when you write a repair request, it allows you the opportunity to put up a convincing argument, bit by bit. When writing your repair request, you can demonstrate to the landlord why it would be valuable the fix can be to the landlord.

Lastly, by putting your minor repair request on paper, you can persuasively show the landlord the possible risk of injury the minor damage problem poses.

Mediation

If both your oral and written repair requests are turned down by the landlord, you can propose a mediation, which will involve the landlord, you and qualified mediators like property managers. The mediator will help you and the landlord reach a mutual and acceptable solution for both of you, but will not impose a solution. Several communities provide free or low-cost mediation services as a substitute for going to court.

Report the Landlord

Is it Landlords Responsibility to Fix Toilet

There are circumstances where minor damages are actually a violation of some rental houses or housing codes. Under these situations, if you have not successfully convinced the landlord to repair the damages, you can contact your local authority. The agency can visit and inspect the damage and contact or fine the landlord regarding the damages.

However, when the government authority comes in, you may possibly sour the good landlord-tenant relationship you had before. This won’t matter if you intend to stay on the property for a few months, but it will be difficult if you intend to rent for several years.

If none of your strategies has worked and the landlord fails to repair the minor damages and you can prove that the damages decrease the value of your unit, you can bring a lawsuit against your landlord in small claims court.  If you sue and win the case against your landlord, the judge will award you the difference between the rent you paid and the rent that ought to be charged on you based on the condition of the property.

However, bear in mind that the lawsuit will damage any remaining relationship between you and the property manager, hence this should be the very last resort.

Can My Security Deposit Pay for Minor Repairs?

Is it Landlords Responsibility to Fix Toilet

A security deposit also referred to as a damage deposit, is a financial deposit a tenant pays to cover any damages occasioned during their occupancy in a rental property. As such, landlords may use the security deposit to cover any rent payments a tenant fails to make. However, at the end of the tenant’s occupancy, if there are no damages and all the rent is settled, the security deposit is reimbursed to the tenant.

Often, right before a tenant moves into the unit, the landlord will fill out a Rental Inspection Report to show the unit’s habitable condition. After tenant occupancy, the landlord should complete another inspection to assess any damage that occurred during the tenant’s stay. If needed, the landlord will deduct money from the security deposit to cover for any damages found during the inspection, apart from when the damages qualify as ordinary wear and tear.

However, everyday activities often cause normal wear and tear even when the tenant takes reasonable care of the property. These normal damages are the landlord’s responsibility to fix. Some of the ordinary wear and tear in a rental unit may include calcium buildup on sinks, cracked linoleum, worn-out carpet, dripping faucet among other repairs.

Is it Landlords Responsibility to Fix Toilet: What are my Responsibilities as a Renter?

As a tenant, you have legal rights and responsibilities towards the rental unit. So, if you are a tenant you need to follow the laws in the residential tenancies act and the terms in your lease agreement. These laws and terms may include:

  • Pay rent on time: Make it a priority to pay the full amount of your rent by the day you agreed on the lease or tenancy agreement.
  • Repair the damages that you cause: Ensure you repair or replace any fixture you, your family members, or your guests damage that does not happen from ordinary use.
  • Keep and maintain hygiene in your home: As a tenant, you have to make sure your home is reasonably clean at all times.
  • Be rationally quiet: Always do your best not to disturb other tenants who live with you on the property on purpose.
  • Obey the law: As a tenant, be sure to follow the by-laws of your locality. For instance, you cannot have more people living in your unit than is allowed.
  • Honour your lease or tenancy agreement: Honouring your tenancy or lease terms. However, if your lease agreement has conditions that go against the Residential Tenancies Act, then you are not obligated to follow those conditions.
  • Paying Charges: If you agreed with your landlord in your tenancy agreement, for instance, council tax and utility bills, then make it a priority to pay them as agreed.

If you fail to obey or fulfil these responsibilities, then your landlord has the right to take legal action against you or face eviction.

Should Landlord Pay for Blocked Toilet?

Chances are that if your toilet has been blocked or clogged, it is because of something you did or didn’t do. For instance, if you flushed down non-flushable materials down the toilet. These are some of the small acts that you should avoid minor clogs. However, if you notice the toilet is blocked, you can use a plunger or plumber snake to fix the clog. But, if it persists, then you can consider notifying your landlord.

Handling Repairs Issues in Rental Property

As a tenant, it is crucial to review your responsibilities and rights and know the kind of damages that are not your responsibility to repair. To stay well-informed on matters rental property and your tenancy, familiarized yourself with rights regarding deposits, repair quests, repair cost, what to repair and other issues.

Keep in mind that the more informed you are, the less you are likely to find yourself in a bad housing state. Or you can seek legal advice from a lawyer.

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