Are You Aware of Your General Responsibilities as a Landlord?

The law requires you to provide safe units for your tenants. If there are injuries sustained because of unsafe conditions, you could be legally liable

During a tenancy, owners must maintain the premises in a "habitable" condition. The meaning of the term “habitability” may differ from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, but at a minimum you must:

  • Keep all public areas, such as corridors and stairs, in a safe and clean state.

  • Ensure that electrical, plumbing, sanitation, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems are functioning properly and are properly maintained.

  • Ensure that tenants receive tap water, hot water, and heat in a reasonable amount of time (for tenants who control heat or in charge of utilities, this is not a landlord’s obligation, except to ensure that the pipeline and HVAC system are in good working order).

  • Provide garbage containers and arrange to remove garbage.

Tellus TIP:

In some jurisdictions, landlords and tenants may agree that the lessee will be responsible for some or all of these responsibilities. Be sure to check the local laws.