How Long Does It Take The Landlord To Fix Something?

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Unlike your property that you can fix at your disposal, living in a leased/rented property comes with stipulations for repairs. As a tenant, you may feel powerless and frustrated waiting for your Landlord to fix things. The urge to threaten, sue or withhold rent will happen, and you will end up asking the question

How Long Does It Take The Landlord To Fix Something?

Generally, your Landlord has 3-7 days to fix urgent (critical) repairs and 30 days for non-urgent (non-critical) repairs. This time frame varies according to the severity of damages and repair necessary. In some cases, the Landlord may ignore the repairs or not respond to your notifications for repair

The number of days allocated depends on your state landlord-tenant law. You can find a list of critical repairs documented in the implied warranty of habitability of local building codes and FHA housing standards.

Most Landlords have insurance policies that cover repairs or set aside money allocated for repairs. Therefore, it is your right to request that your Landlord repairs the damaged facilities he is liable to repair. Ensure that your lease indicates necessary repairs by your Landlord, but Standard repairs he is obligated to include issues related to security, safety, and structural part of the building.

Here are some repair issues and how long it should take your Landlord to fix them:

Septic Problem

Although septic damage is a very unpleasant and nasty problem, it is not usually considered a critical repair. By law, your Landlord has 30 days to fix such repairs, but a shorter time frame is more appropriate so far the Landlord can find a qualified technician.

Situations such as burst pipes, water spilling into the house, or severe odor emitting will require a faster repair time frame, often within 7-14 days, even if your state allows a longer time frame.

Leaking Water

The time frame your Landlord has for fixing a water leak depends on the severity of the leak. Repair of small leaks must be complete within 30 days, but pipe burst and significant leaks in a day or two. Water is a substantial essential in a house; for drinking, washing, showering, etc.

So keeping water repairs delayed for long is unacceptable. Unattended water leakage could also cause further damage. Reach out to your Landlord to fix any water leaks as soon as possible.

Plumbing Issues

If you report a plumbing issue to your Landlord, the Landlord has 30 days to complete the repair. However, shorter periods can be necessary for more difficult situations like busted pipe flooding. In this case, the Landlord will have to complete the repair within a day or two.

The amount of time within 30 days for plumbing depends on the nature of the plumbing or your lease agreement. If your Landlord neglects the repairs, you can pay for the repair and deduct the cost incurred from the rent.

Toilet Problem

The law says that the Landlord has 30 days to fix toilet issues, but some toilet repairs can be emergencies, such as a broken toilet seat, toilet flooding, or a major pipe burst. In this situation, the Landlord is to fix repairs within 24-48 hours. You should not be in a house without a toilet seat or in an unsanitary environment with a toilet leak.

Toilet faults like flush sticks, shower drain leaks, tape water fraying, and shower hose cracking are wear and tear and are not classified as emergencies. These repairs are within the 30 days stipulations.

Electrical Problem

The severity of the electrical problem determines the time frame expectancy of repair. Heavily damaging issues such as total blackout in the apartment lead to no heating or air conditioning should be repaired in a day or two. For more minor problems like socket damage, fixtures, and bulb burn, the Landlord has 30 days to fix the repairs. You can also handle these repairs if the Landlord is not responsive and remove the repair cost from your rent.

Frozen Pipes

Frozen Pipes can be a pain when not thawed fast. It can lead to Burst pipes. Your Landlord should fix frozen Pipes within one or two days, not only so you can have access to utility but to save further damages to the pipes. You need to read your rights to personal damage in the case of a pipe freeze burst. If there is a delay in repair, you can handle it and expect reimbursement from your Landlord.

Broken Furnace

A broken Furnace is not a critical repair, and your Landlord has 30 days to fix a broken Furnace problem. However, if the broken Furnace is the only heat source during the winter on the property, it will be regarded as a critical repair and should be fixed within one or two days.

Elevator Issues

If your building elevator has issues, Your Landlord has 30 days to fix the elevator. If it is an emergency where someone gets stuck inside the elevator, then repairs should be immediate and as fast as possible.

Also, if there is a disabled tenant who needs elevator services to get around, the Landlord should repair the elevator within 2 to 7 days as a critical repair. Before signing, you must review your lease contract to determine if the lease clauses favor you.

Fridge Repairs

Some leases state that appliances are not part of the rent, but if your lease covers appliances, your Landlord should fix the fridge when it needs repair, and within 14 to 30 days, fridges are non-critical repairs.

You are responsible for any installation or appliances you make or buy, such as a bathtub, shower, washing machine, etc. Consult your tenancy agreement to get precise information.

Heat 

Heating in a house is essential, especially during winter. If your heating system is faulty, the time frame for repair should be between 10 to 30 days. But in winter or cold weather, within five days. If this time frame doesn’t favor you, you can pay for the repair and remove the cost from the rent.

Oven

Usually, most states give a time frame of 14 to 30 days for your Landlord to repair a broken oven. If you purchased the oven, you are responsible for fixing it. 

Air Conditioner

Habitable rental properties should have standard amenities such as flushing toilets, heat, and hot water. Air conditioning is not considered a standard amenity by most states. If your lease does not mention a cooling system, it becomes your responsibility to provide that for yourself.

But if your Landlord makes provision for air conditioning, he is responsible for its repairs and should fix it within 5 to 14 days after notification. If you are not sure if your state laws include cooling systems, check your local landlord-tenant laws. 

Leaking Roof

Though disruptive and annoying to you, a leaking roof is not considered a critical repair and allows up to 30 days for repairs. However, the extent of leakage will determine how fast to fix it. If there are a few leaks or one small leak in drips, it is not severe.

But if the leaks require a large bucket that fills fast or the leak pours inflows with no drips, then it is an extreme case that should be fixed instantly. Water from leaking roofs can be very damaging in the long run if left unrepaired. It is better to fix the drip before it becomes a river.

Getting Rid Of Roaches And Vermin

No law specifies that the Landlord is responsible for getting rid of roaches and vermin on a property. The law only says that the Landlord has a legal responsibility to make the house habitable. If the roaches and vermin exist before you move in, it becomes the Landlord’s responsibility to eradicate them within 30 days.

If they appear after you move into the apartment, you have to get rid of them yourself if the Landlord refuses. This responsibility is because roaches and vermin breed in unkept places, and you are responsible for the neatness of your home. Your Landlord may request you vacate during fumigation, and It is only fitting that you help eliminate any vermin/roach infestation.

What Do I Do If My Landlord Doesn’t Fix Things?

If you find yourself in a situation where your Landlord refuses to fix things, you can follow steps to get your Landlord to live up to the warranty of habitability. You can;

  • Pay for the repair and remove the cost from your rent or next lease payment.
  • Keep a list or clean record of repairs to prove how much you spend to do this efficiently.
  • Consult your state landlord-tenant law to determine if you can withhold rent or lease since a lease is an agreement of exchange between a tenant and landlord, money for a habitable living space. It is fair to withhold rent if one side breaches this agreement.
  • Issue a report if you have tried all other means to no avail. Report your Landlord to your state housing agency, and the city council will take action once your report is received.
  • Depending on your state laws, you can also break the lease (depending on your state laws) and move out. You can also charge your Landlord to court for fees incurred from the move.

Consult a lawyer to help you understand your state landlord-tenant laws before taking any of the steps above.

What Is A Landlord Responsible For Fixing?

Under the warranty of habitability law, a landlord is responsible for fixing all repairs that make his property habitable. To determine if a property is habitable or not, we will classify the repairs into two:

Critical Repair

They are urgent repairs that make a house unlivable or manageable. They include hot water, heat, pest infestation, electricity, waste removal, and plumbing repairs. These repairs are within 2 to 14 days

Non-Critical Repairs

They are repairs that one can live without; they are manageable and include: noisy radiators, a dripping faucet, minor broken appliances, carpet tears, squeaky floors, etc. These repairs are within 30 days.

Can You Withhold Rent For Repairs?

You can withhold rent when the Landlord neglects critical repairs after you notify him severally in writing. Rent withholding is a forceful way of getting your Landlord to fix things. The law states that tenants have the right to withhold rent due to a break in obligations by the landlord under the warranty of habitability.

A tenant’s obligation to pay full rent stops until the repair is done. You can hold back any amount of rent depending on the level of damage; there is no specification by law on how much. Before following this action, please consult a legal consultant.

Can My Landlord Make Me Move Out For Repairs?

Some repairs may require you to move out for a while. Repairs that need a building permit, fumigation, and vermin infestation will require you to vacate. So, yes, your Landlord can make you move out for repairs. However, he must give you at least 120 days’ notice in writing.

If you get this notice and believe something is wrong with the notice, you can always get legal consultation on how best to handle the eviction.

Are Tenants Responsible For Repairs? 

A lease agreement details who is responsible for repairs and which ones. The Landlord is responsible for all facilities/utilities he provides with the property, and the tenant is responsible for appliances acquired. A lease agreement ensures everyone knows their responsibilities and adheres to them.

These are some damages tenants are responsible for:

  • Tenants are liable for light damages that can easily be fixed, like a light bulb burn. 
  • Damages caused by guests or themselves.
  • Unreported repairs worsened with time when they could easily be fixed. 
  • Pet caused damages like chewed carpet and blinds. 

Please avoid any damage to the property, and if it happens, repair it if you’re responsible for spoiling it or notify the Landlord if it’s his work.

Can I Withhold Rent Over A Leaking Roof?

You can withhold rent for a leaking roof if the roof leakage makes the house inhabitable. For instance, a collapsed ceiling or large openings in the roof. You must have written a letter notifying your Landlord of the fault and followed him up severally. If he doesn’t fix it within 30 days, you can withhold rent.

Take photos and videos for evidence and find a witness. Het legal advice before you Withhold rent.

How Long Does A Disrepair Claim Take?

The time frame a disrepair claim takes varies from one case to another. Disrepair Claims usually range from 3 to 12 months, depending on the number of damages and fix. This time frame is from the client-consultant to payment of compensation. Check your lease agreement to determine the exact time frame applicable to you.

Can I Claim Rent Back From My Landlord?

You can claim back your rent if you can show that your Landlord has committed a serious housing offense. Report to your state or local tribunal with significant proof beyond doubt of his offense. If the offense you report is proven before a residential property tribunal, the Landlord can be ordered to repay up to a year’s rent. 

These offenses can include:

  • Tenant harassment
  • Unlawful eviction
  • Disobedience to a banning order
  • No license

Conclusion

Fairly standard practices apply to the time frame of repairs by a landlord. Though state laws vary, critical repairs are expected to be fixed immediately (within two days) and non-critical repairs in 30 days. If your repair is one that you can handle by yourself, then you can go ahead to do it and expect a refund from your landlord.

However, you should always consult legal advice before making any repair and ensure you pre inform your landlord of any repairs you are about to make.

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