By Jessica Hickok, Special to Zillow
It can be extremely frustrating to tenants when the landlord has taken their sweet time to make a simple repair to the outlet in the kitchen that won’t work, or replace that dishwasher that died several months ago. Minor home repairs are not uncommon in almost any kind of place you live in and the benefit of being the tenant is that most of the time it is the landlord’s responsibility to maintain and perform these repairs. As the tenant, you may be agitated, but you should really think it through before you just take it upon yourself to make the repair.
In most states, the Landlord/Tenant Law outlines what kinds of repairs a tenant can make. It depends on how long you’ve lived in the property, how many times you’ve pestered your landlord about making the repair, etc. A lot of times, you can request that the landlord pays for the repair, but depending how the law is written, they may not have to. Most of the time, even if the landlord does pay for the repair, the law states that it cannot be deducted from your monthly rent payment. You will want to be cognizant of what the law states before you go ahead with the repair. The law varies from state to state, so be sure to Google yours before proceeding.
Now maybe as the landlord you are feeling indifferent to whether or not the tenant does a repair to your investment. This is more than okay considering it’s your property and you can do whatever it is that you want with it.
However, there are a few items you should consider before giving the green light to your tenant to make the repair, improvement or enhancement to the property.
Remember, communication is key. If you feel like you are in a competitive game of tug o’ war in getting the repairs issues addressed, then be sure to document everything in writing. Be courteous and patient with one another and it won’t be such a war after all.