Landlord/Tenant – Duties

There is a contractual relationship between a landlord and tenant. They each have duties to one another for a lease term to run smoothly.

Landlord Duties:

  • Provide the unit rented in reasonably habitable shape for the tenant, and to include such periodic repairs as may be necessary
    • Unit supplied must meet the Building and Safety Codes and local Health Codes
  • Make reasonable repairs but not to repair every single item which may be considered unnecessary
    • Also not required to make any improvements that a tenant desires during the lease term
  • Provide “quiet enjoyment” of the premises to the tenant
    • Landlord must make sure that each tenant respects the right of quiet enjoyment expected by each other tenant
  • Landlord cannot enter the premises at will and must respect a tenant’s right to privacy
    • If the landlord does not honor this implied or expressed covenant, the tenant may have a right to sue for an invasion of privacy
  • Tenants need to know that when a lease expires, they are expected to be completely moved out of the premises
    • Any “holdover” may subject the tenant to penalties or rent charges

Tenant Duties:

  1. Rent
    • Paid fully and on the specified date
    • Depending on the terms of the lease, or lack of terms, can subject the tenant to be evicted if rent is late
    • Rent Abatement: withholding rent due to lack of repairs
      • If the premises need repairs, the tenant should make a demand to the landlord to fix the problem and give the landlord a reasonable time to make repairs
      • If the tenant is ignored, they may have cause to abate or withhold rent
      • If you are going to abate the rent be sure whatever you are doing is reasonable
        • It is advised that you seek the counsel of your Plan Attorney before abating rent
  2. Damages
    • Unless specified, a tenant is liable for any damages caused to the premises
      • Except normal wear and tear and those caused by problems (ex. Water leaks)
    • any tenant or any guest of any tenant that causes any damages will be responsible to for repairs
    • Doesn’t matter if the damages were accidental or intentional
    • A landlord can deduct an the repair amount from the tenant’s security deposit
      • If the repairs are more expensive than the security deposit, the landlord can sue
  3. Nuisances
    • Tenants are requested to keep the premises free from nuisances to the other tenants, landlord and neighbors
      • Includes guests
    • Some cities might have local ordinances that allow violators to be subjected to criminal penalties

For any of these duties or actions, especially about Rent Abatement, please feel free to contact Member Services or your Plan Attorney for advice.


Posted in: Landlord Tenant