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Does Your Landlord Have to Repair or Replace an Appliance?

Does Your Landlord Have to Repair or Replace an Appliance?

Does Your Landlord Have to Repair or Replace an Appliance?

26Jan

Does Your Landlord Have to Repair or Replace an Appliance?

When you rent an apartment, chances are that it will contain appliance staples like a stove/oven, refrigerator, microwave, and a dishwasher. Some may even feature an AC unit, washing machine and dryer. While you can expect many units to have some of these appliances, it is not legally required for landlords to supply units with appliances. It's up to the discretion of the landlord whether or not they want to provide them to the tenant.

Who Supplies Appliances?

Because appliances aren't required by law, you have to first look to the lease. Your rental agreement may say that the landlord will supply you with certain appliances. Here, it is more likely that the landlord will have responsibility for repairs/replacement. Or the language could state that the appliances are the tenant's responsibility to provide. If so, then you will have to pay for repairs or replacement when the appliance breaks.

The next issue is whether the landlord did actually supply the appliances. If your landlord does provide you with an appliance, then they typically take on the responsibility regarding the maintenance and operation of that appliance. If the appliance was already there when you moved in, then it will probably be there when you move out too. You will usually be responsible for cleaning the appliance and maintaining it regularly, but the landlord will usually step in for major repairs or replacement. But keep in mind, your landlord may be escape responsibility for repairs/replacement by claiming that the appliance was left by the former tenant or if the lease says that they are not responsible.

Tenant Responsibility

If your landlord does provide you with an appliance, then they typically take on the responsibility regarding the maintenance and operation of that appliance. Of course, they could pass on the responsibility to you, the tenant. However, that must be specifically stated in your lease agreement. The lease will define the terms and spell out the extent of responsibility.

It's also on you if in some cases if you're the one who damages the landlord-supplied appliance. When this happens, your best bet is to tell the landlord and find out how they want to deal with the problem. Or if you're the one who supplies the appliance, then you who will pay for repairs and maintain the instrument; you will also take the appliances with you when the lease is done.

Is it a Habitability Issue?

Your landlord is required to make repairs to ensure that your unit is in a habitable condition due to the implied warranty of habitability in every lease. But under California law, appliances like washer/dryers, refrigerators, are considered amenities and not necessities. This means that unless the broken appliance makes for an unlivable situation, (for example, a flood) then you can't rely on this doctrine for the repairs or replacement. You can, however, generally hold the landlord responsible for correcting the issue in a timely manner.

Get Repair Help from an Experienced Tenants' Rights Lawyer Today

If your landlord refuses to make a repair or a replacement for a necessary broken appliance, or you're uncertain about other landlord/tenant issues, you should talk to an experienced attorney about your rights. A Wolford Wayne attorney can go over your options about how to handle this situation. Contact us today to find out next steps.

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For more information or to discuss your legal situation, call us today at (415) 649-6203 for a phone consultation or submit an inquiry below. Please note our firm can only assist tenants residing in San Francisco, Oakland & Berkeley.

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