San Diego Property Management Blog

3 Home Repairs Landlords Aren’t Responsible For

3 Home Repairs Landlords Aren’t Responsible For

Owning a rental property puts a lot of responsibility on you as the landlord, however, it isn’t required by law for you to cover all home repairs–big or small. Let’s take a look at three repairs that landlords aren’t responsible for, and a few others that they definitely are accountable for.

Cosmetic Repairs
If a tenant causes cosmetic damage to the unit, like staining the carpet or scratching the flooring, landlords may not be liable to pay for the repairs. If an occupant desires or even requires an interior procedure like professional carpet cleaning in the middle of their lease, this is something they’ll need to pay to have done on their own.

Damage Caused by Accident or Negligence
Anything that a tenant breaks either based on their own negligence or by accident may not be covered by a landlord. This includes any damage made by the tenant’s children, guests, or pets.

So no matter if they break a window, crack a bathroom mirror, or clog any of the drains in the house, they should make the effort to get these issues fixed on their own. But if they don’t, the landlord can hire a professional and bill the tenant for the cost once the job is completed.

Replacing Light Bulbs, Batteries, and Air Filters
While a tenant is living in your property, they are responsible to replace all light bulbs, batteries in smoke and CO2 detectors, and HVAC filters as they expire throughout the unit. Most of the time, these small fixes are easier and safer for tenants to make on their own rather than calling you to get them before they can be replaced.  

Home Repairs Landlords are Responsible for
As you can see, there are a number of home repairs that are not the responsibility of the landlord. However, there are some that you most likely will need to cover. These generally involve the larger systems in the property or ones that multiple units rely on. These can break down based on normal wear and tear, and are not caused by tenant misuse or abuse:

  • Appliance failure
  • Frozen pipes
  • HVAC issues
  • Water leaks

Bailey Schramm is a writer in partnership with Werever outdoor kitchen cabinets