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What do landlords need to maintain for their rental units?

On Behalf of | May 11, 2021 | Landlord/Tenant Matters

There are many people in Delaware who rent their residences. This could a home, townhome, condo, apartment or other types of rentals. While people reside in these rentals and have privacy within their rental unit, there are many differences between renting and owning the residence. Renters cannot make all of the changes to the rental unit that they would like to make to it. They also need to make sure that their rent is paid on time and follow the other rules stated in the lease.

Since renters do not own the unit they live in though, it is usually not their responsibility to make repairs when different things stop working correctly. Generally, when something breaks in the residence or in the shared spaces in a building it is the landlords obligation to fix it. However, in addition to that, the landlord also has many other obligations to the tenants.

Landlords obligations to tenants

They must ensure that they follow all state and local ordinances and ensure that all aspects of the building meet the various building and housing codes. They must ensure that the building does not endanger the tenants. Landlords also must keep all common areas sanitary and in good condition. All plumbing, electrical and other utilities must be maintained, work correctly and also be supplied to the rental units. They also must maintain the trash and ensure it is removed, if the lease requires it.

If the landlord fails to fulfill these statutory obligations, the tenants may have complaints against the landlord and could even withhold rent from the landlord. This generally requires court appearances and other costs associated with those landlord/tenant disputes.

Landlords have many obligations and it is important that they follow them. Landlords who follow these obligations will not only have happy tenants, but will also protect themselves from legal actions from their tenants. Sometimes there are disputes over which repairs fall under these obligations or whether the landlord is in fact fulfilling the obligation. Experienced attorneys understand these disputes and may be able to guide one through it.