Who is Responsible for Appliance Repairs: Tenant or Property Management Company?

You have heard it, that dreaded “clunk.” The appliance has stopped working, and you cannot get it up and running again. It is the last sound you want to hear when you are getting those chores finally done. And if you are the property manager, the last call you want to receive is a frantic plea for help saying the air conditioner has stopped working, the disposal is broken, or the refrigerator is done. But just who is responsible for those appliance repairs in a rental or leased property?

A tenant pays to live in a unit as described in the Lease Agreement. Basic needs to be provided by the landlord include power, water, sewage, pest control, heating, and air. Suppose the unit falls short of that description. In that case, the landlord should fix the item according to the agreement and to livability standards.

However, appliance repairs are another topic altogether. So, in this article, Bravo Property Management and Realty has done the research for you. Keep reading to learn whose responsibility appliance repairs are.So, Who is Responsible for Appliance Repairs?

So, Who is Responsible for Appliance Repairs?

First, let’s get this straight. In most cases, the property management company is not required to provide appliances, which many potential renters do not know. These optional appliances include…

  • Dishwasher
  • Refrigerator
  • Washing machine and dryer
  • Stovetop and oven
  • Microwave
  • Garbage Disposal

These are all a part of the package the property manager provides at his/her own discretion. For instance, college town apartments will typically include all appliances due to the students’ financial situation.

Homes for rent often do not include all appliances. It is the decision of the homeowner and property manager which machines they want to supply. The appliances are then listed, and assigned responsibility will be added to the lease agreement.

As for the Repairs…

Landlord responsibility:

If the owner provides all appliances, the property management company will often care for them, protecting their investment. The rental/lease agreement will define the terms and the extent of responsibility. After all, they are protecting their investment to replace the refrigerator for future tenants as well. Sometimes, the owner will provide the oven and stovetop, but not the washer and dryer. In that case, the property manager would only cover the cost to replace what he/she has provided.

Additionally, most property managers have a preferred appliance repair company they go to when they need refrigerator and dishwasher repair, or the like.

Tenant Responsibility:

If the tenant purchased the appliance, the tenant is the one who will pay for repairs and maintain the machine. The tenant also takes the appliances with them upon the termination of the lease agreement.

However, if the landlord has supplied the appliances and the tenant damages the machine, that is another subject. If you accidentally burn dinner on the stove, crack the glass on the oven door, or run a bottle of nail polish through the washer, the repair or replacement will be on you as the tenant. 

In cases like these, the tenant should confess to the accident and ask the landlord how they would like them to handle the issue. Honesty and transparency is truly the best policy.

When an Appliance Issue Arises.

Should an appliance need a repair or replacement, look over your lease agreement and report the need to the property manager. Agreeing on the way to proceed is suitable for both parties. Not to mention, renters are often required by the agreement’s terms to report issues as they arise. The sooner it is reported to the property manager, the sooner your appliance will be up and running. In turn, landlords are required by law to provide notice before scheduling or entering for a repair. They must also provide written notice for rental/lease violations.

Property Management Company/Tenant Communication is Key

We know, when an accident occurs, it is hard to fess up. But honestly, in any partnership, communication is key to a positive working relationship. Avoid a misunderstanding by keeping the property manager informed of the unit’s condition and all its working parts.

Some reasonable wear is expected, depending on the length of the rental. Damages are entirely different and can come out of the tenant’s security deposit or require the user’s replacement. Again, this is where knowing the language stated in the lease agreement is crucial. Even an issue like nail holes in the walls and landscaping/lawncare should be covered in the original contract language.

Responsibility for Appliance Repairs

Providing appliances and the responsibility there-in can be a burden on an owner or property management company. But they are often necessary items for the tenant to decide the place is worth renting. It really depends on the tenants, themselves, and their home needs.

With some time spent on a well-written lease agreement and a bit of communication, the property manager and tenant can resolve any appliance repair issues. If you have any problems with your appliances in one of our units, contact Bravo Property Management and Realty to get it taken care of right away, no matter who is responsible.