Appliance repair responsibility

Ned asks:
(updated on Monday, July 13th 2020)

My tenant's refrigerator needs to be repaired. In our lease agreement I was able to get the tenant to sign off on paying for repair/replacement of all appliances in the house. Is this legally sound to impose this on the tenant?

Our Experts Answer:

Generally, a landlord is responsible for repair of any appliance supplied in a property at the start of a tenancy. Sometimes it’s acceptable to say that an appliance is old and will be left for a tenant’s use only as long as it works. In these cases if the appliance breaks down it won’t be repaired or replaced.

However, it is not legally sound to require that a tenant repair or replace an appliance which belongs to a landlord. It is the landlord’s appliance and, in the normal course of events, a tenant cannot be required to maintain it. Requiring a tenant to be responsible for maintaining all appliances in the house is definitely unacceptable.

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