Most states require landlord repairs within a specific time frame after proper notice. This ranges from 24 hours to 30 days, depending on the state and the specific issue. Some states only require a “reasonable time” for repairs. In practice, this almost never is more than 30 days.
States Without Specific Time Frames for Landlord Repairs
About one-quarter of U.S. states don’t provide a specific time frame for landlord repairs. The default standard in most of these states is for repairs within a “reasonable time.” (Wisconsin requires completed repairs “promptly.” Courts interpret this to be faster than the reasonable-time standard would require.)
What counts as a “reasonable” time gets decided case by case. Courts will allow much less time to replace a broken lock than to replace a damaged roof, for example. In practice, it’s almost never reasonable to delay repairs without provable justification. A landlord who takes more than a couple of weeks to begin most repairs is usually liable for a violation.
Consequences for Landlord Failure to Pay for Repairs
Landlord failure to pay for repairs as required is a violation of landlord-tenant law. State laws vary, but if a landlord doesn’t pay for repairs after proper notice from the tenant, a tenant can often stop or reduce rent payments.
The following remedies also may be available: