Tenants in Kansas have the legal right to repairs for issues that place the property in violation of state health and safety standards. To exercise this right, they must properly notify the landlord in writing and allow 14 days for the repairs to be made.
Kansas Landlord Responsibilities for Repairs
Kansas landlords are responsible for keeping all of the following in good working condition:
Hot running water.
Garbage removal (where not provided by the government).
Smoke alarms (at the beginning of the tenancy).
Anything that impacts health, safety, or habitability.
If any of the above stops working properly, and the tenant isn’t at fault for the damage, the landlord is the one responsible for making the repairs necessary to fix it.
What Repairs Are Tenants Responsible for in Kansas?
Kansas tenants must repairdamage they cause deliberately or negligently.If it’s not an emergency, tenants can usually wait until the landlord asks in writing for repairs.
For landlords of four rental units or fewer, the landlord and tenant can agree for the tenant to handle specific maintenance that doesn’t pass off the landlord’s legal obligations regarding habitability. For single-family homes only, this can include the basic obligations of garbage, heat, and hot water.
Requesting Repairs in Kansas
Kansas tenants must request repairs bysending the landlord notice of the issue in writing.To reserve the relevant legal options, the tenant must also state actions they might take if the landlord does not make timely repairs, such as canceling the lease altogether.
An example of language a tenant might use to state these intentions is: “If the landlord hasn’t begun good faith repairs in 14 days, the renter may exercise his right to cancel the rental agreement on the next periodic rent date that’s 30 or more days from today.”
How Long Does a Landlord Have To Make Repairs in Kansas?
Kansas landlords have14 daysto begin good-faith repairs after getting a written request.
Can the Landlord Refuse To Make Repairs in Kansas?
Kansas landlordscannot refuse to make repairsthat are their responsibility. However, the landlord’s refusal to repair does not excuse a renter failing to keep the terms of the rental agreement. For example, a landlord who fails to repair may still be able to evict for a default on rent.
Do Landlords Have To Pay for Alternative Accommodation During Repairs in Kansas?
Kansas landlords arenot required to pay for alternative accommodationwhile they conduct repairs. However, if there’s a repair issue so severe that it forces the tenant off the property, the tenant can usually choose to cancel the rental agreement within five days and stop paying rent.
Tenant’s Rights if Repairs Aren’t Made in Kansas
Kansas tenants cancancel the rental agreementif the landlord doesn’t make timely repairs. They can alsosue for damagesorget an injunction.
Can the Tenant Withhold Rent in Kansas?
Kansas tenants can pay rent into a special receiver account through a court action, or recover overpayment of rent, but they aren’t allowed to unilaterally withhold rent.
Can the Tenant Repair and Deduct in Kansas?
Kansas tenantscan’t repair and deduct.Their options if the landlord doesn’t repair are to either cancel the lease or file a lawsuit.
Can the Tenant Break Their Lease in Kansas?
Kansas tenantscan break leases.When the landlord still hasn’t repaired a required issue or corrected a breach of the rental agreement 30 days after proper written notice, the tenant can break the lease on the next rent payment day.
Tenants can also move out and break their lease immediately, when the property is destroyed or severely damaged by an action that wasn’t the tenant’s fault (for example, a hurricane). The tenant must notify the landlord of the move-out in writing within five days.
Can the Tenant Sue in Kansas?
Kansas tenantscan sue to force repairsor recover monetary damages, when the landlord doesn’t repair an issue in a timely manner.
Can the Tenant Report the Landlord in Kansas?
Kansas tenantscan report landlordsfor code violations that affect health or safety. Tenants should usually report to the local inspections or code enforcement department. If an inspecting officer finds a violation, the tenant could cancel the rental agreement, or sue to force repairs.
It’s illegal for Kansas landlords to retaliate withraised rent,reduced services,orthreatened evictionagainst tenants who have taken one of the following protected actions:
Complaining to the government about health and safety issues on the property.
Asking the landlord to do repairs required by statutory law.
Participating in tenant organizations.
The law allows an exception when the landlord can prove a non-retaliatory, good-faith reason for the alleged retaliatory action. For example, a landlord who raises rent proportionately in response to a large increase in property tax is not retaliating, even if a tenant has recently complained about maintenance.
“…if there is a material noncompliance by the landlord with the rental agreement or a noncompliance with K.S.A. 58-2553 materially affecting health and safety, the tenant may deliver a written notice to the landlord specifying the acts and omissions constituting the breach and that the rental agreement will terminate upon a periodic rent-paying date not less than thirty (30) days after receipt of the notice. The rental agreement shall terminate as provided in the notice, [unless]… the landlord adequately initiates a good faith effort to remedy the breach within fourteen (14) days after receipt of the notice… However, in the event that the same or a similar breach occurs after the fourteen-day period provided herein, the tenant may deliver a written notice to the landlord [following the same requirements, and]… the rental agreement then shall terminate as provided in such notice.”
“Except when prevented by an act of God, the failure of public utility services or other conditions beyond the landlord’s control, the landlord shall: (1) Comply with the requirements of applicable building and housing codes materially affecting health and safety… (2) exercise reasonable care in the maintenance of the common areas; (3) maintain in good and safe working order and condition all electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating and air-conditioning appliances including elevators, supplied or required to be supplied by such landlord; (4) except where provided by a governmental entity, provide and maintain on the grounds, for the common use by all tenants, appropriate receptacles and conveniences for the removal of ashes, garbage, rubbish and other waste incidental to the occupancy of the dwelling unit and arrange for their removal; and (5) supply running water and reasonable amounts of hot water at all times and reasonable heat…”
“(a) Every single-family residence shall have at least one smoke detector on every story of the dwelling unit.
“(b) Every structure which: (1) Contains more than one dwelling unit; or (2) contains at least one dwelling unit and is a mixed-use structure, shall contain at least one smoke detector at the uppermost ceiling of each interior stairwell and on every story in each dwelling unit.
“(c) The owner of a structure shall supply and install all required smoke detectors. The owner of a structure shall test and maintain all smoke detectors, except inside rental units, the occupant shall test and maintain all smoke detectors after taking possession of the dwelling unit.”
“…[I]f there is a material noncompliance by the tenant with the rental agreement or a noncompliance… materially affecting health and safety, the landlord may deliver a written notice to the tenant specifying the acts and omissions constituting the breach and that the rental agreement will terminate upon a date not less than 30 days after receipt of the notice, if the breach is not remedied in 14 days… except… [if] the tenant adequately initiates a good faith effort to remedy the breach prior to the date specified… However, in the event that such breach or a similar breach occurs after the 14-day period provided in this subsection, the landlord may deliver a written notice to the tenant that the rental agreement will terminate upon a date not less than 30 days after receipt of the notice without providing the opportunity to remedy the breach.”
“The landlord and tenants of a dwelling unit or units which provide a home, residence or sleeping place for not to exceed four households having common areas may agree in writing that the tenant is to perform the landlord’s duties specified in paragraphs (4) and (5) of subsection (a) of this section [garbage, heating, hot water] and also specified repairs, maintenance tasks, alterations or remodeling, but only if the transaction is entered into in good faith and not for the purpose of evading the obligations of the landlord.”
“(c) The landlord and tenant of any dwelling unit, other than a single family residence, may a6ree that the tenant is to perform specified repairs, maintenance tasks, alterations or remodeling only if: (1) The agreement of the parties is entered into in good faith, and not to evade the obligations of the landlord, and is set forth in a separate written agreement signed by the parties and supported by adequate consideration; (2) the work is not necessary to cure noncompliance with subsection (a)(1) of this section; and (3) the agreement does not diminish or affect the obligation of the landlord to other tenants in the premises.
“(d) The landlord may not treat performance of the separate agreement described in subsection (c) of this section as a condition to any obligation or the performance of any rental agreement.”
“If the dwelling unit or premises are damaged or destroyed by fire or casualty to an extent that the use and habitability of the dwelling unit is substantially impaired, the tenant: (1) May vacate the premises immediately and shall notify the landlord in writing within five (5) days thereafter of such tenant’s intention to terminate the rental agreement, in which case the rental agreement terminates as of the date of vacating; or (2) if continued occupancy is lawful, may vacate any part of the dwelling unit rendered unusable by the fire or casualty, in which case the tenant’s liability for rent is reduced in proportion to the diminution in the fair rental value of the dwelling unit.”
“Except as otherwise provided in this act, the tenant may recover damages and obtain injunctive relief for any noncompliance by the landlord with the rental agreement or K.S.A. 58-2553. The remedy provided in this subsection shall be in addition to any right of the tenant arising under subsection (a) of this section.”
“Except as otherwise provided in this section, a landlord may not retaliate by increasing rent or decreasing services after: (1) The tenant has complained to a governmental agency, charged with responsibility for enforcement of a building or housing code, of a violation applicable to the premises materially affecting health and safety; or (2) the tenant has complained to the landlord of a violation under K.S.A. 58-2553 [statutory duties of landlord]; or (3) the tenant has organized or become a member of a tenants’ union or similar organization… If the landlord [retaliates]… the tenant is entitled to the remedies provided in K.S.A. 58-2563 [recover possession or terminate agreement, and recover punitive damages] and has a defense in an action against such tenant for possession.”
“[T]he landlord may increase the rent of a tenant… if such rent increase does not conflict with a lease agreement in effect and is made in good faith to compensate the landlord for expenses incurred as a result of acts of God, public utility service rate increases, property tax increases or other increases in costs of operations… [and] may bring an action for possession if: (1) The violation of the applicable building or housing code was caused primarily by lack of reasonable care by the tenant… (2) the tenant is in default in rent; or (3) compliance with the applicable building or housing code requires alteration, remodeling or demolition which would effectively deprive the tenant of use of the dwelling unit. The maintenance of an action under this subsection does not release the landlord from liability under subsection (b) of K.S.A. 58-2559 [tenant may sue or terminate for noncompliance].”