Kansas Renter’s Rights for Repairs

Kansas Renter’s Rights for Repairs

Last Updated: April 28, 2023

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:

  • Plumbing.
  • Heating.
  • Hot running water.
  • Garbage removal (where not provided by the government).
  • Common areas.
  • Supplied appliances.
  • 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.

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What Repairs Are Tenants Responsible for in Kansas?

Kansas tenants must repair damage 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 by sending 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 have 14 days to begin good-faith repairs after getting a written request.

Can the Landlord Refuse To Make Repairs in Kansas?

Kansas landlords cannot refuse to make repairs that 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 are not required to pay for alternative accommodation while 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 can cancel the rental agreement if the landlord doesn’t make timely repairs. They can also sue for damages or get 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 tenants can’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 tenants can 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 tenants can sue to force repairs or recover monetary damages, when the landlord doesn’t repair an issue in a timely manner.

Can the Tenant Report the Landlord in Kansas?

Kansas tenants can report landlords for 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.

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Landlord Retaliation in Kansas

It’s illegal for Kansas landlords to retaliate with raised rent, reduced services, or threatened eviction against 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.

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