Kentucky Landlord Responsibilities for Habitability

Kentucky Landlord Responsibilities for Habitability

Last Updated: April 29, 2023

Some parts of Kentucky legally require landlords to meet certain “habitability” requirements for all rental properties. This means that they’re responsible for providing a property that meets specific health and safety standards and for fixing issues that violate them.


In many of Kentucky’s jurisdictions, there is no warranty of habitability for rentals, and the landlord’s only responsibility to the tenant is to keep the terms of the lease. This article applies only to places which have passed Kentucky’s Uniform Residential Landlord-Tenant Act.

Kentucky Implied Warranty of Habitability

In Kentucky, the statutory implied warranty of habitability under the Uniform Residential Landlord-Tenant Act means that a landlord must keep a rental property safe and habitable. “Implied” means the requirement applies whether or not the lease agreement specifically says so and even if the lease tries to waive the obligation.

Examples of clear habitability violations include:

  • Exposed electrical wiring.
  • A pipe leaking human waste.
  • A broken front doorknob that won’t lock.

However, the implied warranty of habitability does not guarantee that anything at the property will be pretty, clean, new or issue-free, so it doesn’t cover things like stained carpet or dents in a wall. It only guarantees basic health and safety.

Landlord Responsibilities in Kentucky

Note: Check city/county laws and ordinances for specific local requirements.

Item Has To Provide? Has To Fix / Replace?
Air Conditioning / Heating Only Heating (Oct. 1-May 1) Only If Provided
Hot Water Yes Yes
Kitchen Appliances No Only If Provided
Washer & Dryer No Only If Provided
Smoke/CO Detectors Yes Yes
Window Coverings No No
Light Fixtures No Only If Provided
Landscaping No No
Garbage Removal No No
Garbage Pickup No No
Mold N/A Yes
Pest Control No N/A
Pest Infestations N/A Yes
Water Leaks N/A Sometimes
Clogs N/A Sometimes

Landlord Responsibilities for Heating & Air Conditioning in Kentucky

Kentucky landlords must provide heating for rental properties between October 1 and May 1 of each year. They don’t have to provide air conditioning, but they do have to keep air conditioning in good working order if it’s provided.

Are Landlords Required to Provide Air Filter Replacements in Kentucky?

Kentucky landlords don’t have to replace things like air filters, unless provided heating or ventilating equipment won’t work otherwise.

Landlord Responsibilities for Plumbing in Kentucky

Kentucky landlords must keep plumbing in good working condition.

Are Landlords Required To Provide Hot Water in Kentucky?

Kentucky landlords must provide and maintain running heated water for rental properties.

Are Landlords Responsible for Fixing Clogged Drains & Toilets in Kentucky?

Kentucky landlords must fix clogs the renter didn’t cause which keep the plumbing from being in good working condition.

Are Landlords in Kentucky Responsible for Fixing Leaks?

Kentucky landlords must fix leaks the renter didn’t cause which keep the plumbing from being in good working condition.

Landlord Responsibilities for Kitchen Appliances in Kentucky

Kentucky landlords don’t have to provide kitchen appliances such as a dishwasher, stove, oven, microwave, or refrigerator. If provided, however, they’re the landlord’s responsibility to maintain.

Landlord Responsibilities for Electrical Issues in Kentucky

A landlord in Kentucky is responsible for keeping all electrical facilities in good and safe working order.

Are Landlords Responsible for Replacing Light Bulbs in Kentucky?

Kentucky landlords must keep light bulbs in good working order for provided appliances. They are not otherwise responsible for providing light bulbs or particular light fixtures.

Landlord Responsibilities for Garbage Removal in Kentucky

Kentucky landlords have no specific responsibilities to provide containers for garbage removal or to arrange for garbage service. The tenant is legally responsible for ensuring proper disposal of garbage from the property.

Landlord Responsibilities for Landscaping in Kentucky

Kentucky landlords have no specific obligation to provide landscaping or maintain it with actions like cutting grass. They only have to deal with issues like fallen trees if they interfere with the cleanliness of common areas, violate local codes, or create a hazard to health and safety.

Landlord Responsibilities Regarding Mold in Kentucky

Kentucky landlords are responsible for most mold issues. While there’s no state requirement for testing, landlords must investigate and fix mold problems since they threaten health and safety. The renter may be responsible for fixing an issue that’s due to lack of personal cleanliness.

Landlord Responsibilities Regarding Pests in Kentucky

Kentucky landlords are responsible for fixing pest issues the renter didn’t cause, including rats, roaches, mice, bed bugs, and ants.

Landlord Responsibilities for Windows & Window Coverings in Kentucky

Kentucky landlords have no specific responsibility to provide windows and window screens or maintain them, except what’s required for basic safety and habitability (like repairing broken windows).

Landlord Responsibilities Regarding Safety Devices in Kentucky

Kentucky landlords are responsible for providing working smoke alarms and required carbon monoxide detectors, and are also responsible for maintaining them to proper testable standards.

Are Landlords Responsible for Replacing Batteries of Safety Devices in Kentucky?

Kentucky landlords are legally responsible for making sure safety devices can pass required testing, including battery replacement if necessary.

Landlord Responsibilities for Washers and Dryers in Kentucky

Kentucky landlords are not required to furnish their rental properties with a working washer and dryer. However, if they are provided, the landlord is responsible for fixing them if they stop working properly.

Renter’s Rights for Repairs in Kentucky

Kentucky renters have the right to repairs for issues that affect health and safety, unless they caused the issue themselves. To exercise their right, the renter must start by notifying the landlord of the issue in writing. The landlord gets 14 days after receiving written notice to remedy the issue.

If the issue isn’t fixed, the renter can end the rental agreement, or ask a court to order repairs or compensation. The renter is potentially allowed to repair and deduct, but isn’t allowed to withhold rent.

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