In most states, landlords must repair or replaceany appliances supplied with rental property. However, in some states landlords only have a duty to fix things they legally have a duty to provide. In either case, when a landlord hasn’t provided the problem refrigerator, stove, or other specific appliance, there’s usually no duty to repair.
State laws often don’t cover individual appliance types, but many local city codes do have requirements.
States With Unusual Standards for Appliances
Only a few states have unusual standards for appliances. Most of the time, a landlord has a statewide duty to replace supplied appliances. In most other cases, a landlord has no duty at all. These are the states with more complex standards:
Landlords must maintain provided appliances, but only in counties which have passed Kentucky’s Uniform Residential Landlord-Tenant Act.
Landlords must maintain provided appliances, but they can pass this duty to the tenant by written agreement.
Landlords must maintain provided stoves and refrigerators unless they provide central food service.
Consequences for Failure To Repair or Fix Appliances
It’s usually no more than a minor violation if a landlord fails to fix required appliances. State laws vary widely, but if a landlord doesn’t perform needed repairs after proper notice from the tenant, the following remedies often are available:
“A landlord shall maintain in good and safe working order and condition all electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, air-conditioning, and other facilities and appliances, including elevators, supplied or required to be supplied by him.”
“If adopted [by cities or counties], these [Uniform Residential Landlord-Tenant Act] provisions shall be adopted in their entirety and without amendment. No other ordinance shall be enacted by a city, county or urban- county government which relates to the subjects.”
“A tenant who is a party to a rental agreement shall… maintain in good working order and condition any range, regrigerator [sic], washer, dryer, dishwasher, or other appliances supplied by the landlord and required to be maintained by the tenant under the terms and conditions of a written rental agreement.”
“Every dwelling unit shall have a space in which food may be prepared and/or cooked which shall be equipped with the following except where central food service is provided by the owner: A stove, or similar device for cooking food, and a refrigerator or similar device for the safe storage of food… provided that such stove, refrigerator and/or similar devices need not be installed when the occupant is expected to provide same on occupancy, and that sufficient space and adequate connections for the safe and efficient installation and operation of a stove, refrigerator and/or similar devices are provided.”