Who is Responsible for Plumbing Repairs in a Rental Property?

Last Updated: September 12, 2023 by Roberto Valenzuela

Landlords generally are required to fix any substantial plumbing issues that the tenant didn’t cause. Almost every state makes a landlord maintain plumbing, including hot water.

Where the law mentions specific rules for plumbing, it generally has to be kept in “good and safe working order.” This is the standard in states incorporating or inspired by the Uniform Residential Landlord-Tenant Act (URLTA), like Arizona or South Carolina. Otherwise, the standard is to keep plumbing in a condition that doesn’t threaten basic health and safety.

Comprehensive plumbing requirements are often in local laws rather than state laws.

Consequences for Failure To Fix Plumbing

Landlord failure to fix required plumbing is one of the most serious types of housing violation. State laws vary widely, but if a landlord doesn’t provide plumbing after proper notice from the tenant, a tenant can often stop rent payments or move to alternative accommodation.

The following remedies often are also available:

It’s sometimes also legal for a tenant to contract for repairs and deduct from the rent, but the deductible amount often is too low to cover costs.