Responsibilities for Appliances

QUICK FACTS
  • Responsibility for Providing. Some states require all landlords to provide kitchen and laundry appliances, some don’t, and some only require kitchen appliances. (read more).
  • Responsibility for Repairing. If appliances are provided, it’s generally the landlord’s responsibility to keep it in working condition.
  • Time to Repair. If it’s the landlord’s responsibility, some states specify a time frame to repair (usually ~14 days from request), while others aren’t specific beyond a “reasonable” time period (read more).
  • Tenant’s Options. If repairs aren’t made in a timely manner, depending on the state, tenants may have multiple options for recourse, such as withholding rent or terminating the lease (read more).

Each state has its own rules on what needs to be provided for living conditions in rentals to be deemed “acceptable”, known as the Implied Warranty of Habitability. Below is a breakdown of those laws as it relates to providing appliances.

Landlord Responsibilities

The following chart lists which states require landlords to provide appliances, and which appliances they’re required to provide.

Note: the below table only addresses state laws. Always check with county or city housing codes for additional requirements.

State Kitchen Appliances Required? Washer/Dryer Required?
Alabama No No
Alaska Stove/oven Not addressed
Arizona No No
Arkansas No No
California No No
Colorado Yes No
Connecticut Yes (if required) Yes
Delaware No No
Florida No No
Georgia No No
Hawaii No No
Idaho Not addressed Not addressed
Illinois Not addressed Not addressed
Indiana Yes Yes (if required)
Iowa Yes Yes (if required)
Kansas No No
Kentucky Not addressed Not addressed
Louisiana Not addressed Not addressed
Maine Not addressed Not addressed
Maryland Not addressed Not addressed
Massachusetts Yes No
Michigan Not addressed Not addressed
Minnesota Not addressed Not addressed
Mississippi Not addressed Not addressed
Missouri Not addressed Not addressed
Montana Yes (if required) Not addressed
Nebraska Yes (if required) Not addressed
Nevada Not addressed Not addressed
New Hampshire Yes (if required) Not addressed
New Jersey Multi-family Not addressed
New Mexico No No
New York No No
North Carolina Yes (if required) Yes (if required)
North Dakota Yes (if required) Yes (if required)
Ohio No No
Oklahoma No No
Oregon No No
Pennsylvania Not addressed Not addressed
Rhode Island No No
South Carolina No No
South Dakota Not addressed Not addressed
Tennessee No No
Texas Not addressed Not addressed
Utah Not addressed Not addressed
Vermont No No
Virginia No No
Washington No No
West Virginia Not addressed Not addressed
Wisconsin Not addressed Not addressed
Wyoming Not addressed Not addressed
Washington, D.C. No No

Only a handful of states require landlords to provide stoves, ovens, or refrigerators:

  • Alaska (stove/oven only)
  • Colorado
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Massachusetts
  • New Jersey (multi-family units only)

“If Required”

Other state laws indicate that landlords must provide theses appliances “if required,” which typically refers to local requirements specific to a municipality or county, or if it’s written into the lease as one of the things the landlord will provide for tenants.

“Not Addressed/No”

The remaining states don’t address whether landlords are required to provide appliances at the state level. However, the landlords may still choose to provide appliances in the unit even when not required.

Making Repairs

Generally speaking, if the landlord provides appliances as part of the amenities in their rental property, it’s their responsibility to repair it and pay the costs involved. This also includes landlords not required by law to provide them but did so by choice.

Making the Repair Request

In every state (except Arkansas, which doesn’t require landlords to provide any service or repair any item), tenants are required to notify their landlord if there is an item that needs to be repaired.

Depending on the state, this can be done orally or in writing. However, most states only allow for requests to be made in writing. The below table shows which types of repair requests are legally acceptable in each state.

State How Repair Request Can Be Made
In writing (only) Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota*, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wyoming*
Orally or in writing California, Hawaii, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, New York, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, West Virginia, Wisconsin, DC

* In Minnesota, tenants are only allowed to submit a written repair request to their landlord if there is no local housing/safety/health inspector they can report concerns to.

* In Wyoming, even if a tenant submits a repair request in writing, the landlord is not required to make the requested repair.  Instead, landlords have the option to terminate the lease if they choose not to make the repairs.

NOTE

Even if a state does not require it, it’s highly recommended to put all requests in writing in case there is a dispute about the need for the repair or the timing of the request.

Time to Repair

Below is a table for the time frame landlords have to make the repair, starting the day the request is received.

State How Long Landlord Has to Make Repairs
Alabama 2 weeks
Alaska 10 days
Arizona 5 days
Arkansas N/a
California Reasonable time period
Colorado 5 days
Connecticut 15 days
Delaware 15 days
Florida 20 days
Georgia Reasonable time period
Hawaii 3 to 12 days
Idaho 3 days
Illinois 14 days
Indiana Reasonable time period
Iowa 7 days
Kansas 14 days
Kentucky 14 days
Louisiana Reasonable time period
Maine 14 days
Maryland Reasonable time period
Massachusetts 14 days
Michigan 24 hours to a reasonable time period
Minnesota 14 days
Mississippi 30 days
Missouri 14 days
Montana 14 days
Nebraska 14 days
Nevada 14 days
New Hampshire 14 days
New Jersey Reasonable time period
New Mexico 7 days
New York Reasonable time period
North Carolina Reasonable time period
North Dakota Reasonable time period
Ohio Reasonable time period
Oklahoma 14 days
Oregon 7-30 days
Pennsylvania Reasonable time period
Rhode Island 20 days
South Carolina 14 days
South Dakota Reasonable time period
Tennessee Not specified
Texas Reasonable time period
Utah 3-10 days
Vermont 30 days
Virginia 21 days
Washington 24 hours to 10 days
West Virginia Not specified
Wisconsin Timeframe provided by the landlord
Wyoming Reasonable time period
Washington, D.C. Reasonable time period

Tenant’s Options if Repairs Aren’t Made

Tenants have multiple options here, depending on the state.  For example, a tenant can make the repair themselves (or hire someone to do it) and deduct the cost of repairs from their monthly rent. However, most states set a dollar limit on the amount that can be deducted from rent if using the repair and deduct method.

We include state-by-state remedies in the chart below.  Remember, this doesn’t include a landlord’s intentional or negligent failure to provide heat, which is covered in another section.

Some states only allow for one remedy, while others allow tenants to use several remedies together.

Tenant Remedy State
Withhold Rent California, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, South Dakota, Vermont
Move Out/ Terminate Lease Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Washington, D.C., Wisconsin
Contact Inspector Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Washington, Washington, D.C., West Virginia, Wisconsin
Pay Reduced Rent Louisiana, New Mexico, Wisconsin
Pursue Legal Action Arkansas, California, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Washington, D.C., West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming
Repair & Deduct From Rent Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Washington
NOTE

Renters in Texas and Wyoming are only allowed to pursue the remedies above if they have sent written notice of the items to be repaired to the landlord via certified mail.  Otherwise, they cannot pursue legal action (Wyoming and Texas), or terminate the lease and/or repair the item and deduct the cost from rent (Texas).