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.

StateKitchen Appliances Required?Washer/Dryer Required?
AlabamaNoNo
AlaskaStove/ovenNot addressed
ArizonaNoNo
ArkansasNoNo
CaliforniaNoNo
ColoradoYesNo
ConnecticutYes (if required)Yes
DelawareNoNo
FloridaNoNo
GeorgiaNoNo
HawaiiNoNo
IdahoNot addressedNot addressed
IllinoisNot addressedNot addressed
IndianaYesYes (if required)
IowaYesYes (if required)
KansasNoNo
KentuckyNot addressedNot addressed
LouisianaNot addressedNot addressed
MaineNot addressedNot addressed
MarylandNot addressedNot addressed
MassachusettsYesNo
MichiganNot addressedNot addressed
MinnesotaNot addressedNot addressed
MississippiNot addressedNot addressed
MissouriNot addressedNot addressed
MontanaYes (if required)Not addressed
NebraskaYes (if required)Not addressed
NevadaNot addressedNot addressed
New HampshireYes (if required)Not addressed
New JerseyMulti-familyNot addressed
New MexicoNoNo
New YorkNoNo
North CarolinaYes (if required)Yes (if required)
North DakotaYes (if required)Yes (if required)
OhioNoNo
OklahomaNoNo
OregonNoNo
PennsylvaniaNot addressedNot addressed
Rhode IslandNoNo
South CarolinaNoNo
South DakotaNot addressedNot addressed
TennesseeNoNo
TexasNot addressedNot addressed
UtahNot addressedNot addressed
VermontNoNo
VirginiaNoNo
WashingtonNoNo
West VirginiaNot addressedNot addressed
WisconsinNot addressedNot addressed
WyomingNot addressedNot addressed
Washington, D.C.NoNo

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.

StateHow 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 writingCalifornia, 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.

StateHow Long Landlord Has to Make Repairs
Alabama2 weeks
Alaska10 days
Arizona5 days
ArkansasN/a
CaliforniaReasonable time period
Colorado5 days
Connecticut15 days
Delaware15 days
Florida20 days
GeorgiaReasonable time period
Hawaii3 to 12 days
Idaho3 days
Illinois14 days
IndianaReasonable time period
Iowa7 days
Kansas14 days
Kentucky14 days
LouisianaReasonable time period
Maine14 days
MarylandReasonable time period
Massachusetts14 days
Michigan24 hours to a reasonable time period
Minnesota14 days
Mississippi30 days
Missouri14 days
Montana14 days
Nebraska14 days
Nevada14 days
New Hampshire14 days
New JerseyReasonable time period
New Mexico7 days
New YorkReasonable time period
North CarolinaReasonable time period
North DakotaReasonable time period
OhioReasonable time period
Oklahoma14 days
Oregon7-30 days
PennsylvaniaReasonable time period
Rhode Island20 days
South Carolina14 days
South DakotaReasonable time period
TennesseeNot specified
TexasReasonable time period
Utah3-10 days
Vermont30 days
Virginia21 days
Washington24 hours to 10 days
West VirginiaNot specified
WisconsinTimeframe provided by the landlord
WyomingReasonable 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 RemedyState
Withhold RentCalifornia, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, South Dakota, Vermont
Move Out/ Terminate LeaseAlabama, 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 InspectorNebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Washington, Washington, D.C., West Virginia, Wisconsin
Pay Reduced RentLouisiana, New Mexico, Wisconsin
Pursue Legal ActionArkansas, 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 RentArizona, 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).