In Kansas, a landlord’s obligation for providing a habitable living space is primarily governed by KS Stat. §58-2553. This legal requirement, commonly known as the “implied warranty of habitability”, also outlines the rights of tenants when repairs are not made in a timely manner.
Applicable Dwelling Types in Kansas
The implied warranty of habitability in Kansas does not apply to all types of dwellings. See the table below for which are and aren’t included.
|Dwelling Type||Landlord/Tenant Laws Apply?|
|RV parks||Not specifically addressed|
|Mobile home parks||Only if mobile home is rented, not owned, by tenant|
|Condos||Only if person in condo is renter|
Mobile home parks have their own special rules and will not be covered under this article.
Landlord Responsibilities in Kansas
The following chart lists possible landlord responsibilities when it comes to habitability. Not all of them are requirements in Kansas, as indicated below.
Note: Some of the below items may not be addressed at the state level but may be addressed on a county or city level. Check your local housing codes to see which additional requirements may apply.
|Habitability Issue||Landlord Responsibility?|
|Provide windows and doors that are in good repair.||Not addressed|
|Ensure the roof, walls, etc., are completely waterproofed and there are no leaks.||Not addressed|
|Provide hot and cold running water.||Yes|
|Provide working HVAC equipment.||Yes|
|Provide working plumbing and electrical wiring/outlets/ lighting.||Yes|
|Provide working gas lines if used for utilities/cooking||Not addressed|
|Provide working sanitation facilities (bathtub/shower, toilet).||Yes|
|Provide a trash can (for trash pickup services).||Yes|
|Ensure that any stairs and railings are safe.||Not addressed|
|Ensure that all floors are in good condition and safe.||Not addressed|
|Provide fire exits that are usable, safe, and clean.||Not addressed|
|Ensure storage areas, including garages and basements, do not house combustible materials.||Not addressed|
|Provide working smoke detectors||Not addressed|
|Provide a mailbox.||No|
|Provide working wiring for one telephone jack.||Not addressed|
|Provide working kitchen appliances.||Not required, but must work if provided|
|Provide working carbon monoxide detector.||Not addressed|
|Provide a working washer/dryer.||Not required, but must work if provided|
Landlords must provide reasonable care in the maintenance of all common areas (i.e., hallways, parking lots, etc.).
Tenant’s Right to Repairs in Kansas
If tenants request repairs, they must put their request in writing.
- Sending Notice – The letter must indicate all the repairs that are needed and a reasonable deadline for the repairs to be completed. The landlord will then have 14 days to make any necessary repairs after receiving written notice.
- Landlord Access – Tenants are required to give the landlord access to the property to make necessary repairs. Landlords should only enter at reasonable hours and should give tenants “reasonable” notice unless it’s an emergency.
Tenant’s Options if Repairs Aren’t Made in Kansas
If repairs aren’t made in a timely manner, the tenant has a few possible options for resolving the issue.
- Withhold Rent – Kansas landlord tenant law does not outright state that a tenant has the ability to withhold rent in response to habitability issues.
- Repair and Deduct – Tenants do not have the right to repair the issue themselves or deduct a reasonable amount for the repair from the following month’s rent. The tenant must wait for the landlord’s response.
- Lawsuit – Tenants do have the right to take legal action for damages resulting from habitability issues. Tenants can go to Small Claims court or higher to get a decision regarding compensation for actual losses. Actual losses include repair bills, costs to stay somewhere else while repairs are being made, damage to furniture or other belongings due to the landlord’s negligence, medical bills, utility bills which were high because the landlord had to use electricity or gas to correct something that was the landlord’s responsibility, and so on.
- Reporting to Public Officials – Landlords can be reported to a governmental agency charged with responsibility for enforcement of a building or housing code of a violation.
Landlord Retaliation in Kansas
Landlords cannot threaten or otherwise retaliate against a tenant for standing up for their rights. It is illegal to increase rent, decrease services, or refuse to renew a rental agreement after any of the following:
- Complaining to a governmental agency responsible for enforcing a building or housing code of a violation materially affecting health and safety.
- Complaining to the landlord of a violation under K.S.A. 58-25,111.
- Organizing or becoming a member of a tenant’s union or similar organization.