LANDLORD’S AND TENANT’S RESPONSIBILITIES 1
Landlord’s and Tenant’s Responsibilities
Property law provides the rights and responsibilities of owners andusers of various establishments. It governs the activities ofproprietors and tenants. The law protects occupants from exploitationfrom the property owners. It also outlines their obligations to curbany motives that can damage property. The law also ensures thatinvestors benefit from their buildings by collecting the agreed rentand protection from extortionists. In spite of the clear guidelines,there are occasional legal battles between inhabitants and landlordson various contravened matters (Glendon, 1981).
Rodger, a tenant, and Larry, the landlord are at loggerhead in asimilar tussle. Roger entered into an agreement with Larry in thebelief that all the information given by Larry concerning hisapartment was correct. However, during the onset of heavy rains, thehouse began to leak. Rodger informed Larry of the problem, but he didnot solve it promptly. Rodger’s furniture, clothes, and othervaluable objects were damaged in the ordeal. Understanding the legalmandate of each party is instrumental in mediating the statementensuing between the two parties.
The Landlord-tenant regulation is part of the common law. The facetsof the law are enshrined in the Uniform Residential Landlord andTenant Act enacted in 1972 by the Conference of Commissioners onUniform state laws (Lipton, 2004). According to the dictum, theproperty owners have the duty of providing the space for lease.Lipton (2004) provides that, the rationale for bestowing thisauthority is that the proprietor has more resources that the otherparty. It also protects them from wrongful handovers of theirpremises by tenants. They hold the sole liberty of letting houses.
Secondly, the Act requires proprietors to allow tenants right toenjoy the leased houses as per the covenant. He/she cannot forciblyenter into a leased apartment without the consent of the occupantunless during a state of emergency (Lipton, 2004). Besides, the lawholds investors under the implied warranty of habitability. They mustprovide safe, decent houses that are devoid of defects that caninterfere with the daily lives of the tenants.
Section 1929 and 1941 of the civil code defines an occupation fitfor occupancy as having effective waterproof roof and walls,electrical lighting, vermin proof, conforming locks and adequategarbage collection services (Lipton, 2004). The regulation alsoencompasses making the necessary repairs. Under severe circumstances,the tenants can cancel their leases to protect their property orhealth from the unfavorable living conditions.
Conversely, the tenant has the obligation of preserving the premisesthat they inhabit. The contract that the parties ratify covers forminimal repairs in the premises. It equates to inhabitants refrainingfrom activities that can result in massive damages (Lipton, 2004).The contract may also require the tenant to forfeit part of theirdeposits to cater for the repairs.
In addition, the Act holds the occupants responsible for using thepremises for the activity for which the premise was leased. Moreimportantly, the lessee has an ultimate duty of paying the agreedrent at the resolved intervals (Kendrick & Kendrick, 2015).Failure to fulfill the duty may drive the owner to use legal foreviction. In certain instances of insidious breach of the contract bythe leaser, the law may exempt the renter from paying the lease fee.
The question looms of whether each party is responsible for meetingthe cost because of their direct actions. It is clear that Rodgerinformed Larry of the minor leak at the onset of the rains. He gaveother two consecutive notices without taking any corrective action.The property owner and tenant Act holds the proprietor responsiblefor making minor repairs in the premises. According to Kendrick &Kendrick (2015), most of the repairs are done without requiring thetenant to vacate. They also attract a small cost that is paid by theowner.
Section 1942.5 of the civil code prohibits landlords from collectingrents from a premise that is in substantial breach of the impliedwarranty of safe habitation (Lipton, 2004). The tenant can subjectthe estate owner to legal penalties. Larry’s reluctance to seal theleaking roof results in the damage of Rodgers household items. Rodgerhas evidence of having informed Larry since he did orally and inwriting.
Furthermore, Larry confessed that at times the house leaks due tohigh rainfall. His information is contrary to the initial descriptionof the house that he gave during the signing of the contract. Larryis guilty of lack of utmost good faith that resulted in the loss ofproperty. Rodger can also report Larry to the Department of Licensesand Inspection on the violation of sanitary regulations without thefear of retaliatory action. In Edwards v. Habib (1968), the CircuitCourt ruled that an occupant could not be forcefully evicted from anapartment after revealing the shortcomings of the landlord (Lipton,2004).
Also, Rodgers furious action that led him to break an electricalsocket is not justified. According to the Act, tenants are notobligated to pay for damages resulting from wear and tear of thehouses and items. However, they have to foot expenses for deliberateand accidental action that leads to destruction other than the normalabrasion (Lipton, 2004).
Rodger can either pay for the repairs of his property and withholdhis rent or compel Larry to pay for cater for the damages. Accordingto Glendon (1981), the Landlord-Tenant Act requires the owner to makethe dwelling place safe and habitable. The leaking roof contravenedthis requirement. The failure to heed to the notice execrated theproblem. Consequently, Larry is liable for the loss incurred by thetenant.
The decree provides that inhabitants have to protect apartments frompreventable damage. The proprietor can cater for expendituresextended towards such functions and deduct the amount form thesecurity deposits. Alternatively, he can send bills alongside themonthly bills (Glendon, 1981). Consequently, Rodger is responsiblefor mitigating the costs. His claim that he broke the socket due toLarry’s arrogance is rather weak and cannot be directly attributedto the landlord. His quick temper and inconsiderate action cannot beadmissible to shift the blame to his Larry.
In conclusion, both the tenant and real estate owners have variousobligations as outlined in the Landlord-Tenant act that was enactedin 1972. It is the duty of the apartment owner to provide the spaceand make it habitable for occupation. Also, he/she provides thenecessary support services as agreed in the contract. Conversely, theAct requires the tenant to pay regular premiums as provided for inthe contract. Besides, they have to protect residential areas fromintentional abrasions. Larry failed to make his apartments habitable,and he is, therefore, liable to pay Rodger. Rodger must also pay forthe damaged socket.
Glendon, M. A. (1981). Tranformation of AmericanLandlord-Tenant Law, The. BCL Rev.,23, 503.
Kendrick, H. S., & Kendrick Jr, J. J. (2015).Residential Leases(Vol. 19). Texas Transaction Guide–Legal Forms.
Lipton, J. (2004). Information Property: Rightsand Responsibilities. Fla. L. Rev.,56, 135.