Most men and women look for basic amenities when they hunt for a home, and a refrigerator to preserve a stove on which to cook it truly is usually toward the top of residents’ list of demands. While it could be difficult for a landlord to lease a unit which does not have appliances, it is not prohibited. But if you lease a unit with operating utilities and they break, it is your landlord’s duty to fix or replace them, not yours.
State landlord-tenant laws determine the minimum requirements a rental property must fulfill to be considered legally habitable. Most states do not include working appliances in these list of requirements. In California, a rental property must be weatherproof, have natural lighting in every room, have adequate receptacles for garbage and flooring and stairways in good repair. Californian leases must also have working electricity, heat and a plumbing system which supplies and sanitarily disposes of hot and cold water.
Even though the legal definitions of habitability do not require your landlord to include appliances in your unit, even whether it is provided when you sign the lease and move in, it is usually the obligation of the landlord to keep them. Unless your lease specifically places maintenance duties as the duty of the renter, your landlord is bound to keep all parts of your unit, even appliances which are not required to be contained in a lease property. California law allows landlords to ignore repairs to items damaged by tenants, their guests or their pets, so implied maintenance only covers routine breakdowns and regular tear and wear.
Appliances Left By Previous Tenants
Sometimes landlords do not provide appliances in their leases, and choose to legally rent them out with no comforts and, after buying an appliance, a former tenant abandons it whenever they move out. In these instances, landlords provide notice in your rental that appliances are not provided. In this instance, it’s your duty to keep or replace a broken appliance. But when you move away, your state law may permit you to move the appliances together with you as your property because they aren’t a part of this lease property.
Having Repairs Produced
If an appliance which was provided as part of the property breaks down, you must inform your landlord, preferably in writing and in person, of this repair. Your landlord has a “reasonable amount” of time to attend to this repair under California law. If the landlord does not make repairs in a timely manner — the court usually gives the landlord a 30-day window on many repairs — tenants might choose to make the repair themselves together with the “repair and deduct” process. After providing written notification, then it is possible to hire a repairman to fix the appliance at a sensible rate, paying the bill yourself. When it comes time to pay rent, deduct the cost of the repair from your lease. Even though it is not a legal requirement, the California Department of Consumer Affairs recommends including a letter with your lease notifying your landlord of this deduction as well as providing proof of the expense, like a copy of the bill.