Rental Property Repairs - Who is responsible for maintainance?

3 minutes

Whose job and responsibility is it to fix certain items in a rental property?ย The tenant or the landlord?ย These kinds of rules are usually set at the city or state (province) level, and here is one example of how the duties are divided.

Whose responsibilities are property repairs?

So you're the owner of a property and you've got it rented out to a tenant and he or she calls you at 4:00 in the morning and advises you that the furnace is quit. Middle of winter. The answer seems kind of obvious. You as the owner, would be responsible for making sure there's heat in the place.

Then a couple of weeks later, the tenant calls you and says the faucet is dripping. Is that your responsibility? What about the next time they call and the light bulbs are burnt out again? Whose responsibility is it? So for these answers, I turned to my good friend and property management expert Garrett Wang from Upper Edge Property Management, who has a very clear way of putting it.

He basically categorized the items that needed to be repaired and fixed into two categories. And the first one would be the fixed assets that stay and remain with the house. These are things that you, the landlord, own. So, for example, the appliances, the faucets, the furnace, hot water tank, the windows, the electrical, things like that. Anything goes wrong with those things. It's your responsibility to fix it.

And the second set of items is what he called the consumables. Now, these would be things like light bulbs, fuses if your electricity is run through a fuse box, as well as furnace filters, air filters, those kind of things, things that are expected to be used up and burned out in regular everyday use. Those would be the responsibility of the tenant. Please keep in mind that these types of rules and laws are often set at a state or provincial level, sometimes even at a city level. So they might be different in every jurisdiction. So be sure to check in your area, but this certainly seems like reasonable advice.

So if you're a property owner and you get tired of doing this kind of stuff yourself, or perhaps you're growing, you're growing beyond one or two properties, give me a shout. I'll put you in touch with Garrett. And he will certainly love to look after you. He does an excellent job in doing so. And if you're looking to buy a rental property in Winnipeg, be it a house or a condo. Give me a shout anytime as Bo Kauffmann RE/MAX performance realty here in Winnipeg. My direct cell is 204-333-2202. Or email me at

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