Can My Landlord Charge Me For Repairs?

iEditorial Note: These blog posts represent the opinion of DoNotPay’s Writers, but each person’s situation and circumstances vary greatly. As a result, you should make sure to do your own independent research. Because everyone is unique, our self-help tools are never guaranteed to help with any specific situation. DoNotPay is not a law firm and is not licensed to practice law. DoNotPay provides a platform for legal information and self-help.

Can My Landlord Charge Me For Repairs?

, you may wonder, "Can my landlord charge me for repairs?" Fortunately, in most cases, your landlord is the one responsible for paying for repairs unless you caused the damage by acting unreasonably. If your landlord bills you for routine repairs, it's important to know how to respond.

DoNotPay can help you dispute repair bills and make sure that your security deposit is returned if your landlord tries to withhold it. Here's what you should know about being in a rented property.

What Repairs Are Landlords and Tenants Responsible For?

establish a division of responsibility for repairs and maintenance of the property. While some situations aren't always clear-cut, what each party is generally responsible for is discussed here.

TenantsTenants are responsible for any damage that they cause to the property and any day-to-day maintenance associated with living in a house or apartment. This can include mowing the lawn, Taking out the trash, Damage to furniture, Broken windows or screens, Holes in walls
LandlordsLandlords need to pay for upgrades and remodels as well as any regular wear and tear on the property. This includes a Faded carpet, Small scuffs or scratches on the flooring, Sun fading on curtains or blinds.

What to Do if Your Landlord Charges You for Repairs

Usually, if your landlord wants to , this will happen in the form of the landlord keeping your security deposit. If your landlord withholds your deposit for costs that you aren't responsible for, these are the steps you can take.

Take photos or videos before you leave.After you've finished cleaning but before you finish moving out, take photos or video to document the condition you're leaving the property in. This can help you prove your case if there's a dispute later on.
Ask for your deposit in writing.After you move out, your landlord has a limited amount of time to either return your deposit or send you an itemized list of the damages that justify keeping the deposit. The deadline varies by state.
Sue in small claims court.If your landlord doesn't respond to your written request, you'll need to escalate to a lawsuit. You'll normally be able to handle this type of dispute in small claims court, where you won't need to hire an attorney and filing fees are minimal.

If you don't receive this or you believe that you're being charged for repairs that aren't your responsibility, start by sending your landlord a letter by certified mail that includes the following pieces of information.

  1. The facts of the situation
  2. Your legal rights to have normal wear and tear covered and have your deposit returned
  3. How do you want your landlord to fix the situation
  4. The fact that you are willing to sue if necessary

When you go to court, you'll want to have the following:

  • Copies of all correspondence with your landlord, including your demand letter
  • A copy of your lease
  • Your photo or video documentation of the condition of the property
  • Receipts for your security deposit and cleaning fee, if any
  • A witness who can confirm that you kept your rental property in good condition

While this type of court case is usually resolved relatively quickly, the process can still be stressful.

Easily Resolve Your Dispute With DoNotPay

If you're experiencing a dispute with your landlord about your responsibility for repairs, DoNotPay can help. DoNotPay's fast, easy and successful Landlord Protection product can save you time, stress, and money by making sure you aren't billed for repairs you aren't responsible for. Landlord-tenant laws do not allow renters to be charged for normal wear and tear, so you have the right to dispute if you're billed for this.

DoNotPay is here to guide you through it and file your disputes on your behalf. Our Landlord Protection product can help you:

  1. Get back your security deposits
  2. Learn about your state's eviction laws and what protections apply in your case
  3. Resolve disputes regarding repairs with your landlord
  4. Resolve disputes with roommates by filing demand letters or going through small claims court
  5. Break your lease early

How to Resolve Repair Disputes Using DoNotPay

If you want to resolve a repair dispute but don't know where to start, DoNotPay has you covered in 4 easy steps:

  1. Search for and open the Landlord Protection product on DoNotPay.
  2. Select which issue applies to you.
  3. Answer a simple set of questions so our chatbot can collect the necessary information to create your demand letter.
  4. Choose whether you want DoNotPay to send the demand letter to your landlord or roommate on your behalf. If you already tried sending a demand letter and it didn't work, we can help you start the small claims court process.

And that's it! You should hear back from your landlord directly once your demands are sent.

What Else Can DoNotPay Do?

DoNotPay can help you with any of the issues you may deal with while renting a property, so you can easily:

If your landlord is charging you for unreasonable repairs, contact DoNotPay now.

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