The landlord-tenant relationship is important for renters and property owners to understand. Both landlords and tenants should understand their responsibilities, as well as the responsibilities of the other party and what they can do if disputes arise.
Responsibilities of tenants
Tenants have certain responsibilities including:
- Compliance with the lease terms and the law and may be liable for negligence, abuse or willful acts;
- Refraining from unreasonably withholding access to the property from the property owner or agent for the purposes of making repairs or improvements;
- Responding to the owner concerning legally-required notices; and
- Paying their rent as required according to a lease or the landlord-tenant relationship.
Responsibilities of landlords
Landlords have certain responsibilities including:
- Ensuring that the building is safe, clean and well-maintained in the rented unit and common areas;
- Providing heat, hot and cold water and good lighting;
- Following required registration requirements for owners, including registering rents annually if the rent on the unit is rent-stabilized.
Landlords are also required to follow other requirements related to security deposits and repairs in the rental unit. If either the tenant or the landlord fails to meet their responsibilities, legal remedies may be available to assist including eviction options if the tenant fails to pay rent, refuses the landlord’s entry into the apartment or engages in illegal behavior in the rental unit as examples. It is essential for both landlords and tenants to be familiar with how landlord-tenant law protects them and can help them resolve landlord-tenant related disputes that may come up.