Do Landlords Have to Fix Laundry Machines?

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Washing and drying machines are usually considered "amenities" and landlords are in most states, landlords not required to make fixes to amenities unless the lease says it’s the landlord’s responsibility. However, some states require landlords to maintain any appliances provided with the apartment.

Amenities

Most states don’t require landlords to fix amenities unless they promised to do so in their lease. However, it is common for landlords to repair these amenities because the cost of finding new tenants to move into an apartment without working kitchen amenities is high and can exceed the cost of making the repairs. Some states (especially states with heavy tenant populations) may require landlords to fix any amenities that were provided when the tenant moved in. Alternatively, many tenants and landlords agree to a reduction in rent in exchange for an appliance that no longer functions.

Communal Laundry Facilities

A residential building may have laundry facilities outside of the unit that tenants may use. Generally, a landlord retains control over these facilities and must keep them in reasonably safe condition. A landlord may be liable for injuries suffered because of the item's disrepair and defects, or if the communal area is otherwise dangerous. Landlords often specify in rental agreements that the tenant's permission to use these facilities is a license, which the landlord can revoke for any reason. However, some state statutes or local codes may define the rented premises (i.e., the apartment) to include any communal areas of the property. In those jurisdictions, the tenant and landlord should treat a broken laundry machine the same way they would if it was in the tenant’s apartment (see above) – an area where a landlord cannot deny access except for health or safety reasons.

Amenities


Most states don’t require landlords to fix amenities unless they promised to do so in their lease. However, it is common for landlords to repair these amenities because the cost of finding new tenants to move into an apartment without working kitchen amenities is high and can exceed the cost of making the repairs. Some states (especially states with heavy tenant populations) may require landlords to fix any amenities that were provided when the tenant moved in. Alternatively, many tenants and landlords agree to a reduction in rent in exchange for an appliance that no longer functions.

Communal Laundry Facilities


A residential building may have laundry facilities outside of the unit that tenants may use. Generally, a landlord retains control over these facilities and must keep them in reasonably safe condition. A landlord may be liable for injuries suffered because of the item's disrepair and defects, or if the communal area is otherwise dangerous.

Landlords often specify in rental agreements that the tenant's permission to use these facilities is a license, which the landlord can revoke for any reason. However, some state statutes or local codes may define the rented premises (i.e., the apartment) to include any communal areas of the property. In those jurisdictions, the tenant and landlord should treat a broken laundry machine the same way they would if it was in the tenant’s apartment (see above) – an area where a landlord cannot deny access except for health or safety reasons.

Last Update : July 22, 2018 UTC

Comments discussing Washer/Dryer

over 1 year ago
1
votes

Is it discrimination if you live in apartment building that has a laundry room and the landlord only lets the tenants he chooses use the laundry room and the tenants that can't never even had an opportunity . PLEASE HELP PLEASE ANSWER SOMEONE
Renter in Philadelphia, PA, USA
Washer/Dryer
almost 2 years ago
2
votes

My landlord refuses to fix the broken washer. I told him it's his responsibility and he says it's not. What can I do now?
Renter in Austin, TX, USA
Washer/Dryer