Jun 22, 2020
category: Law

Landlords are property owners who rent their houses or apartments, while tenants pay rent to live in the property. All landlords or tenants have the legal rights and obligations as indicated in the residential leases. These rights and responsibilities remain valid throughout the period of occupancy whether spelled out in the contracts or not. Furthermore, rental apartments require a regular maintenance of the functional aspects of the house the tenant lives in. Some of the operative elements include the heating, plumbing, and electricity. This paper will explore some of the legal rights and responsibilities of tenants and landlords based on the case study of Roger and Larry.

Each landlord or tenant has the legal rights and responsibilities to uphold during the entire period of house occupancy. Portman and Stewart (2015) argue that it is the responsibility of the tenant to pay rent on time. The rent, paid pay to the landlord, is stipulated at the beginning of one’s tenancy. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the tenant to pay rent on the date, stipulated in the residential lease. In most cases, rent is paid on a monthly basis. In addition, the tenant has the legal obligation of keeping the rental spaces clean and tidy at all times. The responsibility extends to ensuring that there is no damage to any part of the house. The general rules for renting stipulate that the tenant must keep the terms of the tenancy agreement while respecting the peace of neighbors. On the other hand, the landlord is required by law to maintain the tenant’s privacy and adhere to the entry requirements as set in the residential lease. In addition, it is the obligation of the landlord to carry out repairs and maintenance of the rental apartment. Therefore, in the event of flooding, leaking, or clogging of pipes, thelandlord should take action to fix all the problems. Furthermore, the owner should meet all the safety and health requirements as required by state laws.

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Both the tenant and the landlord have the legal duty to mitigate the damages of the rental house. For instance, the landlord has the legal obligation of repairing a leaking roof. The advance follows the fact that the landlord-tenant law requires the owner to meet the maintenance cost of the house as long as the tenant pays rent. The negligence on the part of the owner on fixing the roof, as reported by the tenant, caused damage to critical home appliances such as furniture, clothing, and the precious gifts from the family members. Consequently, the landlord should assume the legal responsibility of meeting the costs for the damaged roof and home appliances (McCloskey & Cantrell, 2015). Similarly, the tenant should meet the costs of repairing the damaged drywall and the broken electrical socket. Although it is common for a person to get angry after losing precious items, the tenant has no genuine reason for causing more damage to the living space. Furthermore, it is the legal duty for the household tenant to meet costs for all damages during the period of the tenancy.

As described in the case study, after the damage to the drywall and the damaged electrical socket, Larry has no legal backing to evict Roger. Instead, Larry should meet the costs of repairing the broken roof. The laws make it clear that a landlord can only evict a tenant under several circumstances. According to McQueen (2010), the landlord has the legal ground for evicting the tenant in the case of violation of lease agreement. In addition, the landlord can evict the tenant for not paying rent on time and using the apartment or the house for illegal purposes. However, the owner should provide the tenant with the proper notice for terminating occupancy. Based on the set guidelines on tenancy termination, the landlord has no legal ground for evicting Roger but instead, he should maintain the house.

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Roger has a legal obligation to repair the damaged drywall and the broken electrical socket. The advance follows the landlord-tenant law that requires the tenant to ensure that there is no damage to the property. Even though the tenant has acted of anger, it is his core responsibility to ensure that living space is kept tidy and undamaged at all times. In addition, the tenant should ensure that visitors do not cause any damage to the property. To prevent any damage from taking place, the tenant is responsible for using any fittings or fixtures in the proper way to avoid the landlord from incurring unnecessary costs. Larry, on the other hand, should be liable for direct costs on the damaged furniture and other precious accessories. Lack of immediate action resulted in the damage of home appliances even after the tenant had reported the issue of leaking roof and Larry had plenty of time for repairs. Consequently, Larry has the legal obligation of compensating Roger for the damaged home appliances.

Conclusively, the landlord and the tenant have the legal responsibilities of ensuring a hospitable residency. The landlord-tenant law protects both the landlord and the tenant by stipulating the core responsibilities of each party. While it is the legal liability of the owner to meet maintenance costs for the exterior and the structure of the house, the tenant has the legal obligation of ensuring that the property is undamaged by making sure that everybody in the house, either visitors or the tenant himself, uses home fixtures and fittings properly.

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