Can a landlord make a tenant replace a faucet?

Landlord/tenant law states that landlords are to maintain all electrical, plumbing, and heating.

Asked on December 9, 2010 under Real Estate Law, Washington

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

It is the landlord's obligation to replace the faucet.  The landlord has to maintain the premises in a habitable condition which would include plumbing repairs.  If the tenant vandalized or otherwise intentionally damaged the faucet, the landlord may be able to argue that the tenant is responsible for the cost of repairs.  Assuming that vandalism or intentional damage is not an issue, then the landlord is responsible for the cost of repairs. 

In addition, if the landlord required a tenant to replace a faucet and the tenant negligently installed the faucet resulting in water damage or other problems, the tenant could assert the defense of assumption of the risk if the landlord tried to hold the tenant liable for negligence.  Assumption of the risk means the landlord recognized and understood the danger of having a tenant repair the plumbing and landlord voluntarily chose to encounter it.

The landlord/tenant law you quoted is clear and unambiguous that the landlord is to maintain the plumbing and therefore would be responsible for replacing the faucet.


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