Who is responsible for the cost to repair a furnace?

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Who is responsible for the cost to repair a furnace?

We are having a disagreement with our tenants over who should pay for repair of the furnace. Our view is that we should pay only if the cost of greater than $500. Our lease states: “Major maintenance and repairs of the leased premises that exceed five hundred dollars and not due to Lessee’s misuse, waste or neglect or that of his employee, family, agent, or visitor, shall be the responsibility of Lessor or his assigns at Lessor’s expense, however Lessee shall be responsible for contacting the Lessor immediately when any condition arises that could call for repair”.

Asked on November 14, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Generally, the landlord, not the tenant, is responsible for *all* repairs, regardless of size, not caused by tenant (or tenant family, pet, or guest) actions. However, that can be modified by contract or lease. The lease provision you state *implies* that the tenant is responsible for repairs of less than $500, and that is a defensible position to take, based on what you write. However, the lease and your position would be stronger if it specifically stated that the lessee was responsible for repairs under $500. While you may well prevail on the basis that stating that you pay for repairs in excess of $500 means the lessee pays if it's less than $500, it's not 100% given that you would win.


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