Maintenance upkeep can seem like a difficult task for just one party to complete, so it’s important to note the different responsibilities between the landlord and the tenant and the expectations for each.
By complying with all applicable building and housing codes materially affecting health and safety as well as making all repairs and doing whatever is necessary to keep the premises in a fit and habitable condition, the landlord warrants that the premises is fit for human habitation. In addition, the premises is considered uninhabitable if it substantially lacks any of the following:
- waterproofing and weather protection of roof and exterior walls maintained in good working order, including unbroken windows and doors;
- plumbing or gas facilities that conformed to applicable law in effect at the time of installation and that are maintained in good working order;
- running water and reasonable amounts of hot water at all times furnished to appropriate fixtures and connected to a sewage disposal system approved under applicable law;
- functioning heating facilities that conformed to applicable law at the time of installation and that are maintained in good working order;
- electrical lighting, with wiring and electrical equipment that conformed to applicable law at the time of installation, maintained in good working order;
- common areas and areas under the control of the landlord that are kept reasonably clean, sanitary, and free from all accumulations of debris, filth, rubbish, and garbage and that have appropriate extermination in response to the infestation of rodents or vermin;
- appropriate extermination in response to the infestation of rodents or vermin throughout the premises;
- an adequate number of appropriate exterior receptacles for garbage and rubbish, in good repair;
- floors, stairways, and railings maintained in good repair;
- locks on all exterior doors and locks or security devices on windows designed to be opened that are maintained in good working order;
- compliance with all applicable building, housing, and health codes, which, if violated, would constitute a condition that is dangerous or hazardous to a tenant’s life, health, or safety.
The tenant should comply with the following responsibilities:
- comply with all obligations primarily imposed upon tenants by applicable provisions of building and housing codes materially affecting health and safety;
- keep the premises reasonably safe and reasonably clean;
- dispose from the premises all ashes, garbage, rubbish, and other waste in a reasonably clean and safe manner;
- keep all plumbing fixtures in the premises or used by the tenant reasonably clean;
- use in a reasonable manner all electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, air conditioning, and other facilities and appliances, including elevators in the premises;
- not deliberately or negligently destroy, deface, damage, impair, or remove any part of the premises or knowingly permit any person to do so who is on the premises with the tenant’s permission or who is allowed access to the premises by the tenant;
- conduct himself or herself and require other persons on the premises with the tenant’s permission or who are allowed access to the premises by the tenant to conduct themselves in a manner that will not disturb another tenant’s peaceful enjoyment; and
- comply with the agreement and rules that are enforceable pursuant to the agreement.
Repairs and alterations
Any and all repairs and alterations, including lock and security system replacements, must be with the consent of the landlord and, if applicable, the homeowners association. If a lock or security system is replaced, the tenant should provide the landlord with a key and/or instructions to safely disable the system within a reasonable amount of time.
Also, the landlord has the right to repair clause. If there is health or safety violation resulting from a maintenance responsibility noncompliance by the tenant and the landlord has already given 14 days’ written notice to the tenant to rectify the situation and the latter has done nothing to remedy it, then the landlord may do or cause to be done the work necessary to remedy the noncompliance in a workmanlike manner. He or she may then require that the tenant reimburse the landlord for the actual and reasonable costs of the work. In addition, the landlord shall have the remedies available under the Arkansas Residential Landlord-Tenant Act of 2007.