Posted on Wednesday, December 12th, 2018
Takeaway Tuesday

As a Landlord, you are required to maintain specific facilities for your Tenants and are NOT required to maintain others. Unless otherwise addressed in the Lease, a Landlord may not be required to maintain a great number of provisions. It can become a costly mistake to omit specific responsibilities when drafting a lease. This week’s Tuesday Takeaway will focus on what reasonable provisions are not required, and therefore may be the Tenant’s responsibility.

rental fundamentals

(2)(a) Unless otherwise agreed in writing, in addition to the requirements of subsection (1), the landlord of a dwelling unit other than a single-family home or duplex shall, at all times during the tenancy, make reasonable provisions for:

  1. The extermination of rats, mice, roaches, ants, wood-destroying organisms, and bedbugs. When vacation of the premises is required for sure extermination, the landlord is not liable for damages but shall abate the rent. The tenant must temporarily vacate the premises for a period of time not to exceed 4 days, on 7 days’ written notice, if necessary, for extermination pursuant to this subparagraph.
  2. Locks and keys.
  3. The clean and safe condition of common areas.
  4. Garbage removal and outside receptacles therefor.
  5. Functioning facilities for heat during winter, running water, and hot water.

     (b) Unless otherwise agreed in writing, at the commencement of the tenancy of a single-family home or duplex, the landlord shall install working smoke detection devices. As used in this paragraph, the term “smoke detection device” means an electrical or battery-operated device which detects visible or invisible particles of combustion and which is listed by Underwriters Laboratories, Inc., Factory Mutual Laboratories, Inc., or any other nationally recognized testing laboratory using nationally accepted testing standards.

     (c) Nothing in this part authorizes the tenant to raise a noncompliance by the landlord with this subsection as a defense to an action for possession under s. 83.59.

     (d) This subsection shall not apply to a mobile home owned by a tenant.

     (e) Nothing contained in this subsection prohibits the landlord from providing in the rental agreement that the tenant is obligated to pay costs or charges for garbage removal, water, fuel, or utilities. 

(3) If the duty imposed by this subsection (1) is the same or greater than any duty imposed by subsection (2), the landlord’s duty is determined by subsection (1).

(4) The landlord is not responsible to the tenant under this section for conditions created or caused by the negligent or wrongful act or omission of the tenant, a member of the tenant’s family, or other person on the premises with the tenant’s consent.

The information presented in this “Tuesday Takeaway” is intended for informational purposes only. This information should not be used as legal advice applicable to a specific situation. In addition, our provision of this information to an individual in no way constitutes an attorney-client relationship.