Home Warranty as small repair deterrent?

3 Replies

Having sold our home recently, we are currently renting. The landlord wrote into the lease that we are responsible for the deductible/service fee ($60 per) for calling the home warranty. As a renter, its annoying.

As a perspective future landlord, it makes me wonder. Is this an effective way to cut down on requests for smaller, some might say petty repair requests? I know I am thinking twice before paying $60 for something that isn't much more than an annoyance. Thoughts?

You know what is more typical? The tenant will refuse to report maintenance because they don't want to pay the $60 deductible.

As a Landlord, you are legally and morally responsible for maintaining the home. I disagree with any Landlord that makes their tenant responsible for ordinary repairs. Then again, it's a free country and people can do what they want with their property.

Jay, any landlord can write pretty much anything in a lease, but requiring tenants to pay for any and all general repairs may not even be legally binding in some states.

In California, a landlord must keep a rental habitable. This includes access to hot water, so a landlord cannot charge a tenant for repairs if the hot water heater is not working. It also includes many other issues such as access to a working toilet, a roof that doesn't leak, clean and sanitary premises, and so on. The general idea is that if a tenant caused the damage, then it is the tenant's responsibility.

I would question your landlord on this fee on a case-by-case basis as appropriate. In regards to using it as a way to limit repair request, I'm with Nathan. It does not make sense in the long run because if a repair is needed, not performing the work could lead to bigger, more costlier repairs in the future. In the short run, this gives incentive for a tenant to neglect a potentially necessary repair or maybe even perform the repair (either by self or using unqualified help) and make it worse.