The landlord and tenant make an agreement when the owner decides to let his property to the tenant. So long as the contract between the tenant and the landlord is valid, each party has rights and responsibilities. Many people have a perception that the tenant law protecs the tenant only, but this law also protects the landlords. Each party also has responsibilities that it must accomplish so that the landlord-tenancy can remain effective. For example, the tenant must ensure that rent is paid on time. On the other hand, the landlord must ensure that the buildings are safe. The paper lays a detailed focus on the rights and responsibilities of the landlords and tenants with a focus on a specific case of Larry and Gregory.
Rights and responsibility of the landlords
It is the responsibility of the landlord to follow the sanitary code so as to ensure that the tenant is protected. The landlord is expected to maintain the structural elements in the building. These includes the floors, windows, roofs, chimneys and other elements so as to ensure that the living place is free from the wind, snow or rain. The house should be weathertight and watertight so as to eliminate any form of dampness. In the case of Roger and Larry, it was the responsibility of Larry to make repairs to the damaged roof. The fact that Roger kept on communicating to Larry about the issue, it is a clear indication that the landlord failed in his responsibility. On the other hand, the landlord has the responsibility of ensuring that the premises are safe. All the major entries should be secured so as to ensure that intruders do not have access to the building. In some states, the landlord is also expected to install critical equipment such as smoke detectors and firefighting equipment.
The landlord has the right to choose the tenants that he wants. However, this right is limited because the landlord must not discriminate the tenants by the color or another basis.
The landlord also has the right to be paid on time. The tenant must make the rent payments promptly as it had been agreed in the contract. Delays in payments always attract interest under the law. The landlord also reserves the right to evict the tenant incase the tenant fails to pay the rent on time consequently. However, this must be done through a court order.
It is the right of the landlord to be notified of any repairs that are needed. In relevance to this case, the landlord was given notifications on the need for repairs. However, the landlord failed to take action to either delegate the repair work to the tenant or another party.
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The tenants rights and responsibility
The tenant has a right to inspect the premises even before entering into a contract with the landlord. This is meant to avert any possible issues that may arise in the future when the tenant realizes that the premises are not habitable when he has already paid the rent and the security .
The tenant also has the right to a habitable premise. In this case, the landlord must ensure that the premises that he is renting out to the tenant are habitable. This means that the building must not have any defects which may cause discomfort or otherwise make the house inhabitable. For example, in the above case, the tenant deserves the right to a premise that is not leaking. The tenant also reserves the right to notify the landlord of any repairs that are necessary, and it is the responsibility of the landlord to repair the roof and make the place habitable. However, in this case, the landlord ignored this critical right, and as a result, damages arose.
The tenant also the responsibility of ensuring that the premises or any other components in the premises are well maintained. For example, the tenant must use the premises in the correct way. All, fixtures, sockets should never be destroyed by the tenant or any other person who is closely related to the tenant. In this case, the tenant failed in his responsibility. Damaging the wall and the electric socket was not the right way to resolve the issues, but it was a sign of irresponsibility on the side of the tenant.
The tenant also reserves the right to communicate with the landlord or the agent on the issues that they are facing when using the premises. It is his right to access the agent or the landlord from time to time and notify him in the case of any issues.
Decide whether or not the landlord and / or the tenant had a legal duty to mitigate damages
In this case, the tenant allowed his property to be damaged by the leaking water laying blame to the landlord who failed in his responsibility to repair the leaking roof. It is the responsibility of the tenant to mitigate his damages and make all efforts to ensure that he does not suffer any further loss. According to the law, all parties to the contract must ensure that they mitigate their damages whenever possible. This is because failure to mitigate such damages leads to economic wastages which are strictly discouraged under the law. While the landlord had failed in his responsibility of carrying out the repairs on time despite the desperate efforts by the tenant, the duty to mitigate the damages still applied to the tenant. As result of his failure to mitigate the damage, he may not be compensated for the losses in full since some of the losses occurred due to his negligence.
It is unfortunate that the tenant did not make efforts to prevent losses, but he caused further damages. The landlord did not have the responsibility of mitigating damages that occurred to the tenant property, but this not excludes him from the damages that occurred to the tenant because of his delayed action of failing to repair leaking roof. The landlord is to be blamed for the dircet damages
Determine whether or not Larry has legal grounds to evict Roger. Explain why or why not
According to the law, there are conditions set in which the landlord can evict a tenant. Some of the reasons non-payment of rent. Other causes could include the acts of the tenant such as causing major damages to the building or even causing a nuisance to the resident thus disturbing other tenants in the locality. In relation to this case, it is eminent that the tenant has been paying his rent on time. He is on record to be one of the tenants who make prompt payments. However, the tenant has been having issues with the premises, and he has been asking for repairs with no response from the landlord. The landlord does not have any legal grounds to evict the tenant from the premises.
The only reason that he can present is that the tenant caused damages to the building. However, the damages that were caused to the building are not so significant to give a warrant to the landlord to evict the tenant. His application to evict the tenant may fail because the tenant has been fulfilling his obligation of paying rent on time. He could also cite that the landlord wants to evict him because he is seeking repairs but the landlord is not cooperative. From all perspectives, the decision to evict the tenant, in this case, can only stand if the landlord proves that the damages that were caused by the tenant were so excessive. Otherwise, he has no other grounds that he can use to evict the tenant from the premise since that will not stand in the court of law.
Describe whether or not Roger has a legal obligation to pay for the damage he caused and determine whether or not Larry would be liable for any direct damage.
The tenant is also responsible for paying the damages that he caused. Even though the tenant claims that he caused the damage because the landlord had failed to repair the leaked roof, this claim cannot exclude him from paying for the damages caused, since his claim cannot stand the test of law. The law requires that the landlord should make major repairs, but he cannot pay for damages caused by tenants. The tenants must always take care of the property and incase a damage occurs because f their negligence or intentionally, they must pay for such damages. The tenant must, therefore, take the responsibility of paying or the damages that he caused. The act of the tenant was a total failure in his duty to preserve the premises. The law requires that the tenant should ensure that the premises are in the same condition he found them unless there are wear and tear that cannot be avoided. However, the act of damaging the wall and the socket indicates that the tenant failed in his duty. He is responsible for making the repairs because of the damages caused because of the damages cost since the law requires that he must restore the premises to the original condition he found them.
According to the landlord-tenant agreement, the landlord is always responsible for making repairs to the premise. However, he cannot make repairs for the damages that were caused by the tenant due to his negligent acts. In this case, the landlord can be blamed for the direct damages that occurred to the tenant property. It is very evident that the tenant fulfilled his duty of notifying the tenant about the damage on the roof several times. However, the landlord failed to take action despite the frequent calls.
According to the law, it is clear that the damages that occurred to the tenant were solely based on the failure of the landlord to make repairs in due course. The landlord is, therefore, responsible for paying for damages that occurred to the tenant property because of the leakages. However, he is excluded from paying excess damages that were caused by the tenant. For example, the broken bat cannot be paid by the landlord since the tenant is responsible for the self damage. However, damaged furniture and other properties must be paid by the landlord. The landlord failure to make repairs on time was a total failure from his duty of marinating ability.
From the above case, it is eminent that both Larry and Gregory failed in their duties and responsibilities. Larry failed to make repairs to the roof as it is required by the law. As a result, he is liable to pay for the dircet damages that occurred to Gregory. Larry does not have substantive grounds to evict Gregory, and he can only cite the damages caused by Larry as the only valid reason. On his side, Gregory failed to mitigate losses and caused more losses. He was expected to mitigate losses at all costs. He is liable for damages caused to the premises by his actions. In conclusion, the landlord should pay for direct damages and make repairs to the roof. The tenant should also make repairs for the damages that he caused on the wall and the electric socket.