Renting a place to live is often a good option for individuals who may not be able to afford to buy a house or who simply do not want to buy a permanent residence. You may have moved from place to place and have dealt with many landlords, and if so, you likely know that some landlords can handle their responsibilities better than others.
The exact obligations that a landlord must fulfill can depend on state law as well as the lease agreement in place. As a result, it is important that you understand the terms of any rental lease before signing, including your maintenance responsibilities and those of the landlord.
What are your responsibilities?
Typically, rental tenants have fairly straightforward rental obligations, which can include keeping the property in good condition. While that does not mean that you are responsible for making repairs or keeping up the general maintenance for the entire property, it can mean that you must keep your part of the property clean, dispose of any garbage, perform routine maintenance, and inform your landlord of any damages or dangerous conditions that have come about.
Under Georgia law, your landlord does have a responsibility to repair any defective or dangerous condition on the property, but he or she must know it exists before holding that responsibility. This means that, if something on the property is in need of repair because it poses a hazard, you would need to inform your landlord that the hazard exists. Once you do so, your landlord then has the responsibility to address the issue.
What if the landlord does not address the problem?
Unfortunately, many landlords do not act in a prompt and efficient fashion when it comes to making repairs on rental property. If the issue persists, you or someone else could end up injured or suffering other harm. If time passes without any action on the part of your landlord, you may want to remind him or her of the issue and his or her responsibility to fix it. In the event that the problem continues posing a danger to you, you may have reason to take legal action.
Landlord-tenant disputes are not uncommon, and allowing unsafe conditions to exist on rental property could be a valid reason for you to file a complaint against your landlord. Because any legal matter can be complicated, you may wish to obtain legal assistance when addressing your predicament.