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Emergency Repairs

The law requires that the landlord fix emergency problems such as plumbing, electrical wiring or major appliances. The tenant must tell the landlord about the problem and the landlord has three business days to make the repairs. If the landlord does not, the tenant may make the repairs or hire workers to do it, as long as the cost is not more than $500. The tenant may deduct up to $500 from the next month’s rent to cover the cost of time and materials for repairs.

Before making any repairs, check with someone who knows about landlord-tenant law. This is especially prudent if your rental agreement says something about repairs that is different from the law. The Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs can provide insight, or you may contact an attorney.