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All about apartment rentals

Who Pays For Rental Apartment Repairs?

rental apartment repairs and yellow paint for walls
Written by Daniella

One of the most frequently asked questions about renting an apartment is who is responsible for any damage to the property. Knowing who pays for repairs is something you should be aware of before renting, because what happens if a household appliance breaks down?

Generally speaking, these issues should be mentioned in the rental agereement in a specific part called ‘clauses’. If this chapter doesn’t exist in your agreement, then the Ley de Arrendamientos Urbanos (LAU) is applicable.

Basic criteria for rental home repairs

Just imagine this situation: you are planning to rent a long-term apartment in Barcelona. After doing your research to find out what kind of accommodation works best for you, it is now time to focus on other important little details, like the clauses in a rental agreement.

These clauses may never be in contraction with the LAU, otherwise your agreement is not valid. If you are in the stage of signing a new rental agreement, please make sure there are no mistakes in it and contact an expert if you need helpful advice.

old books

Photo via Pexels

If there is nothing in your agreement on repairs, there are other criteria like the following we will discuss with you:

Reason for repairs

In order to know who pays for repairs, tenant or landlord, one should konw the origin of the breakdown. Why does it need to be repaired or replaced in the first place?

According to general rules, those repairs that are needed to keep up the general quality of a property are paid by the landlord. He is the one who is responsible for keeping the apartment in a good and habitable state.

This also includes repairs that have to do with the wear and tear of the apartment itself. This is, normally, where people get confused. Many landlord think that the tenant is responsible for repairing or replacing, for example, any household appliances that are broken down.

Related article: Rent Out a Furnished or Unfurnished Apartment? Consider These 20 Aspects

The law, however, is clear on this subject: it is the landlord who should pay for these replacements or repairs. As you will read next, there are some exceptions to the rule.

Repairs that are needed for the general maintenance and upkeep of the property are paid for by the landlord. It it can be proven, however, that the tenant did not inform the landlord on an issue and the problems becomes worse, then the tent is responsible for the repair or replacement of the item. The tenant was negligent and he will bear the consequences.

  • management of long duration flats barcelona


Misuse of property

As mentioned in the previous paragraph, there are certain situations in which the tenant is responsible for repairs. These situations are mainly the result of misuse of a property, and in this case the landlord must prove that the tenant is to blame for the repairs.

Small repairs during rental period

According to the LAU there is such thing as “small repairs”. These type of repairs are considered to be smaller replacements that don’t cost a fortune. You can think of fixing the tap or replacing a broken element inside the flushing system of the toilet. Repairs like this are the result of daily use, and the tenant will have to take care of these repairs or replacements.

The law, unfortunately, doesn’t clearly state what “small repairs” are, and therefore there is no list you can check. So it is not always clear in certain cases who of the two parties is the one who ends up paying.

If you are about to move into a new property, always check the conditions in your agreement and the state of the apartment, appliances and other elements. You can find apartments in Barcelona that are in excellent condition (furnished, services), and this means you don’t have to worry about having to pay for repairs any time soon.

Don’t wait too long to book your apartment!

List of damages due to daily use

We will share a list of damages that occur regularly to clear up who pays for what when renting a property.

Rental apartment repairs the tenant pays for

  • broken windows
  • new light bulbs
  • problems with the automatic shutters
  • repairing the toilet
  • fixing the door
  • repairing small things as a result of everyday use
makita machine to repair rental apartment

Photo via Unsplash

Repairs in rental apartment the landlord pays for

  • large household appliances (washing machine, boilet) that has broken down
  • damp issues
  • replacement of other appliances that have stopped working
  • repairs to basic systems for gas, electricity and water
  • maintenance that needs to be done to keep up the state and structure of the property

For both the landlord’s and tenant’s peace of mind, it is possible to take out an insurance policy. Although it is essential, the landlord is not obliged to do so. In the last couple of years other insurances have been introduced, like for insurance for the general management of the property or a more specific insurance that a tenant might be interested in

This type of insurance can deal with any kind of problem with the rental property. And as a consequence, nobody needs to worry about any damages or repairs that need to be paid for in the apartment.

You have now read this article on repairs in rental apartment.
Did you ever have to pay for repairs upon leaving a rental apartment?
Share your experience and advice with our readers!

About the author


Daniella enjoys everything the city of Barcelona has to offer. She writes, translates and loves discovering Catalonia and its beautiful nature.

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