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Are Landlords Responsible For Light Bulbs?

It depends on the state in which you live. In some states, landlords are responsible for replacing burned-out light bulbs. However, in other states, landlords are not responsible for replacing burned-out light bulbs.

For example, in California, landlords are required to maintain their properties in habitable condition and keep them safe from dangers such as fire hazards. This means that they must also keep their premises well lit at night.

However, if a tenant has complained about the lack of lighting and the landlord hasn’t fixed it within 24 hours after receiving notice of the problem (or promptly after being given an opportunity to repair or replace any defective or missing light fixture at no cost to the tenant), then the tenant is allowed to install his own lighting and deduct up to $100 from his rent each month until such time as the landlord performs this repair himself or replaces or repairs any defective or missing fixture at no cost to the tenant (Civ Code § 1940).

In New York State, landlords are generally not responsible for replacing burned out light bulbs unless they were specifically included in the lease agreement as part of a maintenance agreement between landlord and tenant. There is one exception: If there is an emergency situation caused by a failure.

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Last modified: September 24, 2022

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