How Long Does A Landlord Have To Fix Water Damage

There are numerous hazards related to water damage, from unnoticeable leaks to devastating floods. How the water seeped in has a big influence on how extensive and fast the essential fixes need to be made. Water damage can be classified into three categories: clean, gray, and blackwater. The blackwater damage requires immediate fixing because it contains sewage, thus the severity of the situation determines what fast response measures must be implemented.

For both tenants and landlords, water damage in a property can turn into a nightmare. Whether there is flooding, a busted pipe, or a roof leak, immediate action is necessary to stop more damage and keep the property habitable. Nevertheless, how long does a landlord have to fix water damage? 

Landlords’ Legal Responsibilities

Landlords are required by law to keep their rental property habitable, which includes acting fast to fix any damage caused by water incursion. Tenants have the right to live in a secure and useful space, and water damage threatens that.

The responsibilities of the landlord encompass not only providing prompt damage assessment services but also carrying out any necessary fixes related to water damage, such as leak detection and water damage restoration. Not only may neglect or delays cause property damage, but they can also have legal consequences for landlords.

Question: How Long Does A Landlord Have To Fix Water Damage?

water damage inspection

Water damage restoration in your rental property can be a challenging one. You probably want to know when fixes will be completed and what your landlord is responsible for.

Several factors can affect the actual fixing time, including:

  •       The degree of water damage
  •       The expertise and accessibility of services for restoring water damage
  •       The rapidity of drying and water removal processes
  •       The process for filing insurance claims, if any

Water Damage Timelines

The answer to how long does a landlord have to fix water damage can vary based on several factors, such as the extent of the damage, local laws, and the landlord’s promptness. The following are common fixing timelines:

Immediate Fixtures

Landlords are anticipated to take action within hours in cases where there is an imminent threat to health and safety such as a broken pipe or significant flooding to stop further damage or safety risks.

Non-Critical Fixtures

Fixes for less serious problems such as small leaks or visual damage should normally commence within a few days or whenever both parties agree.

Temporary Relocation

When major fixes are required, landlords might have to accommodate renters in temporary housing until the property is secure and habitable once more.

Local Laws Compliance

Fixing timelines may be governed by laws particular to some regions. Landlords who violate these guidelines risk facing legal consequences.

The Best Methods

These best methods can be utilized by both landlords and tenants to guarantee a seamless response to water damage problems in rental properties:

Instant Reporting

Landlords should be notified as soon as a tenant discovers water damage. To stop further damage, this communication must happen promptly.

Record Everything

It is recommended that both landlords and tenants keep records of all correspondence regarding the damage, including documents and photos.

Prompt Action

Landlords must act promptly and perform the required actions to minimize the damage. They should also make it transparent when the fixings will be completed.

Transparent Communication

During the repair process, landlords and tenants should communicate openly and clearly. If necessary, this also includes talking about a temporary relocation.

What Will Happen If The Water Damage Is Not Fixed Promptly?

Tenants may choose to take legal action against landlords who fail to fix water damage within the allotted time frame. Depending on the laws in their area, they could be able to withhold rent, pay for repairs, deduct them from their subsequent rent payments, or end their lease early without paying penalties.

Preventing Water Damage In Rental Property

Water damage Lancaster

Landlords can lower the likelihood of water damage in several proactive ways along with holding appropriate landlord insurance.

  •       Check every plumbing fixture regularly. Keep an eye out for any indications of wear and tear or other problems that can cause leaks or flooding. Check that any appliances related to plumbing systems, including faucets, toilets, bathtubs, and showers, are functioning normally.
  •       For fast shut-off in the event of a plumbing emergency, install an automatic shut-off valve on your main water line. This valve stops floods caused by ruptured pipes while you are not home or cannot react quickly enough.
  •       Install a water-sensing alarm system near washing machines or in other areas that are susceptible to flooding. When water is found at potentially damaging levels, an alarm lets you know so you may take appropriate action before more significant damage occurs.  
  •       Instruct tenants in great detail on how to turn off the water supply in case of emergency. By doing this, landlords can make sure that any plumbing concerns are promptly fixed before they worsen.
  •       Look for any signs of water infiltration in windows and doors. Check for evidence of water damage, such as discoloration, warping, or the development of mold. To stop leaks in the future, caulk or weather stripping should be used to seal any cracks or gaps.
  •       Make sure your drainage is adequate. Ensure that every gutter and downspout is properly installed, firmly fixed to the structure, and clear of any debris. Check them frequently for damage or obstructions, and take appropriate action when needed.
  •       Once a year, have a professional plumbing inspection conducted. Although it might seem costly, it can help in finding and fixing potential problems before they turn into serious problems.
  •       Tenants should be given information on how to recognize possible signs of water damage, such as warm patches on walls or floors, musty odors, and discoloration on walls or ceilings. Urge tenants to contact you as soon as they discover any signs of plumbing problems or water damage so that you can handle them appropriately and on time.
  •       To avoid pipes freezing and bursting during the winter, insulate exposed pipes in chilly areas of the structure. Similar actions will lead to lower energy costs.

Landlords can spare their rental properties from costly water damage by following these tips and keeping the lines of communication open with tenants. Preventing water damage to your rental property is crucial for a happy landlord-tenant partnership.


By knowing how long does a landlord have to fix water damage, they can prevent possible problems with tenants and ensure prompt resolution of water-related problems.

This emphasizes how important it is for landlords to be aware of their rights and responsibilities in these kinds of circumstances.


Serving South Central Pennsylvania and Northern Maryland
PA# 019590 MD# 108211
We also do : Water Damage Restoration, Drying & Dehumidification, Fire, Smoke & Soot Clean Up, Sump Pump Failures, Restoration and Mitigation, Crime Scene Clean Up, Pack Outs, Biohazard, Puff-back Cleanup, Mold Remediation, Sewage Clean Up, Water Extraction and General Contracting

Contact Us

1214 East Market Street
York, PA 17403


Get Connected

Call Now Button