How Long Can a Landlord Leave You Without an Oven? [Answered with Tips on What to Do]

Not having a working oven can be a real hassle, especially if you like to have home-cooked meals (or even your standard frozen dinner).

So if your landlord is taking his sweet time fixing your busted oven, you may be asking how long he can take to repair it before he starts violating your contract or even applicable laws.

It’s a legitimate question. In this article, I am going to answer it and provide you a step by step guide on analyze your situation and determine what your landlord’s obligations are in this regard.

If you have don’t have the time to read through it all, here’s a short answer to the question:

If your oven was included as part of the rental or is required to be provided under applicable laws, then the landlord typically must fix it. The timeframe for repair depends on the severity of the issue, the lease provisions, and state and local laws governing appliance repairs. However, repairs like this are usually resolved in 14 to 30 days.

Ok – let’s get into it.

The information contained in this post is for informational purposes only.  It is not legal advice.  You should seek the advice of a qualified legal professional before making any decisions relating to the topics covered by this article.

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Who’s Responsible For Ovens in Rental Apartments?

In most cases, appliances like ovens are not required to be included within a rental. However, many landlords choose to include them to attract more tenants and charge higher rents.

If the landlord has provided the oven and it breaks, they are normally responsible for fixing it because it belongs to them.

However, if the landlord did not include the oven and the tenant supplied one, then the tenant must fix the oven if it breaks.

The lease agreement will often indicate which appliances are included with the unit, so you should check it to make sure that your oven is included as part of the rental arrangement.

Now, it is worth noting that in some cases, the landlord will be required to provide an oven.

For example, there may be local governments who requires an oven in order to meet housing codes. Since housing codes fall under the definition of habitability, and landlords must provide habitable dwellings, the landlord would need to supply an oven that meets code.

What Factors Play Into How Long a Landlord Has to Fix an Oven?

The Lease Agreement

Your lease agreement is the first place to look. Not only will it most likely discuss whether an oven is included with the unit, but it may also specify who must make repairs and how quickly.

My lease agreement states that an oven comes with the unit, but there is also a space for appliances that are provided in “as-is” condition. Those appliances are provided as a courtesy to the tenant, so if they break, the landlord is not responsible.

My lease also requires the landlord to keep the premises in good repair and tenantable condition and to make repairs that are not the tenant’s fault or negligence. It does not, however, specify a timeframe for making such repairs.

Of course, my lease is based on the laws in my state, so it may differ from what your lease provides.

Bottom line: While reviewing the lease is important, you should also review your applicable laws to ensure you have a complete picture. So, on that note…

State and Local Laws

Different states have different laws around landlord-tenant issues, so it is impossible to give a universal answer to whether a landlord is responsible for fixing an oven and how quickly they must repair or replace it.

But as I mentioned above, the general rule seems to be that landlords are responsible for maintaining the premises in a working and habitable condition and that often includes making sure that appliances that were provided are operating properly. Again, if they were not provided (and didn’t need to be), then it all likelihood, the landlord is off the hook.

As for how fast repairs must be made, you can expect a 14 day to 30 day time window for a landlord to repair a malfunctioning oven.

But this timeframe may be accelerated if the issue rises to the level of making the premises uninhabitable. Most oven malfunctions won’t rise to this level, but if there is a dangerous gas leak or other safety issue, that would need to be resolved very quickly.

Again, the key is to understand your state and local rules around this topic if you want a clear answer.

For your convenience, here’s our 50 state reference table (including D.C.) that will link you to the official landlord tenants laws of your state.

If you prefer to have a lawyer assist you, I would try JustAnswer. They boast access to thousands of highly-rated, verified real estate lawyers whom you can connect with via their unlimited chat service.

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Note: One important exception to the general rule that landlords are responsible for maintaining appliances provided by them is if the tenant causes the malfunction.

In other words, if they (or their guests) broke it due to misuse or other bad or negligent behavior, the landlord should not be held liable for repairing it.

Severity of the Problem

Speaking of severity, one of the key factors driving the timeline for repair of an oven is going to be how serious the failure is.

Again, as mentioned, if there is a potential gas leak or other dangerous condition, then the repair takes on much more urgency. But if the oven’s light doesn’t work, that’s pretty minor and likely won’t be generating a lot of concern if its takes a little time get fixed.

As a general matter, the bigger the problem, the faster the landlord should try to address it.

Availability of Qualified Techs, Parts and So On

The availability of appliance technicians is another factor that influences how long a repair should take.

If your landlord has responded quickly to your repair request, but most of the technicians are busy and can’t get to it as soon as you’d like, there’s not much the landlord can do. Even if the technician arrives quickly, the parts may take some time to arrive, further delaying the process.

Similarly, if the oven needs to be replaced entirely but the delivery pipeline is backed up, that will most likely be taken into account if a dispute arises.

So, while a broke oven is inconvenient, if the landlord is acting promptly and doing his best but outside factors are causing delays, he’s probably not breaking any laws.

Also, make sure you are not contributing to the delay. If your landlord is doing his best to set up a time to have the tech come in, but you keep saying all of the times don’t work for you and you insist on being there, then you shouldn’t be surprised if the repairs takes longer than it should.

Insurance or Warranty Delays

Another consideration is whether the landlord is contacting an insurance company or a warranty company to handle the repair. As you might expect, claims can take some time to process, causing delays.

Legal Disputes

If you and your landlord are arguing about the oven, this will obviously affect how long it takes to get it fixed. Until the dispute is resolved, the landlord may not feel obligated to repair the appliance, which, of course, will delay its eventual repair.

How to Inform Your Landlord of the Required Repairs

You should always put maintenance requests in writing. Remember that landlords may also be responsible for managing multiple units. So, the best way to ensure they don’t forget your request is to put it in writing.

It also helps to have written proof of the time and date of your request. This can help you keep track of the problem in case of legal action.

Your lease agreement should include the contact information of either the landlord or the property manager and who to contact for repairs and maintenance.

The maintenance notice can also include the following:

  • A detailed description of the problem and a request to fix it.
  • Include details, pictures, or other evidence to demonstrate the problem.
  • Date the notice and send it via certified mail or some other delivery method that tracks receipt

What Should I Do If My Landlord is Not Fixing My Oven Promptly?

If you’ve properly provided notice, but you are not getting a response or no action is being taken, here are some steps you can take to get the ball rolling.

The first step should be to contact your landlord again (call or text is fine) to determine what is causing the delay. As previously stated, they may be doing everything correctly, but the delays are due to circumstances beyond his control.

If they are truly uncooperative, you can write them another letter informing them that you previously notified them of the problem and that they had a reasonable opportunity to correct it, but they did not do so. Make it clear in your letter that you expect them to fix the problem as soon as possible.

Also, keep all evidence that supports this.

If they still do not respond or repair the problem, you have a number of potential legal options. Of course, taking legal remedies can be daunting – if you want a decent middle of the road approach, consider contacting your local tenant’s rights organization. They are there to help and guide you.

But if legal remedies are what’s needed, here are some of the most common ones.

Repair and Deduct

When the landlord is not responsive, tenants in some states may use a “repair and deduct” remedy (but only if the problem is serious enough – the law usually defines this).

The remedy works exactly how it sounds. A tenant may pay for the repair himself and deduct the cost from the rental payment under this solution.

To do so, you will usually need to meet a number of requirements, including that the repair not exceed a certain amount (e.g., more than one month’s rent), that the tenant is not at fault for the needed repair, and that the landlord was notified of the issue and had a reasonable opportunity to fix it, but did not do so.

Withhold Rent

Some jurisdictions permit a tenant to withhold rent until a necessary repair is completed. The requirements for using this remedy will most likely be similar to those for the repair and deduct remedy.

I want to warn you that if your state does not permit it, withholding rent can result in an eviction proceeding. You should definitely do your research before attempting this.


Obviously, this should be a last resort and it quite frankly may not be worth the trouble. While an oven is important, it is not like a failure to provide running water or heat during the winter. You should think carefully before using this option.

Final Thoughts

So there you have it – a comprehensive look at how long a landlord has to fix your oven and what you can do if they are not responding. Hope this has been helpful and happy renting!

How to Inform Your Landlord of the Required Repairs

You should always put maintenance requests in writing. Remember that landlords are also responsible for multiple other units. So, the best way to ensure they don’t forget your request is to put it in writing.

 It also helps to have written proof of the time and date of your request. This can help you keep track of the problem in case of legal action.

Your lease agreement should include the contact information of either the landlord or the property manager and who to contact for repairs and maintenance.

The maintenance notice can also include the following:

  • A detailed description of the problem
  • Explanation of whether the damage done to the oven is normal wear and tear or due to misuse
  • Access instructions to your property
  • Your contact information

Can You Reduce Rent If the Oven isn’t Working?

The rules for adjusting rent due to appliance damage are tricky. You have the right to deduct repair costs, or even withhold rent in case of critical concerns.

Yet, since ovens aren’t vital to your well-being, you should wait for your landlord to make the necessary fixes before reducing the rent.

One way to get your landlord to fix the oven quickly is to inform them that you’ll be taking matters into your own hands. If they still don’t address the issue in time, you can definitely repair the damage and then deduct it from the rent.

So, make sure you keep a detailed invoice of how much the repairs set you back.

However, before you do that, check your lease agreement first. Your landlord might have specified that all repairs should be done through him, which means you can’t bring in anyone to fix the oven.


How long can a landlord leave you without an oven?

Once you inform your landlord of the broken oven with a written notice, they’re responsible for fixing it within 14 to 30 days.

However, the damage to the oven should be due to normal wear and tear, not personal misuse. Additionally, your lease might include a clause specifying that you’re responsible for all appliances no matter the cause of the damage.