Can a tenant replace appliances without authorization and then try to take them out and replace them with used ones?

Carolyn W. ∙ May 23, 2019

Whenever a tenant makes changes to a premises without a Landlord's consent, it is in violation of their tenancy (and is usually a violation of their lease, if there is one), even if the changes are an improvement to the premises. A well written lease will forbid a tenant from making changes and will hold the tenant responsible for returning the premises to its original condition when moving out. Unauthorized changes by the tenant may give the Landlord grounds to evict. Often times, if the unauthorized change improves the premises, the Landlord may choose to overlook the change; however, these changes should never be done without the Landlord's express consent.

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Jeffrey Lippman ∙ 2019-05-23T12:09:59-04:00

Landlord Tenant law is particularly diverse not just by State, but often by County and City. Thus, consulting with your LegalZoom provider law firm is strongly recommended. The Residential Lease typically controls when a Tenant can and can't make alterations and when a Landlord has the opportunity to make needed alterations or replacements. Notice by the Tenant is typically required. The ownership of the appliances also plays an obvious role. Not all rental units come furnished. I'd hypothesize that in most cases, the Tenant can do this unless the Landlord had notice and failed to act in a reasonable time period. Jeffrey Lippman's offices are located in Leesburg, Virginia. Mr. Lippman is licensed to practice law in the District of Columbia and the state of Maryland, and his comments may only apply to those jurisdictions. If your question applies to a different jurisdiction you should check with an attorney in that jurisdiction. The information is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation. Answering this question does not in any way constitute legal representation and any information you provide is not protected by attorney-client privilege.

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