The relationship between landlord and tenant is unique in the legal field and, as a result, is somewhat complicated. Both parties have certain statutory obligations to each other, defined by state law, and the written lease agreement which aims to reduce the complexity and confusion in residential landlord-tenant arrangements. Among these is the landlord’s obligation to protect his tenant from certain situations and/or to at least reduce the potential problems that may arise as the tenant continues to occupy the rental unit.
To provide a safe rental unit that satisfies all of the implied warranties of habitability, landlords should provide every tenant with basic security features to protect tenants and their personal property. This includes, at the very least, a front door with a functional lock, key locks for any other outgoing doors on the unit, security for all windows and appropriate lighting fixtures inside and outside of the unit. Landlords are also required to equip each unit with a working smoke detector (at a minimum, one for each floor in the unit).