Duty to Pay Rent
Mere occupancy of any apartment with permission of the owner gives rise to a duty to pay the reasonable value of the use of the property. In most leases, the duty to pay rent does not depend upon the landlord fulfilling his promises. The duty to pay rent remains even if the landlord fails to perform his obligations.
The Tenant's Implied Duty to Make Repairs
The tenant has an implied duty to make minor repairs and to return the leased premises to the landlord without substantial change in their physical condition. This is an implied duty to prevent waste and decay of the apartment. The tenant must repair minor defects that, if left alone, would cause substantial damage. An example is a broken window that lets rain and snow enter and damage the carpet or the furniture. The tenant must repair the window or be liable for the damage. However, destruction or damage to the apartment that is caused by an act of God or the elements is not included in this implied duty.
Express Promise to Repair by the Tenant
This means that the tenant agrees in the lease to repair and maintain the premises in good condition with the exception of ordinary wear and tear. This promise does not require the tenant to put the apartment in a better condition. If you do promise to repair, make sure you stipulate in the lease that you are not liable for ordinary wear and tear and damage from acts of God or the elements.
The Tenant's Duty Regarding Fixtures
If you attach anything to the floors, walls or ceilings of the apartment, like a bookcase or cabinets, that, if removed, would cause substantial damage to the apartment or leave it in a worse condition than when you received it, then the bookcase, cabinets or other fixtures become the property of the landlord. The best solution to this problem is not to attach anything permanently to the apartment that cannot be removed easily and without damage.
The Tenant's Statutory Duties
Under the Wyoming law that took effect on July 1, 1999, a tenant now has certain statutory duties in regard to a rental unit. The provisions of the law that define these duties are as follows:
W.S. 1-21-1204. Renter's duties.
(a) Each renter shall:
(i) Maintain the residential rental unit occupied in a clean and safe condition and not unreasonably burden any common area;
(ii) Dispose of all garbage and other waste in a clean and safe manner;
(iii) Maintain all plumbing fixtures in a condition as sanitary as the fixtures permit;
(iv) Use all electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating and other facilities and appliances in a reasonable manner;
(v) Occupy the residential rental unit in the manner for which it was designed and shall not increase the number of occupants above that specified in the rental agreement;
(vi) Be current on all payments required by the rental agreement;
(vii) Comply with all lawful requirements of the rental agreement between the owner and the renter; and
(viii) Remove all property and garbage either owned or placed within the residential rental unit by the renter or his guests prior to termination of the rental agreement and clean the rental unit to the condition at the beginning of the rental agreement.
W.S. 1-21-1205. Prohibited acts by renter.
(a) No renter shall:
(i) Intentionally or negligently destroy, deface, damage, impair or remove any part of the residential rental unit or knowingly permit any person to do so;
(ii) Interfere with another person's peaceful enjoyment of the residential property;
(iii) Unreasonably deny access to, refuse entry to or withhold consent to enter the residential rental unit to the owner, agent or manager for the purpose of making repairs to or inspecting the unit, and showing the unit for rent or sale.
WARNING: The above provisions of Wyoming state law may be modified by the agreement of the landlord and the tenant (normally indicated by their signatures on a lease with terms different than the above).