Unless required by the lease or by state or local law, the landlord is not responsible for maintaining the property, other than to insure that dangerous conditions do not exist on the property. Local law frequently requires that the property is habitable and that a unit meets certain minimal standards before it can be rented.
If something in the rental unit needs repaired, then the landlord is required to repair it, however the tenant must notify the landlord about the problem in writing.
If the tenant’s property is damaged by the landlord’s failure to make repairs required by the lease or law, the tenant may file a civil action for damages against the landlord. However, the landlord may not be liable for damage that is beyond his or her control. Tenants may purchase renter’s insurance to protect themselves and their property in this situation.