The best place to cut off potential issues is to address them in the rental agreement between the landlord and the tenant. One of the things that you should always make sure is agreed on before it is signed is how to handle any repair issues that might come up. Who will make the repairs, how they will be made, and details like this should all be outlined in the lease.
The state that you reside in will most likely have their own local laws on what is considered a habitable unit. The landlord must make sure that these details are covered and that the home is habitable for the tenants living there. It is always good to have a tenant do a walk-through the unit before moving in and noting any repairs that are needed. That way it can be documented as to what needs to be fixed and the time limit on those repairs. If a tenant causes damage beyond normal wear and tear, usually they are responsible for it. It is a good idea to note that in the lease agreement.
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