Tenant’s Rights Under the Warranty of Habitability

Every tenant has the right to live in a safe, sanitary and habitable dwelling.  It is the landlord’s responsibility to provide suitable conditions for habitation. The warranty of habitability is a law that makes the landlord or owner responsible for keeping your apartment and the building safe and livable at all times. If a landlord does not take care of the property, or make repairs when necessary, these failures may constitute a breach of the warranty of habitability.

Every tenant has the right to live in a safe, sanitary and habitable dwelling.  It is the landlord’s responsibility to provide suitable conditions for habitation. The warranty of habitability is a law that makes the landlord or owner responsible for keeping your apartment and the building safe and livable at all times. If a landlord does not take care of the property, or make repairs when necessary, these failures may constitute a breach of the warranty of habitability.

Some conditions that violate the warranty of habitability are:

  • No heat, electricity or hot water
  • Leaks or floods
  • You are unable to live in all or part of the apartment (constructive eviction)
  • Vermin, mold, or insects infestation
  • Serious structural problems such as walls cracking, floors sagging, broken windows

If the tenant created any of these issues themselves, they cannot use the warranty of habitability as a defense.  Additionally, a landlord must have had either actual or constructive notice of the condition.  This means that the tenant would have to actually inform the landlord verbally or in writing, or the landlord would have had reason to know about the condition.

Public spaces in the building in which you live are also subject to the Warranty of Habitability.  A landlord has the obligation to keep these spaces clean and in good condition, as well.

If the landlord has breached a tenant’s rights to live in a habitable environment, there are several courses of action a tenant may be able to take.

  • Repair and deduct from rent
  • Withhold the rent until the repairs are made
  • Terminate the rental agreement
  • Seek damages in court

We have handled thousands of Landlord Tenant cases.  If your landlord has breached the warranty of habitability, contact a lawyer who is experienced in landlord-tenant issues to ensure that your rights are protected.  Contact McGuire & Pelaez P.C. today at (631) 348-1702.

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