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.

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Are Landlords Required to Allow Service Animals?

Under federal law, landlords are required to provide “reasonable accommodations” based on an individual’s disability.  Disabilities can be mental, emotional, or physical in nature.  Landlords must comply with the Fair Housing Act, and regardless of a pet policy, a landlord may be required to permit a tenant to keep a service animal to accommodate an individual’s disability.

Service animals may assist with mental, emotional, or physical needs.  Additionally, a service animal could include any type of animal that qualifies.  Traditionally people consider service animals to be dogs, but they can also include cats, birds, rabbits, and any other animal that may assist with the person’s disability.  These animals are not considered pets, but working animals.

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How Do I Get My Security Deposit Back?

A landlord may deduct from a tenant’s security deposit for wear and tear beyond normal damages for reasonable wear and tear.  Typically a landlord may deduct expenses from your security deposit for excessive wear and tear beyond normal use.  This has been decided by courts to include broken walls or windows, excessive filth, and damage to carpeting as a result of fish tanks.

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