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What is the Implied Warranty of Habitability?

Landlord tenant law in the United States requires all home rentals to be kept in good condition, no matter what.

Every state has its own version of what is legally referred to as an “implied warranty of habitability”—or, in simpler terms, your right to live in a safe and comfortable home. State law varies slightly on the specifics, but they generally give every renter the right to:

  • A building that meets all code requirements
  • A home free from pest infestation
  • Locking doors and windows
  • Functioning electricity and plumbing
  • Functioning smoke detectors
  • Heat when it’s cold
  • Hot water and clean drinking water

The warranty of habitability is “implied” because all residential leases are bound by it, even if it’s not specifically mentioned in a residential lease.

Both the tenant and the landlord are responsible for maintaining a unit in a way that meets the implied warranty of habitability. If your landlord’s negligence is causing your unit to be uninhabitable, there are steps you can take to have the repairs made. If all else fails, you can also sue your landlord or property manager for damages.

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