Using the Implied Warranty of Habitability

When a tenant or their lawful visitors are injured at an apartment complex or another rented residential property, they may be able to use a legal principle known as the implied warranty of habitability to obtain just compensation.

What Is the Implied Warranty of Habitability?

The implied warranty of habitability is an implied contract between residential landlords and their tenants. It requires landlords to maintain habitable living spaces and make certain repairs, as long as their tenants are paying rent. If a landlord fails to keep their property habitable, tenants may withhold rent payments without retaliation.

When it comes to premises liability lawsuits, the benefit of a habitability claim is that landlords can be held strictly liable for tenant injuries in certain situations. When a tenant or their guest is injured by a State Sanitary Code violation or a State Building Code violation, for example, the injured party will not have to prove negligence, and the landlord can be found strictly liable for their injuries.

The implied warranty of habitability applies only to significant defects on the property itself and the breach must be material. The plaintiff needs three main elements to advance this type of claim:

  1. First, the violation must relate to ta condition vital to the use of the property.
  2. Second, the violation must relate to the provision, maintenance, and repair of the physical facilities of the property (this would include such things as a defective port railing).
  3. Third, the defect or violation complained of must be significant.

If your situation meets all the requirements above, our team at the Law Office of Steven R. Whitman can help.

In cases like these, we also urge you to photograph the scene of the accident and notify the local building department of the violation, so they can come to the property and confirm what happened.

For legal help any step of the way, call us at (617) 227-8118 or contact us online.

We are ready to discuss your case during a free consultation.


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