State Statutory Definitions of Habitability For All 50 States & DC
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Your tenant has just called and threatened to withhold rent because something in his rental unit is broken and, ergo, the apartment is uninhabitable.  Is it?

Just because something in a rental unit doesn’t work, or doesn’t look like new, does not mean the unit is uninhabitable.  It may be a mere inconvenience caused by an act of God that no one is responsible for, or a cosmetic problem the repair of which can wait while the maintenance crew attends to more pressing issues.

 

This chart contains highlights of the statutes of the 50 states and District of Columbia that actually define the essential characteristics of a habitable premises.  These highlights are backed up by citations and links to the statutes themselves.  The details are critical, so reading the statutes is a must.  This goes for the examples of tenant remedies we have provided.  We include this information, and the links, because all too often tenants view a leaky faucet as an excuse not to pay rent.  Tenants cannot just do what they want.  Following these links will give you an idea whether your tenant is acting properly or not.

 

This is a chart of what we consider highlights of the states’ statutes bearing on habitability.  It is the nature of a statute that it cannot be summarized, any more than water can be compressed.  The reason is that every word of a statute, even the lowly word “a,” must be given full effect and cannot be omitted.  This is not a matter of style or the product of the disposition toward thoroughness.  It is a rule of law, every bit as binding as any other rule of law.  The highlights are just that, designed to give a feel for the gist of the state’s laws, but necessarily incomplete in detail.  For a full understanding of what the cited statutes provide, you must read the statutes themselves.  We have searched out the texts of these statutes and provided links for this purpose.  We intend that all of the provided links be read in their entirety.

 

This chart will give you vital background, but as with all of the rest of our charts, it is not a substitute for legal advice from a lawyer.

 

ALABAMA

Citation

Code of Ala, §35-9A-204, §35-9A-401

Highlights

Landlord must:

·          comply with all housing codes affecting health and safety

·          make all repairs and do whatever is necessary to put and keep the premises in a habitable condition

·          keep all common areas of the premises in a clean and safe condition

·          maintain in good and safe working order and condition all electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, air-conditioning, and other facilities and appliances, including elevators, supplied or required to be supplied by the landlord

·          provide and maintain appropriate receptacles and conveniences for the removal of garbage, rubbish, and other waste incidental to the occupancy of the dwelling unit and arrange for their removal

·          supply running water and reasonable amounts of hot water at all times and reasonable heat except where the building that includes the dwelling unit is not required by law to be equipped for that purpose, or the dwelling unit is so constructed that heat or hot water is generated by an installation within the exclusive control of the tenant and supplied by a direct public utility connection

Remedy

In the event of breach materially affecting health and safety, the tenant may deliver a written notice to the landlord specifying the acts and omissions constituting the breach and that the rental agreement will terminate upon a date not less than 14 days after receipt of the notice if the breach is not remedied within that period, and the rental agreement shall terminate as provided in the notice.  Tenant may also sue for damages and injunction.

Publication

Alabama Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act: How Is It Working?

                                                                                            

ALASKA

Citation

Alaska Statutes §34.03.100, §34.03.160

Highlights

Landlord must:

·          make all repairs and do whatever is necessary to put and keep the premises in a fit and habitable condition

·          keep all common areas of the premises in a clean and safe condition

·          maintain in good and safe working order and condition all electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, air-conditioning, kitchen, and other facilities and appliances, including elevators, supplied or required to be supplied by the landlord

·          provide and maintain appropriate receptacles and conveniences for the removal of ashes, garbage, rubbish, and other waste incidental to the occupancy of the dwelling unit and arrange for their removal

·          supply running water and reasonable amounts of hot water and heat at all times, insofar as energy conditions permit, except where the building that includes the dwelling unit is so constructed that heat or hot water is generated by an installation within the exclusive control of the tenant and supplied by a direct public utility connection

·          if requested by the tenant, provide and maintain locks and furnish keys reasonably adequate to ensure safety to the tenant's person and property

·          provide smoke detection devices and carbon monoxide detection devices as required under AS 18.70.095

Remedy for breach

Except as provided in this chapter, if there is a material noncompliance by the landlord with the rental agreement or a noncompliance with AS 34.03.100 materially affecting health and safety, the tenant may deliver a written notice to the landlord specifying the acts and omissions constituting the breach and specifying that the rental agreement will terminate upon a date not less than 20 days after receipt of the notice if the breach is not remedied in 10 days, and the rental agreement shall terminate as provided in the notice.  Tenant may also sue for damages and injunction.  If substantially the same act or omission that constituted a prior noncompliance of which notice was given recurs within six months, the tenant may terminate the rental agreement upon at least 10 days written notice specifying the breach and the date of termination of the rental agreement.

Publication

The Alaska Landlord & Tenant Act: What It Means to You

 

ARIZONA

Citation

Arizona Rev. Stats. §33.1324, §33.1361

Highlights

The landlord must:

·          Comply with the requirements of applicable building codes materially affecting health and safety

·          Make all repairs and do whatever is necessary to put and keep the premises in a fit and habitable condition

·          Keep all common areas of the premises in a clean and safe condition

·          Maintain in good and safe working order and condition all electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, air-conditioning and other facilities and appliances, including elevators, supplied or required to be supplied by him

·          Provide and maintain appropriate receptacles and conveniences for the removal of ashes, garbage, rubbish and other waste incidental to the occupancy of the dwelling unit and arrange for their removal

·          Supply running water and reasonable amounts of hot water at all times, reasonable heat and reasonable air-conditioning or cooling where such units are installed and offered, when required by seasonal weather conditions, except where the building that includes the dwelling unit is not required by law to be equipped for that purpose or the dwelling unit is so constructed that heat, air-conditioning, cooling or hot water is generated by an installation within the exclusive control of the tenant and supplied by a direct public utility connection

Remedy for breach

If there is a noncompliance by the landlord with section 33-1324 materially affecting health and safety, the tenant may deliver a written notice to the landlord specifying the acts and omissions constituting the breach and that the rental agreement will terminate upon a date not less than five days after receipt of the notice if the breach is not remedied in five days.  The tenant may also sue for damages and an injunction.

Publication

Arizona Tenants’ Rights and Responsibilities Handbook

 

ARKANSAS

Citation

None

Highlights

According to the Arkansas Attorney General, a tenant who rents a residence takes it as is, and the landlord has no further obligation to maintain the premises.  The only obligation the landlord has is to meet city building codes.

Remedy for breach

None

Publication

CASE NOTE: Propst v. McNeill

 

CALIFORNIA

Citation

Cal. Civ. Code §§1941.1, 1941.3, 1941.4, 1174.2

Highlights

A rental unit is uninhabitable if it lacks any of the following characteristics:

·          Effective waterproofing and weather protection of roof and exterior walls, including unbroken windows and doors
·          Plumbing or gas facilities that conformed to applicable law in effect at the time of installation, maintained in good working order
·          A water supply approved under applicable law that is under the control of the tenant, capable of producing hot and cold running water, or a system that is under the control of the landlord, that produces hot and cold running water, furnished to appropriate fixtures, and connected to a sewage disposal system approved under applicable law
·          Heating facilities that conformed with applicable law at the time of installation, maintained in good working order
·          Electrical lighting, with wiring and electrical equipment that conformed with applicable law at the time of installation, maintained in good working order
·          Building, grounds, and appurtenances at the time of the
·          commencement of the lease or rental agreement, and all areas under control of the landlord, kept in every part clean, sanitary, and free from all accumulations of debris, filth, rubbish, garbage, rodents, and vermin
·          An adequate number of appropriate receptacles for garbage and rubbish, in clean condition and good repair at the time of the commencement of the lease or rental agreement, with the landlord providing appropriate serviceable receptacles thereafter and being responsible for the clean condition and good repair of the receptacles under his or her control

·          Floors, stairways, and railings maintained in good repair

Landlords are also required to provide adequate locks for security as elaborately specified at Civ. Code §1941.3, and a usable telephone jack with wiring in good repair at Civ. Code §1941.4

Remedy for breach

Failure of the landlord to maintain the premises may entitle the tenant to sue for damages, repair and deduct per §1942, or withhold rent under Code Civ. Proc. §1174.2

Publication

California Tenants

 

COLORADO

Citation

Colorado Rev Stats §38-12-503, §38-12-505, §38-12-507

Highlights

A residential premises is uninhabitable if it lacks:

·          Waterproofing and weather protection of roof and exterior walls maintained in good working order, including unbroken windows and doors

·          Plumbing or gas facilities that conformed to applicable law in effect at the time of installation and that are maintained in good working order

·          Running water and reasonable amounts of hot water at all times furnished to appropriate fixtures and connected to a sewage disposal system approved under applicable law

·          Functioning heating facilities that conformed to applicable law at the time of installation and that are maintained in good working order

·          Electrical lighting, with wiring and electrical equipment that conformed to applicable law at the time of installation, maintained in good working order

·          Common areas and areas under the control of the landlord that are kept reasonably clean, sanitary, and free from all accumulations of debris, filth, rubbish, and garbage and that have appropriate extermination in response to the infestation of rodents or vermin

·          Appropriate extermination in response to the infestation of rodents or vermin throughout a residential premises

·          An adequate number of appropriate exterior receptacles for garbage and rubbish, in good repair

·          Floors, stairways, and railings maintained in good repair

·          Locks on all exterior doors and locks or security devices on windows designed to be opened that are maintained in good working order

·          Compliance with all applicable building, housing, and health codes, which, if violated, would constitute a condition that is dangerous or hazardous to a tenant's life, health, or safety

A landlord breaches the warranty of habitability if one or more of the above conditions exist and

·          The residential premises is in a condition that is materially dangerous or hazardous to the tenant's life, health, or safety; and

·          The landlord has received written notice of the condition and failed to cure the problem within a reasonable time.

Remedy for breach

Upon no less than ten and no more than thirty days written notice to the landlord specifying the condition breaching the warranty of habitability and giving the landlord five business days from the receipt of the written notice to remedy the breach, a tenant may terminate the rental agreement by surrendering possession of the dwelling unit if the condition is not remedied or damages paid. In addition, the tenant may sue for damages or an injunction, or withhold rent until the necessary repair is made.

Publication

Colorado Law Project: Warranty of Habitability

 

CONNECTICUT

Citation

Conn. Gen. Statutes §47a-7, §47a-12

Highlights

The landlord must:

·          Comply with the requirements of chapter 368o and all applicable building and housing codes materially affecting health and safety of both the state or any political subdivision thereof

·          make all repairs and do whatever is necessary to put and keep the premises in a fit and habitable condition

·          keep all common areas of the premises in a clean and safe condition

·          maintain in good and safe working order and condition all electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating and other facilities and appliances and elevators, supplied or required to be supplied by him

·          provide and maintain appropriate receptacles for the removal of ashes, garbage, rubbish and other waste incidental to the occupancy of the dwelling unit and arrange for their removal

·          supply running water and reasonable amounts of hot water at all times and reasonable heat except if the building which includes the dwelling unit is not required by law to be equipped for that purpose or if the dwelling unit is so constructed that heat or hot water is generated by an installation within the exclusive control of the tenant or supplied by a direct public utility connection

·          comply with all municipal ordinances, building codes, or fire codes, that impose a stricter duty of care than the state statute

Remedy for breach

If there is a material noncompliance by the landlord with section 47a-7 that materially affects health and safety, the tenant may deliver a written notice to the landlord specifying the acts and omissions constituting the breach. If the breach is not remedied within fifteen days after receipt of the notice, the rental agreement terminates. If substantially the same act or omission which constituted a prior noncompliance of which notice was given recurs within six months of the first act of noncompliance, the tenant may terminate the rental agreement upon at least fourteen days written notice specifying the date the breach complained of occurred and the date the tenant intends to terminate the rental agreement by vacating the premises, which date must be within thirty days of such breach.

Publication

Rights and Responsibilities of Landlords and Tenants in Connecticut

 

DELAWARE

Citation

Delaware Code Chapter 25 §5305, §5306

Highlights

The landlord must:

·          Comply with all applicable provisions of any state or local statute, code, regulation or ordinance governing the maintenance, construction, use or appearance of the rental unit and the property of which it is a part

·          Provide a rental unit which shall not endanger the health, welfare or safety of the tenants or occupants and which is fit for the purpose for which it is expressly rented

·          Keep in a clean and sanitary condition all common areas of the buildings, grounds, facilities and appurtenances thereto which are maintained by the landlord

·          Make all repairs and arrangements necessary to put and keep the rental unit and the appurtenances thereto in as good a condition as they were, or ought by law or agreement to have been, at the commencement of the tenancy

·          Maintain all electrical, plumbing and other facilities supplied by the landlord in good working order

In addition, if the rental agreement so provides, the landlord must:

·          Provide and maintain appropriate receptacles and conveniences for the removal of ashes, rubbish and garbage and arrange for the frequent removal of such waste

·          Supply or cause to be supplied, water, hot water, heat and electricity to the rental unit

Remedy for breach

If a breach of the warranty of habitability renders the premises uninhabitable or poses an imminent threat to the health, safety or welfare of the tenant or any member of the family, then tenant may, after giving notice to the landlord, immediately terminate the rental agreement without proceeding in a Justice of the Peace Court.  The tenant may also sue for damages in the event of a willful breach.

Publication

A Summary of the Delaware Residential Landlord Tenant Code

 

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

Citation

The District of Columbia has its rules and regulations in it’s local Housing Code, which is not available to us.  You should consult the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs.

Highlights

See above

Remedy for breach

See above

Publication

DC Tenant Survival Guide

 

FLORIDA

Citation

Florida Statutes §83.51, §83.54, §83.56

Highlights

The landlord must comply with all building, housing, and health codes.  Where there are no such codes, the landlord must maintain the roofs, windows, screens, doors, floors, steps, porches, exterior walls, foundations, and all other structural components in good repair and capable of resisting normal forces and loads and the plumbing in reasonable working condition.

 

In addition, landlords of buildings of two units or more must make reasonable provisions for the following:

·          Extermination of rats, roaches, mice, ants, wood destroying organisms, and bedbugs

·          Locks and keys

·          The clean and safe condition of common areas

·          Garbage removal and receptacles

·          Functioning facilities for heat in the winter, running water, and hot water

·          Smoke detectors

Remedy for breach

If the landlord materially fails to comply with s. 83.51(1) or material provisions of the rental agreement within 7 days after delivery of written notice by the tenant specifying the noncompliance and indicating the intention of the tenant to terminate the rental agreement by reason thereof, the tenant may terminate the rental agreement.  If the tenant remains in possession the rent is reduced by an amount proportional to the loss of utility of the premises.  Tenant may also enforce the landlord’s obligations by filing suit for damages. 

Publication

Florida’s Landlord/Tenant Rights

 

GEORGIA

Citation

Georgia Code §44-7-13

Highlights

“The landlord must keep the premises in repair. He shall be liable for all substantial improvements placed upon the premises by his consent.”  This seems to be all the Code of Georgia has to say on the subject.

Remedy for breach

None specified.  Presumably the tenant may sue for breach.

Publication

Questions Frequently Asked by Tenants and Landlords

 

HAWAII

Citation

Hawaii Rev. Stats. §521-42, §521-62, §521-63

Highlights

The landlord must

·          Comply with all applicable building and housing laws materially affecting health and safety

·          Keep common areas of a multi-dwelling unit premises in a clean and safe condition

·          Make all repairs and arrangements necessary to put and keep the premises in a habitable condition

·          Maintain all electrical, plumbing, and other facilities and appliances supplied by the landlord in good working order and condition, subject to reasonable wear and tear

·          Except in the case of a single family residence, provide and maintain appropriate receptacles and conveniences for the removal of normal amounts of rubbish and garbage, and arrange for the frequent removal of such waste materials

·          Except in the case of a single family residence, or where the building is not required by law to be equipped for the purpose, provide for the supplying of running water as reasonably required by the tenant

Remedy for breach

If the landlord rents premises that fail to comply with applicable building codes and standards that materially affect health and safety, the tenant may, on notice to the landlord, terminate the rental agreement and vacate the dwelling unit at any time during the first week of occupancy.  If any condition within the premises deprives the tenant of a substantial part of the benefit and enjoyment of the tenant's bargain under the rental agreement, the tenant may notify the landlord in writing of the situation and, if the landlord does not remedy the situation within one week, terminate the rental agreement.  The notice need not be given when the condition renders the dwelling unit uninhabitable or poses an imminent threat to the health or safety of any occupant.

Publication

Handbook for the Hawaii Residential Landlord-Tenant Code

 

IDAHO

Citation

Idaho Statutes §6-320

Highlights

A landlord may not:

·          Fail to provide reasonable waterproofing and weather protection of the premises

·          Fail to maintain in good working order electrical, plumbing, heating, ventilating, cooling, or sanitary facilities supplied by the landlord

·          Maintain the premises in a manner hazardous to the health or safety of the tenant

·          Breach any term or provision of the lease or rental agreement materially affecting the health and safety of the tenant, whether explicitly or implicitly a part thereof

·          Fail to install approved smoke detectors in each dwelling unit, to include mobile homes, under the landlord’s control

Remedy for breach

Tenant may sue the landlord for damages and for orders to make necessary repairs after giving three days notice to the landlord of the repairs needed.

Publication

Landlord and Tenant Guidelines

 

ILLINOIS

Citation

Illinois Compiled Statutes

Highlights

No statute.  Illinois’s warranty of habitability is in its common law.  See Jack Spring v. Little, 50 Ill.2d 351, 280 N.E. 2d 208 (1972); Glasoe v. Trinkle, 107 Ill.2d 1, 479 N.E.2d 915, 88 Ill Dec. 895 (1985).

Remedy for breach

Tenant may file suit for breach of the warranty or use it as a defense to eviction.

Publication

Landlord and Tenants Rights and Laws

 

INDIANA

Citation

Indiana Code §32-31-8-5, §32-31-8-6

Highlights

The landlord must do the following:

·          Deliver the premises in a safe, clean, and habitable condition

·          Comply with all health and housing codes applicable to the rental premises

·          Make all reasonable efforts to keep common areas of a rental premises in a clean and proper condition

·          Provide and maintain the following items in a premises in good and safe working condition, if provided on the premises at the time the rental agreement is entered into:

o         Electrical systems

o         Plumbing systems sufficient to accommodate a reasonable supply of hot and cold running water at all times

o         Sanitary systems

o         Heating, ventilating, and air conditioning systems. A heating system must be sufficient to adequately supply heat at all times.

o         Elevators, if provided

o         Appliances supplied as an inducement to the rental agreement

Remedy for breach

After giving landlord notice and an opportunity to repair, the tenant may sue for damages and injunctive relief.

Publication

Landlord/Tenant Rights and Obligations

 

IOWA

Citation

Iowa Statutes §562A.15, §562A.21

Highlights

The landlord must:

·          Comply with the requirements of applicable building and housing codes materially affecting health and safety

·          Make all repairs and do whatever is necessary to put and keep the premises in a fit and habitable condition

·          Keep all common areas of the premises in a clean and safe condition

·          Maintain in good and safe working order and condition all electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, air-conditioning, and other facilities and appliances, including elevators, supplied or required to be supplied by the landlord

·          Provide and maintain appropriate receptacles and conveniences, accessible to all tenants, for the central collection and removal of ashes, garbage, rubbish, and other waste incidental to the occupancy of the dwelling unit and arrange for their removal

·          Supply running water and reasonable amounts of hot water at all times and reasonable heat, except where the building that includes the dwelling unit is not required by law to be equipped for that purpose, or the dwelling unit is so constructed that heat or hot water is generated by an installation within the exclusive control of the tenant and supplied by a direct public utility connection

Remedy for breach

In case of violations that affect health and safety, tenant may terminate the lease if the repairs are not made within 7 days and sue for damages.  If the same repair is condition arises again within six months the tenant may terminate the lease.  If the landlord fails to supply adequate heat or water, and it is the landlord’s responsibility under the rental agreement to do so, the tenant may, after notice to the landlord, procure the same himself and sue to have the rent reduced by the diminution in rental value of the premises.

Publication

Housing: How My Landlord Learned to Make Repairs

 

KANSAS

Citation

Kansas Statutes §58-2553, §58-2559

Highlights

The landlord must:

·          Comply with the requirements of applicable building and housing codes materially affecting health and safety

·          exercise reasonable care in the maintenance of the common areas

·          maintain in good and safe working order and condition all electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating and air-conditioning appliances including elevators, supplied or required to be supplied by the landlord

·          provide and maintain on the grounds, for the common use by all tenants, appropriate receptacles and conveniences for the removal of ashes, garbage, rubbish and other waste incidental to the occupancy of the dwelling unit and arrange for their removal

·          supply running water and reasonable amounts of hot water at all times and reasonable heat if the landlord supplies them under the rental agreement

Remedy for breach

In the event of a failure to comply by the landlord, the tenant may notify landlord of the noncompliance and terminate the rental agreement if repairs are not made within 14 days, and sue for damages.

Publication

Tips for Tenants and Landlords

 

KENTUCKY

Citation

Kentucky Rev. Statutes §383.595,

Highlights

The landlord must:

·           Comply with the requirements of applicable building and housing codes materially affecting health and safety

·           Make all repairs and do whatever is necessary to put and keep the premises in a fit and habitable condition

·          Keep all common areas of the premises in a clean and safe condition

·           Maintain in good and safe working order and condition all electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, air-conditioning, and other facilities and appliances, including elevators, supplied or required to be supplied by the landlord

·           Supply running water and reasonable amounts of hot water at all times and reasonable heat between October 1 and May 1 except where the building that includes the dwelling unit is not required by law to be equipped for that purpose, or the dwelling unit is so constructed that heat or hot water is generated by an installation within the exclusive control of the tenant and supplied by a direct public utility connection

Remedy for breach

In the event of a failure to comply by the landlord, the tenant may notify landlord of the noncompliance and terminate the rental agreement if repairs are not made within 14 days, and sue for damages.

Publication

None available

 

LOUISIANA

Citation

Louisiana Civ. Code §2682, §2691, §2692, §2693, §2694, §2696, §2699, §2719

Highlights

The landlord is obligated to turn over the rental unit to the tenant in good order and repair, to maintain it in fit condition, and to protect the tenant’s possession for the duration of the lease.  During the lease, the landlord is bound to make all repairs that become necessary to maintain the unit in a condition suitable for the purpose for which it was leased, except those caused by the tenant. 

Remedy for breach

If the premises require a repair that cannot be postponed until the end of the lease, the landlord has a right to make them, but the tenant may be entitled to an abatement of rent for loss of use of the premises.  If the landlord fails to make necessary repairs, the tenant may repair and deduct the reasonable cost of the repair from the rent.  The tenant may also terminate the lease for failure to make necessary repairs.

Publication

A Guide to Louisiana Landlord & Tenant Laws

 

MAINE

Citation

Maine Rev. Stats §6021

Highlights

The statute provides that every landlord warrants that the premises he is renting is fit for human habitation.  Any condition on the premises that endangers or materially impairs the health or safety of the tenants breaches the warranty, provided it was not caused by the tenant or anyone under his control, the landlord was promptly notified of it, and the landlord did not promptly correct the condition.

Remedy for breach

The tenant may sue to landlord to have the repair made, to reduce the rent for the period of time the condition existed, and for other damages and remedies.

Publication

Rights of Tenants in Maine

 

MARYLAND

Citation

Maryland Code, Real Property, §8-211

Highlights

The Landlord must repair and eliminate conditions and defects which constitute, or if not promptly corrected will constitute, a fire hazard or a serious and substantial threat to the life, health or safety of occupants, including, but not limited to:

·          Lack of heat, light, electricity, or hot or cold running water, except where the tenant is responsible for the payment of the utilities and the lack thereof is the direct result of the tenant's failure to pay the charges

·          Lack of adequate sewage disposal facilities

·          Infestation of rodents in two or more dwelling units

·          The existence of any structural defect which presents a serious and substantial threat to the physical safety of the occupants

·          The existence of any condition which presents a health or fire hazard to the dwelling unit

Remedy for breach

If the tenant gives notice of the condition to the landlord and a reasonable time to repair, rebuttably presumed to be 30 days, and the landlord fails to repair, then the tenant may initiate a rent escrow, pay the rent into court while suing the landlord, and take other actions and obtain other forms of relief.  See §8-211(j) and following.

Publication

BNI’s Landlord Introduction Packet

 

MASSACHUSETTS

Citation

See Highlights.

Highlights

Massachusetts has an elaborate Sanitary Code that regulates not only the general quality, but also very specific characteristics that units designed for rental must possess.  You can find these regulations here, as provided by the Massachusetts Trial Court Law Libraries.

Remedy for breach

N/A

Publication

Landlord Rights and Responsibilities

 

MICHIGAN

Citation

MI Compiled Laws §554.139

Highlights

Every landlord in Michigan warrants that the premises he is offering for rent are fit for human habitation, and to do necessary repairs during tenancy to maintain them in that condition.

Remedy for breach

See Rights and Duties of Tenants, below.

Publication

Rights and Duties of Tenants

 

MINNESOTA

Citation

Minnesota Statutes §504B.161, §504B.381, §504B.385, §504B.391, §504B.395 and following

Highlights

The landlord is required to provide premises that are:

·          Fit to live in

·          Kept in reasonable repair

·          Kept in compliance with state and local health and housing codes

·          Made reasonably energy efficient to the extent that energy savings will exceed the costs of upgrading efficiency

Remedy for breach

Aside from calling in building inspectors to cite the landlord, the tenant may also:

·          Place the rent in escrow with the court until repairs are made

·          Sue for a reduction of rent until the repairs are made

·          Sue the landlord for damages

The failure of the landlord to maintain the premises is also a defense to the landlord’s action to pay rent.

Publication

Landlords’ and Tenants’ Rights and Responsibilities

 

MISSISSIPPI

Citation

Mississippi Code §89-8-23, §89-8-13

Highlights

The landlord must:

·          Comply with the requirements of applicable building and housing codes materially affecting health and safety

·          Maintain the dwelling unit, its plumbing, heating and/or cooling system, in substantially the same condition as at the inception of the lease, reasonable wear and tear excluded, unless the dwelling unit, its plumbing, heating and/or cooling system is damaged or impaired as a result of the deliberate or negligent actions of the tenant

Remedy for breach

If the landlord is notified of needed repairs and they are not completed within a reasonable time not to exceed 30 days, tenant may terminate lease.  Tenant may also sue for breach of covenant.

Publication

Landlord Tenant Relationship Act

 

MISSOURI

Citation

Missouri Rev. Stats. §441.234

Highlights

Missouri’s implied warranty of habitability is part of its common law and has not been codified.  See the publication linked before for details on the tenant’s right to repairs and to withhold rent.  The statutory law requires the landlord to provide premises that are fit and safe for human habitation and, in the event of the failure of the landlord to make necessary repairs, permits a tenant who has resided on the premises for more than six months to make the repair himself, provided the total cost of the repair is not more than $300, and deduct the cost from the rent.

Remedy for breach

Rent withholding under common law or repair and deduct under statute cited.

Publication

Missouri Landlord-Tenant Law

 

MONTANA

Citation

Montana Code §70-24-303, §70-24-406

Highlights

The landlord:

·          shall comply with the requirements of applicable building and housing codes materially affecting health and safety in effect at the time of original construction in all dwelling units where construction is completed after July 1, 1977

·          may not knowingly allow any tenant or other person to engage in any activity on the premises that creates a reasonable potential that the premises may be damaged or destroyed or that neighboring tenants may be injured by any of the following:

o         criminal production or manufacture of dangerous drugs

o         operation of an unlawful clandestine laboratory

o         gang-related activities

·          shall make repairs and do whatever is necessary to put and keep the premises in a fit and habitable condition

·          shall keep all common areas of the premises in a clean and safe condition

·          shall maintain in good and safe working order and condition all electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, air-conditioning, and other facilities and appliances, including elevators, supplied or required to be supplied by the landlord

·          shall, unless otherwise provided in a rental agreement, provide and maintain appropriate receptacles and conveniences for the removal of ashes, garbage, rubbish, and other waste incidental to the occupancy of the dwelling unit and arrange for their removal

·          shall supply running water and reasonable amounts of hot water at all times and reasonable heat between October 1 and May 1, except if the building that includes the dwelling unit is not required by law to be equipped for that purpose or the dwelling unit is so constructed that heat or hot water is generated by an installation within the exclusive control of the tenant

·          shall install in each dwelling unit under the landlord's control an approved carbon monoxide detector, in accordance with rules adopted by the department of labor and industry, and an approved smoke detector, in accordance with rules adopted by the department of justice

Remedy for breach

In the event of the failure of the landlord to fulfill his responsibilities, the tenant may, on notice, terminate the rental agreement, or do the repair and deduct it from the rent, or sue for damages for breach.  See §70-24-406 for details.

Publication

For Tenants and Landlords

 

NEBRASKA

Citation

Neb. Rev. Stats §76-1419, §76-1425

Highlights

The landlord must:

·          Substantially comply, after written or actual notice, with the requirements of the applicable minimum housing codes materially affecting health and safety

·          Make all repairs and do whatever is necessary, after written or actual notice, to put and keep the premises in a fit and habitable condition

·          Keep all common areas of the premises in a clean and safe condition

·          Maintain in good and safe working order and condition all electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, air conditioning, and other facilities and appliances, including elevators, supplied or required to be supplied by him or her

·          Provide and maintain appropriate receptacles and conveniences for the removal of ashes, garbage, rubbish, and other waste incidental to the occupancy of the dwelling unit and arrange for their removal from the appropriate receptacle

·          Supply running water and reasonable amounts of hot water at all times and reasonable heat except where the building that includes the dwelling unit is not required by law to be equipped for that purpose, or the dwelling unit is so constructed that heat or hot water is generated by an installation within the exclusive control of the tenant and supplied by a direct public utility connection

Remedy for breach

In the event of the failure of the landlord to fulfill his responsibilities, the tenant may, on notice, terminate the rental agreement, or do the repair and deduct it from the rent, or sue for damages for breach.  See §76-1425 for details.

Publication

Landlord and Tenant Handbook

 

NEVADA

Citation

Nev. Rev. Stats. §118A.290, §118A.355

Highlights

A dwelling unit is not habitable if it violates provisions of housing or health codes concerning the health, safety, sanitation or fitness for habitation of the dwelling unit or if it substantially lacks:

·          Effective waterproofing and weather protection of the roof and exterior walls, including windows and doors

·          Plumbing facilities which conformed to applicable law when installed and which are maintained in good working order

·          A water supply approved under applicable law, which is:

o         Under the control of the tenant or landlord and is capable of producing hot and cold running water

o         Furnished to appropriate fixtures

o         Connected to a sewage disposal system approved under applicable law and maintained in good working order to the extent that the system can be controlled by the landlord

·          Adequate heating facilities which conformed to applicable law when installed and are maintained in good working order

·          Electrical lighting, outlets, wiring and electrical equipment which conformed to applicable law when installed and are maintained in good working order

·          An adequate number of appropriate receptacles for garbage and rubbish in clean condition and good repair at the commencement of the tenancy. The landlord shall arrange for the removal of garbage and rubbish from the premises unless the parties by written agreement provide otherwise

·          Building, grounds, appurtenances and all other areas under the landlord’s control at the time of the commencement of the tenancy in every part clean, sanitary and reasonably free from all accumulations of debris, filth, rubbish, garbage, rodents, insects and vermin

·          Floors, walls, ceilings, stairways and railings maintained in good repair

·          Ventilating, air-conditioning and other facilities and appliances, including elevators, maintained in good repair if supplied or required to be supplied by the landlord

Remedy for breach

In the event of the failure of the landlord to fulfill his responsibilities, the tenant may, on notice, terminate the rental agreement, or do the repair and deduct it from the rent, or sue for damages for breach.  See §118A.355 for details.

Publication

N/A

 

NEW HAMPSHIRE

Citation

N.H. Rev. Stats. Chapter 48-A, §540:13-d

Highlights

The governing bodies of the municipalities set the housing standards that must be met.  The landlord is obligated to meet these standards.

Remedy for breach

In the event the landlord fails to meet the minimum local housing standards, the tenant may withhold rent until the landlord does the necessary repairs.  See §540:13-d for details.

Publication

Tenant Rights

 

NEW JERSEY

Citation

N/A

Highlights

The habitability laws for New Jersey are apparently contained in a complex combination of state and local codes and laws.  We are unable to locate specific statutes in the New Jersey statutes.  The Habitability Bulletin cited below contains an unbiased summary of the obligations arising from these laws.

Remedy for breach

See below.

Publication

Habitability Bulletin

 

NEW MEXICO

Citation

New Mex. Stats §47-8-20, §47-8-27.1

Highlights

The landlord must:

·          substantially comply with requirements of the applicable minimum housing codes materially affecting health and safety

·          make repairs and do whatever is necessary to put and keep the premises in a safe condition as provided by applicable law and rules and regulations as provided in Section 47-8-23 NMSA 1978

·          keep common areas of the premises in a safe condition

·          maintain in good and safe working order and condition electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, air conditioning and other facilities and appliances, including elevators, if any, supplied or required to be supplied by him

·          provide and maintain appropriate receptacles and conveniences for the removal of ashes, garbage, rubbish and other waste incidental to the occupancy of the dwelling unit and arrange for their removal from the appropriate receptacle

·          supply running water and a reasonable amount of hot water at all times and reasonable heat, except where the building that includes the dwelling unit is not required by law to be equipped for that purpose or the dwelling unit is so constructed that heat or hot water is generated by an installation within the exclusive control of the resident and supplied by a direct public utility connection

Remedy for breach

In the event the landlord fails to meet the minimum local housing standards, the tenant may withhold rent until the landlord does the necessary repairs.  See §47-8-27.1 for details.

Publication

Renters Guide

 

NEW YORK

Citation

NY Cons. Laws RPP §235-b, Multiple Dwelling Law

Highlights

All parties to a lease or rental agreement are deemed to covenant and warrant that the premises so leased or rented and all areas used in connection therewith in common with other tenants or residents are fit for human habitation and for the uses  reasonably intended by the parties and that the occupants of such premises shall not  be subjected to any conditions which would be dangerous, hazardous or detrimental to their life, health or safety.  The landlord is also subject to the provisions of the Multiple Dwelling Law, and myriad local ordinances and laws.

Remedy for breach

In the event of the landlord’s breach of warranty, the tenant is entitled to damages and a rent reduction.

Publication

NYC Rent Guidelines Board

 

NORTH CAROLINA

Citation

N.C. Gen. Stats. §42-42, §42-44

Highlights

The landlord must:

·          Comply with the current applicable building and housing codes, whether enacted before or after October 1, 1977, to the extent required by the operation of such codes

·          Make all repairs and do whatever is necessary to put and keep the premises in a fit and habitable condition

·          Keep all common areas of the premises in safe condition

·          Maintain in good and safe working order and promptly repair all electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, air conditioning, and other facilities and appliances supplied or required to be supplied by the landlord provided that notification of needed repairs is made to the landlord in writing by the tenant, except in emergency situations

·          Provide operable smoke detectors, either battery‑operated or electrical, having an Underwriters' Laboratories, Inc., listing or other equivalent national testing laboratory approval, and install the smoke detectors in accordance with either the standards of the National Fire Protection Association or the minimum protection designated in the manufacturer's instructions, which the landlord must retain or provide as proof of compliance

·          If the landlord is charging for the cost of providing water or sewer service pursuant to G.S. 42‑42.1 and has actual knowledge from either the supplying water system or other reliable source that water being supplied to tenants within the landlord's property exceeds a maximum contaminant level established pursuant to Article 10 of Chapter 130A of the General Statutes, provide notice that water being supplied exceeds a maximum contaminant level

·          Provide a minimum of one operable carbon monoxide detector per rental unit per level, either battery‑operated or electrical, that is listed by a nationally recognized testing laboratory that is OSHA‑approved to test and certify to American National Standards Institute/Underwriters Laboratories Standards ANSI/UL2034 or ANSI/UL2075, and install the carbon monoxide detectors in accordance with either the standards of the National Fire Protection Association or the minimum protection designated in the manufacturer's instructions, which the landlord must retain or provide as proof of compliance

·          Within a reasonable period of time based upon the severity of the condition, repair or remedy any imminently dangerous condition on the premises after acquiring actual knowledge or receiving notice of the condition

Remedy for breach

The tenant’s remedy is to file a civil action against the landlord.  Rent withholding is available only if a court determines the tenant may do so.  Requirements for smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are also enforceable by fines.

Publication

Landlords’ Maintenance and Repair Duties

 

NORTH DAKOTA

Citation

N.D. Century Code §47-16-13.1, §47-16-13.6

Highlights

The landlord must:

·          Comply with the requirements of applicable building and housing codes materially affecting health and safety

·          Make all repairs and do whatever is necessary to put and keep the premises in a fit and habitable condition

·          Keep all common areas of the premises in a clean and safe condition

·          Maintain in good and safe working order and condition all electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, air-conditioning, and other facilities and appliances, including elevators, supplied or required to be supplied by the landlord

·          Provide and maintain appropriate receptacles and conveniences for the removal of ashes, garbage, rubbish, and other waste incidental to the occupancy of the dwelling unit and arrange for their removal

·          Supply running water and reasonable amounts of hot water at all times and reasonable heat, except if the building that includes the dwelling unit is not required by law to be equipped for that purpose or if the dwelling unit is so constructed that heat or hot water is generated by an installation within the exclusive control of the tenant and supplied by a direct public utility connection or if the water or heat is unavailable due to supply failure by a public utility

Remedy for breach

If the landlord fails to perform his obligations the tenant may file suit for damages and costs and attorney fees.

Publication

North Dakota Landlord/Tenant Rights

 

OHIO

Citation

Ohio Rev. Code §5321.04, §5321.07

Highlights

An Ohio Landlord must do all of the following:

·          Comply with the requirements of all applicable building, housing, health, and safety codes that materially affect health and safety

·          Make all repairs and do whatever is reasonably necessary to put and keep the premises in a fit and habitable condition

·          Keep all common areas of the premises in a safe and sanitary condition

·          Maintain in good and safe working order and condition all electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, and air conditioning fixtures and appliances, and elevators, supplied or required to be supplied by him

·          When he is a party to any rental agreements that cover four or more dwelling units in the same structure, provide and maintain appropriate receptacles for the removal of ashes, garbage, rubbish, and other waste incidental to the occupancy of a dwelling unit, and arrange for their removal

·          Supply running water, reasonable amounts of hot water and reasonable heat at all times, except where the building that includes the dwelling unit is not required by law to be equipped for that purpose, or the dwelling unit is so constructed that heat or hot water is generated by an installation within the exclusive control of the tenant and supplied by a direct public utility connection

Remedy for breach

If the landlord of more than a total of 3 rental units fails to fulfill the above duties, the tenant may give the landlord notice of the condition that is in violation.  If the landlord fails to correct the condition within a reasonable time, not more than 30 days, the tenant may deposit rent into municipal court as it accrues until the repair is made, apply to the court for an order to make the repair, or terminate the tenancy and move out.

Publication

Landlord and Tenant Rights Under Ohio Law

 

OKLAHOMA

Citation

Oklahoma Statutes §41-118, §41-121

Highlights

The landlord must:

·          Except in the case of a single‑family residence, keep all common areas of his building, grounds, facilities and appurtenances in a clean, safe and sanitary condition

·          Make all repairs and do whatever is necessary to put and keep the tenant's dwelling unit and premises in a fit and habitable condition

·          Maintain in good and safe working order and condition all electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, air‑conditioning and other facilities and appliances, including elevators, supplied or required to be supplied by him

·          Except in the case of one‑ or two‑family residences or where provided by a governmental entity, provide and maintain appropriate receptacles and conveniences for the removal of ashes, garbage, rubbish and other waste incidental to the occupancy of the dwelling unit and arrange for the frequent removal of such wastes

·          Supply running water and reasonable amounts of hot water at all times and reasonable heat

Remedy for breach

In case of a breach by the landlord the tenant may:

·          Give notice that if the breach is not repaired within 14 days the lease will terminate in 30 days

·          Do the repair himself and deduct from the rent if the cost is less than $100

·          If the landlord negligently or willfully fails to supply essential services

o         Terminate the rental agreement immediately

o         Procure services himself

o         Recover damages based on diminished value of the rental unit

o         On notice to the landlord, procure alternate housing and stop paying rent until the repairs are made

Publication

What Are Your Rights and Duties as a Tenant?

 

OREGON

Citation

Oregon Rev. Stats. §90-320, §90.360

Highlights

A dwelling is uninhabitable if it substantially lacks:

·          Effective waterproofing and weather protection of roof and exterior walls, including windows and doors

·          Plumbing facilities that conform to applicable law in effect at the time of installation, and maintained in good working order

·          A water supply approved under applicable law that is:

o         Under the control of the tenant or landlord and is capable of producing hot and cold running water

o         Furnished to appropriate fixtures

o         Connected to a sewage disposal system approved under applicable law

o         Maintained so as to provide safe drinking water and to be in good working order to the extent that the system can be controlled by the landlord

·          Adequate heating facilities that conform to applicable law at the time of installation and maintained in good working order

·          Electrical lighting with wiring and electrical equipment that conform to applicable law at the time of installation and maintained in good working order

·          Buildings, grounds and appurtenances at the time of the commencement of the rental agreement in every part safe for normal and reasonably foreseeable uses, clean, sanitary and free from all accumulations of debris, filth, rubbish, garbage, rodents and vermin, and all areas under control of the landlord kept in every part safe for normal and reasonably foreseeable uses, clean, sanitary and free from all accumulations of debris, filth, rubbish, garbage, rodents and vermin

·          Except as otherwise provided by local ordinance or by written agreement between the landlord and the tenant, an adequate number of appropriate receptacles for garbage and rubbish in clean condition and good repair at the time of the commencement of the rental agreement, and the landlord shall provide and maintain appropriate serviceable receptacles thereafter and arrange for their removal

·          Ventilating, air conditioning and other facilities and appliances, including elevators, maintained in good repair if supplied or required to be supplied by the landlord

·          Safety from fire hazards, including a working smoke alarm or smoke detector

·          A carbon monoxide alarm, and the dwelling unit or the structure in which the dwelling unit is a part contains a carbon monoxide source

·          Working locks for all dwelling entrance doors, and, unless contrary to applicable law, latches for all windows

Remedy for breach

In the event of the failure of the landlord to fulfill his responsibilities, the tenant may, on notice, terminate the rental agreement, or do the repair and deduct it from the rent, or sue for damages for breach.  See §90.360 for details.

Publication

Landlord Tenant Rights

 

PENNSYLVANIA

Citation

Pennsylvania’s statutes do not define habitability as do the statutes of most states.  The implied warranty of habitability was created by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.  Read the references below for a summary of this doctrine.

Highlights

No statute

Remedy for breach

N/a

Publication

Pennsylvania’s Implied Warranty of Habitability, Implied Warranty of Habitability

 

RHODE ISLAND

Citation

Rhode Island Gen Laws §34-18-22, §34-18-28

Highlights

The Rhode Island landlord must:

·          Comply with the requirements of applicable building and housing codes affecting health and safety

·          Make all repairs and do whatever is necessary to put and keep the premises in a fit and habitable condition

·          Keep all common areas of the premises in a clean and safe condition

·          Maintain in good and safe working order and condition all electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, air conditioning, and other facilities and appliances, including elevators, supplied or required to be supplied by him or her

·          Provide and maintain appropriate receptacles and conveniences for the removal of ashes, garbage, rubbish, and other waste incidental to the occupancy of the dwelling unit

·          Supply running water and reasonable amounts of hot water at all times and reasonable heat

 

Remedy for breach

In the event of the failure of the landlord to fulfill his responsibilities, the tenant may, on notice, terminate the rental agreement.  See §34-18-28 for details.

Publication

The Rhode Island Landlord Tenant Handbook

 

SOUTH CAROLINA

Citation

SC Code §27-40-440, §27-40-610

Highlights

The South Carolina Landlord must:

·          comply with the requirements of applicable building and housing codes materially affecting health and safety

·          make all repairs and do whatever is reasonably necessary to put and keep the premises in a fit and habitable condition

·          keep all common areas of the premises in a reasonably safe condition, and, for premises containing more than four dwelling units, keep in a reasonably clean condition

·          make available running water and reasonable amounts of hot water

·          maintain in reasonably good and safe working order and condition all electrical, gas, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, air conditioning, and other facilities and appliances, including elevators, supplied or required to be supplied by him

Remedy for breach

In the event of the failure of the landlord to fulfill his responsibilities, the tenant may, on notice, terminate the rental agreement.  See §27-40-610 for details.

Publication

Rights and Duties of Landlord

SOUTH DAKOTA

Citation

SD Codified Laws §43-32-8, §43-32-9

Highlights

The landlord must keep the premises and all common areas in reasonable repair and fit for human habitation and in good and safe working order during the term of the lease except when the disrepair has been caused by the negligent, willful or malicious conduct of the lessee or a person under his direction or control.  The landlord must also maintain in good and safe working order and condition all electrical, plumbing, or heating systems of the premises, except when the disrepair has been caused by the negligent, willful or malicious conduct of the lessee or a person under his direction or control.

Remedy for breach

In the event of the failure of the landlord to fulfill his responsibilities, the tenant may, on notice, do the repair himself and deduct the rent if cost is less than $100, vacate the premises, or withhold rent.  See §43-32-9 for details.

Publication

Landlord-Tenant Disputes

 

TENNESSEE

Citation

Tennessee Code §66-28-304, §66-28-501

Highlights

The Tennessee landlord must:

·          Comply with requirements of applicable building and housing codes materially affecting health and safety

·          Make all repairs and do whatever is necessary to put and keep the premises in a fit and habitable condition

·          Keep all common areas of the premises in a clean and safe condition

·          In multi-unit complexes of four (4) or more units, provide and maintain appropriate receptacles and conveniences for the removal of ashes, garbage, rubbish and other waste from common points of collection

Remedy for breach

If the landlord does not correct a breach of his duties within 14 days of a notice from the tenant, the tenant may sue for damages and injunction.

Publication

Landlord and Tenant Act Consumer Information

 

TEXAS

Citation

Texas Stats Property Code, Title 8, §92.052, §92.056

Highlights

The landlord is obligated to repair any defects in the premises caused by normal wear and tear that affect health and safety, or that cause a failure to supply hot water of a temperature of 120 degrees.

Remedy for breach

The tenant may, when the landlord fails to make needed repair after having been given reasonable notice, do any of the following:

·          terminate the lease

·          have the condition remedied and deduct from the rent

·          sue for damages and injunction to do repairs not exceeding $10,000

Publication

Tenant Rights

 

UTAH

Citation

Utah Code §57-22-3, §57-22-4, §57-22-6

Highlights

Each owner and his agent renting or leasing a residential rental unit shall maintain that unit in a condition fit for human habitation and in accordance with local ordinances and the rules of the board of health having jurisdiction in the area in which the residential rental unit is located. Each residential rental unit shall have electrical systems, heating, plumbing, and hot and cold water.

The landlord must:

·          not rent the premises unless they are safe, sanitary, and fit for human occupancy

·          maintain common areas of the residential rental unit in a sanitary and safe condition

·          maintain electrical systems, plumbing, heating, and hot and cold water

·          maintain any air conditioning system in an operable condition

·          maintain other appliances and facilities as specifically contracted in the rental agreement

·          for buildings containing more than two residential rental units, provide and maintain appropriate receptacles for garbage and other waste and arrange for its removal, except to the extent that the renter and owner otherwise agree

Remedy for breach

Utah has an elaborate enforcement mechanism that can be applied to a landlord who fails to maintain the premises in habitable conditions.  See §57-22-6 for details.

Publication

Utah Renters Handbook

 

VERMONT

Citation

Vermont Stats, Title 9, §4457, §4458

Highlights

The landlord must, throughout tenancy, maintain the rental unit in compliance with all housing codes and standards applicable to the unit, and fit for human occupancy, including adequate heat and water.

Remedy for breach

Upon breach of the above duties by the landlord, the tenant may:

·          withhold the payment of rent for the period of the noncompliance

·          obtain injunctive relief

·          recover damages, costs and reasonable attorney's fees

·          terminate the rental agreement on reasonable notice

Publication

Renting in Vermont

 

VIRGINIA

Citation

Virginia Code §55-225.3,

Highlights

A Virginia landlord must:

·          Comply with the requirements of applicable building and housing codes materially affecting health and safety

·          Make all repairs and do whatever is necessary to put and keep the premises in a fit and habitable condition

·          Maintain in good and safe working order and condition all electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, air-conditioning and other facilities and appliances, including elevators, supplied or required to be supplied by him

·          Supply running water and reasonable amounts of hot water at all times and reasonable air conditioning if provided and heat in season

·          Maintain the premises in such a condition as to prevent the accumulation of moisture and the growth of mold

Remedy for breach

For remedies on landlord’s failure to provide habitable premises see Landlord Tenant Handbook, page 14 and foll.

Publication

Landlord Tenant Handbook

 

Washington

Citation

WA Rev Code §59.18.060, §59.18.070, §59.18.080, §59.18.090, §59.18.100,

Highlights

A Washington landlord must maintain the rental unit fit for habitation, including but not limited to:

·          Maintain the premises to substantially comply with any applicable code, statute, ordinance, or regulation governing their maintenance or operation

·          Maintain the roofs, floors, walls, chimneys, fireplaces, foundations, and all other structural components in reasonably good repair so as to be usable and capable of resisting any and all normal forces and loads to which they may be subjected

·          Keep any shared or common areas reasonably clean, sanitary, and safe from defects increasing the hazards of fire or accident

·          Provide a reasonable program for the control of infestation by insects, rodents, and other pests at the initiation of the tenancy and, except in the case of a single family residence, control infestation during tenancy

·          Except where the condition is attributable to normal wear and tear, make repairs and arrangements necessary to put and keep the premises in as good condition as it by law or rental agreement should have been, at the commencement of the tenancy

·          Provide reasonably adequate locks and furnish keys to the tenant

·          Maintain all electrical, plumbing, heating, and other facilities and appliances supplied by him in reasonably good working order

·          Maintain the dwelling unit in reasonably weather tight condition

·          Except in the case of a single family residence, provide and maintain appropriate receptacles in common areas for the removal of ashes, rubbish, and garbage, incidental to the occupancy and arrange for the reasonable and regular removal of such waste

·          provide facilities adequate to supply heat and water and hot water as reasonably required by the tenant;

·          provide operating smoke detectors

Remedy for breach

If the landlord fails to discharge his duties, the tenant may:

·          Terminate the rental agreement and quit the premises upon written notice to the landlord without further obligation under the rental agreement, in which case he or she shall be discharged from payment of rent for any period following the quitting date, and shall be entitled to a pro rata refund of any prepaid rent, and shall receive a full and specific statement of the basis for retaining any of the deposit together with any refund due in accordance with RCW 59.18.280

·          Bring an action in an appropriate court, or at arbitration if so agreed, for any remedy provided under this chapter or otherwise provided by law; or

·          Pursue other remedies available under chapter 59.18 chapter, such as repair and deduct.  See §59.18.070 and following.

Publication

Landlord-Tenant

 

WEST VIRGINIA

Citation

West Virginia Stats §37-6-30, §55-3A-3

Highlights

The landlord must:

·          At the commencement of a tenancy, deliver the dwelling unit and surrounding premises in a fit and habitable condition, and shall thereafter maintain the leased property in such condition

·          Maintain the leased property in a condition that meets requirements of applicable health, safety, fire and housing codes

·          In multiple housing units, keep clean, safe and in repair all common areas of the premises remaining under his control that are maintained for the use and benefit of his tenants

·          Make all repairs necessary to keep the premises in a fit and habitable condition

·          Maintain in good and safe working order and condition all electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, air- conditioning and other facilities and appliances, including elevators, supplied or required to be supplied by him by written or oral agreement or by law

·          In multiple housing units, provide and maintain appropriate conveniences for the removal of ashes, garbage, rubbish and other waste incidental to the occupancy of the dwelling unit

·          With respect to dwelling units supplied by direct public utility connections, supply running water and reasonable amounts of hot water at all times, and reasonable heat between the first day of October and the last day of April, except where the dwelling unit is so constructed that running water, heat or hot water is generated by an installation within the exclusive control of the tenant

Remedy for breach

None specified, suit by tenant for breach of lease, that is, failure to perform a duty required of the landlord by law or under the rental agreement.  This may also be raised as a defense to a suit by the landlord to evict.

Publication

Decent Housing Is a Right

 

WISCONSIN

Citation

Wisconsin Stats §704.07,

Highlights

The landlord must:

·          Keep in a reasonable state of repair portions of the premises over which the landlord maintains control

·          Keep in a reasonable state of repair all equipment under the landlord’s control necessary to supply services that the landlord has expressly or impliedly agreed to furnish to the tenant, such as heat, water, elevator, or air conditioning

·          Make all necessary structural repairs

·          Except for residential premises subject to a local housing code, repair or replace any plumbing, electrical wiring, machinery, or equipment furnished with the premises and no longer in reasonable working condition

·          For a residential tenancy, comply with any local housing code applicable to the premises

Remedy for breach

Under §704.07, if the unit becomes untenantable as a result of failure to maintain the premises adequately, the tenant is entitled to vacate the premises or receive a rent reduction if he remains in the premises until the repair is made.

Publication

A Guide for Landlords and Tenants

 

WYOMING

Citation

Wyoming Stats §§1-21-1202, 1-21-1206

Highlights

Each owner and his agent renting or leasing a residential rental unit must maintain that unit in a safe and sanitary condition fit for human habitation. Each residential rental unit must have operational electrical, heating and plumbing, with hot and cold running water unless otherwise agreed upon in writing by both parties.  The landlord may not rent the unit unless it is rent the residential rental unit unless it is reasonably safe, sanitary and fit for human occupancy.  The landlord must also maintain common areas of the residential rental unit in a sanitary and reasonably safe condition; maintain electrical systems, plumbing, heating and hot and cold water; and Maintain other appliances and facilities as specifically contracted in the rental agreement.

Remedy for breach

Upon notice to the landlord and his failure to repair, the tenant may file a civil suit for damages and other relief, such as orders to make repairs.

Publication

Landlord’s Duties to the Tenant

 

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