Implied Warranty Of Habitability Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Implied Warranty Of Habitability, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Implied Warranty Of Habitability?

Requirement that landlords provide habitable rental property to tenants.

History and Meaning of Implied Warranty Of Habitability

The Implied Warranty of Habitability is a legal doctrine created to ensure that landlords provide their tenants with a safe and habitable living environment. This doctrine was first recognized by the courts in the late 1960s and early 1970s and has been adopted in varying forms by nearly all U.S. jurisdictions. It is considered an important tenant's rights principle as it ensures that rental property is safe, secure, and up to code.

The Implied Warranty of Habitability applies to all residential rental units and requires that landlords meet certain standards in maintaining rental properties that include structural integrity, adequate weather protection, natural light and ventilation, plumbing, and electrical services. The concept of the Implied Warranty of Habitability is based on the belief that renters have a right to a certain level of livability in their rented homes, which should be adequately maintained by landlords.

Examples of Implied Warranty Of Habitability

  1. A landlord rents out an apartment with a leaky roof that leads to water damage in the walls and floors, making the premises uninhabitable. Tenants report the issue and the landlord fails to resolve the issue promptly or completely. The tenants can use the Implied Warranty of Habitability to seek restitution forcing the landlord to fix the issue.

  2. A tenant begins renal of an apartment with appliances already present on the premise. After a week or so, the stove breaks down and the landlord cannot repair or replace it. The tenant cannot comply with the terms of the lease agreement as they are not able to prepare meals leading to tortuous interference with the quiet use and enjoyment of the rental property contrary to the legal doctrine of the Implied Warranty of Habitability.

  3. There is a mold infestation in a rental building, which causes various health issues. The landlord is aware of the hazardous issue and refuses to take appropriate actions to remediate the problem. The tenants can seek legal actions, citing a breach of the Implied Warranty of Habitability.

Legal Terms Similar to Implied Warranty Of Habitability

  1. Lease agreement: A contract between a property owner (landlord) and tenant setting terms and conditions of tenant renting the property
  2. Eviction: Legal process used to remove tenants from violating their lease agreements or rental obligations.
  3. Quiet enjoyment: Legal right of a tenant to enjoy the use and occupation of the leased premises in peace, without interference.