The Warranty of Habitability

When you sign a lease to rent an apartment, there are a few basic expectations you probably have about your new residence. One is that you will actually be able to live in the space you’ve rented. While this might seem like a reasonable request, there are many landlords who do not hold up that end of the bargain. Fortunately, the law protects your right to livable conditions, with what is known as the warranty of habitability.

The warranty of habitability is pretty much what it sounds like: a legally enforceable guarantee that requires landlords to make sure the spaces they rent out are safe to inhabit. This means that the premises are reasonably secure against the elements, that heat is provided during the winter, that there is access to plumbing and sanitation, and so forth. If these conditions are not met or if a problem arises with the premises that the landlord refuses to repair, the landlord could be found to be in violation of the warranty of habitability.

In practical terms, if a Judge finds that a landlord violated the warranty of habitability, the Judge can determine that the landlord cannot collect rent for the period in which the landlord was determined to be in violation.  The warranty of habitability is enforceable, even if the landlord tries to eliminate that responsibility in a lease agreement.  Everyone is entitled to live in a safe and secure living space, even if a landlord attempts to eliminate those rights in a lease agreement.

If you have questions regarding your rights as a tenant, you should seek advice from an attorney experienced in handling landlord-tenant disputes. Contact the skilled New York City landlord-tenant attorneys at  HOBSON-WILLIAMS, P.C.

You may contact us online at www.thobsonwilliamslaw.com , toll-free (866) 825-1529 or (718) 210-4744 to discuss your rights as a tenant and the solutions available to you.

Written by Tanya Hobson-Williams

Appointed to the bench by the Board of Trustees in 2008, and elected in 2009, Tanya Hobson-Williams was the first African-American Female Justice in the Incorporated Village of Hempstead. Tanya Hobson–Williams obtained her B.A. in Government and Politics from St. John’s University and her law degree from Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law.

Tanya Hobson-Williams has an active elder law practice assisting senior citizens in obtaining Medicaid for Home Care and Nursing Home Care. She routinely lectures at senior citizen centers, assisted living facilities, law schools and counsels families on a variety of topics of concerns to families caring for the elderly.

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Author: Tanya Hobson-Williams

Appointed to the bench by the Board of Trustees in 2008, and elected in 2009, Tanya Hobson-Williams was the first African-American Female Justice in the Incorporated Village of Hempstead. Tanya Hobson–Williams obtained her B.A. in Government and Politics from St. John's University and her law degree from Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. Tanya Hobson-Williams has an active elder law practice assisting senior citizens in obtaining Medicaid for Home Care and Nursing Home Care. She routinely lectures at senior citizen centers, assisted living facilities, law schools and counsels families on a variety of topics of concerns to families caring for the elderly.

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