You have the right to live in a rental home that is safe, clean, and suitable for human habitation. This is known as the "Warranty of Habitability." In cases where you're facing rent-related issues, this can serve as a defense.

The Warranty of Habitability has three essential parts:

  1. The property should be fit for people to live in comfortably.
  2. It should be suitable for its intended use as a residence.
  3. It must not pose any danger, hazards, or risks to your life or safety.

If a judge determines that your landlord fails to meet these standards, you may be able to reduce the unpaid rent you owe.

To take advantage of this right, you should promptly inform your landlord of any concerning conditions in your rental property. You must also cooperate with your landlord's efforts to address and fix these issues. If your lease agreement includes instructions on how to notify your landlord, be sure to follow those guidelines. It's a good practice to keep copies of any notices you send to your landlord for your records.

Examples of unsafe conditions can include things like leaks, lack of heating or hot water, malfunctioning appliances, broken doors or windows, and pest infestations.

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Last Reviewed: November 5, 2023