Your right to a livable, safe, & sanitary home

The "Warranty of Habitability" is an affirmative defense to a residential nonpayment proceeding.

The Warranty of Habitability has three requirements:

  1. Property must be fit for human habitation;
  2. fit for reasonable use intended; and
  3. may not subject occupants to conditions that are dangerous, hazardous, or detrimental to life or safety.

If the judge finds that any of the above requirements are not met and there has been a breach of the Warranty of Habitability, the tenant is entitled to a reduction in the unpaid rent owed. 

The tenant must notify the landlord of the conditions and cooperate with any of the landlord’s efforts to fix the issues.  If tenants have a written lease, they should notify the landlord in the manner that the lease requires notices to be given to the landlord.  Tenants should keep copies of any notices provided to the landlord and keep proof, if any, that they sent the notice to the landlord.

Examples of unsafe conditions:

  • Leaks
  • No heat or hot water
  • Appliances that do not work
  • Broken doors and/or windows
  • Rodents and bugs


If you feel your rights have been violated, or have questions, you can search for a legal aid organization in your area here.