Implied Warranty of Habitability
Name of Institution
Any time a landlord accommodates a tenant, he or she should understand that there are responsibilities that are lawfully set in ensuring that the client is having a fit habitat to live in. Therefore, the landlord becomes responsible for the welfare of the tenant in reference to the Implied Warranty of Habitability (Minnesota, 2012). On the other hand, the tenant has obligations of ensuring that he or she pays rent in time, abides by the regulations set by the landlord and also, ensures that he or she does not destroy any property that they find in the premises; failure to which constructive eviction is entitled to the landlord. The article looks at the responsibilities of the landlord to his tenants and the remedies that the tenant get if the landlord does not meet the standards in housing (Brown, 2007).
Every tenant has a right to habitable housing and security irrespective of the rent they pay. The implied warranty of habitability requires the landlord to ensure that rental premises are liveable via provision of essential services such as water, sewerage disposal, security, danger from a collapsing wall, heat, minor and major repairs as the responsibilities of the landlord (Malloy, 1990). Therefore in this case, Billy was responsible for ensuring that the stair was repaired but he did not do it even after being constantly reminded by Steve, his client. As a result, this led to Steve injuring his leg from the faulty stair. Furthermore, Steve’s heater was also faulty and it was during winter, meaning that he was prone to getting sick as the living conditions were below the required standards. Billy went ahead and broke the Implied Warranty of Habitability law for landlords.
In order for a place to be fit and habitable, the landlord or the property owner has the obligation of ensuring that every unit is secure and has all types of repairs made, no water leakages, safe and clean compounds, management of environmental toxins, security from intrusion, availability of a good sewer system and water disposal among others. The implementation of ‘fit and habitable’ is enhanced via the State Housing Codes and Local codes that must be complied with (Minnesota, 2012). Therefore, there is no way that Bill, the landlord, could make a disclaimer on these responsibilities according to the tenant or a court of law. Any litigation made by Steve to Bill will see him responsible in upholding a fit to live habitat as well as compensation for the injuries incurred by the tenant as a result of Bills negligence (Malloy, 1990).
Consequently, under legal terms, Steve is entitled to receive medical treatment under Bill’s expenses as he caused his injury and is still endangering his health by the fact that the heater was faulty. On the other hand, if Bill refuses to cover his injuries, he is entitled to use his own money, pay for his medical services and repair the faulty stair and deduct the costs from the rent he is supposed to pay Bill (Brown, 2007). He may also opt to withhold Bill’s rent payment until his needs are catered for to ensure that he is living in habitable premises. Moreover, if all the above fails Steve should sue the landlord demanding for repair of the stair, installation of a working heater and coverage of his medical bills. Another benefit is that Steve might opt to just move out of the premises without issuance of any notice to Bill and there would be no consequent liability for future rent (Minnesota. 2012).
It is thus in order to say that Steve should be compensated for the injuries acquired and he is entitled to a working heating system in order for habitable housing conditions to be fulfilled (Malloy, 1990).
Brown, J. P. (2007). Landlord-tenant handbook. St. Paul, Minn.: Thomson/West
Malloy, R. P. (1990). Law and economics: A comparative approach to theory and practice. St. Paul, MN: West Pub. Co.
. Minnesota. (2012). Landlords and tenants: Rights and responsibilities. St. Paul, MN: Minnesota Attorney General.