At what point does something become a breach of warranty of habitability?

UPDATED: Mar 12, 2012

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At what point does something become a breach of warranty of habitability?

No heat except for a small electric heater for 3 months during winter with temps between 0-20; hot water pipe froze despite electric heater; 1 sewage pipe out (shared between 4 tenants caused constant backups). Also, the apartment was not up to code as far as the gas company was concerned; it red flagged entire building. vent-less heater was placed in apartment which I believe is against code.

Asked on March 12, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Colorado


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

There is no hard and fast definition of when something violates the implied warranty of habitability. The warranty is violated when there is a condition which renders the premises not fit for its intended purposes--in this case, residence. The conditions you describe--a lack of heat save for a small electric heater in the Colorado winter, for example--would seem to violate the warranty. If the warranty has been violated, you may be entitled to terminate the lease without penalty (if the condition continues) or to seek monetary compensation for the period of time during which it was violated.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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