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Re: TOO MUCH heat! John: Warranty of Habitability

Posted by Pete on February 04, 2000 at 23:35:50:

In Reply to: Re: TOO MUCH heat! posted by John on February 04, 2000 at 22:09:01:

:If I may ask, where is everyone getting this term Warranty of Habitability?

how do you not know this term?
the term is used in many many other states too...

//// the law in NY state: Real Property Law, article 7 (RPL 235-b)

Sec. 235-b. Warranty of habitability.

1. In every written or oral lease or rental agreement for
residential premises the landlord or lessor shall be deemed
to covenant and warrant that the premises so leased or
rented and all areas used in connection therewith in common
with other tenants or residents are fit for human habitation
and for the uses reasonably intended by the parties and that
the occupants of such premises shall not be subjected to any
conditions which would be dangerous, hazardous or
detrimental to their life, health or safety. When any such
condition has been caused by the misconduct of the tenant or
lessee or persons under his direction or control, it shall
not constitute a breach of such covenants and warranties.

2. Any agreement by a lessee or tenant of a dwelling waiving or
modifying his rights as set forth in this section shall be
void as contrary to public policy.

3. In determining the amount of damages sustained by a tenant
as a result of a breach of the warranty set forth in the
section, the court;

(a) need not require any expert testimony; and

(b) shall, to the extent the warranty is breached or cannot
be cured by reason of a strike or other labor dispute
which is not caused primarily by the individual
landlord or lessor and such damages are attributable to
such strike, exclude recovery to such extent, except to
the extent of the net savings, if any, to the landlord
or lessor by reason of such strike or labor dispute
allocable to the tenant's premises, provided, however,
that the landlord or lesser has made a good faith
attempt, where practicable, to cure the breach.

//// a digest from a NYS tenants' rights book:

Residential Landlord/Tenant Guide

April 1996 edition
Warranty of Habitability

Tenants are entitled to a livable, safe and sanitary apartment. Lease provisions
inconsistent with this right are illegal. Failure to provide heat or hot water on a regular
basis, or to rid an apartment of insect infestation are examples of a violation of this
warranty. Public areas of the building are also covered by the warranty of habitability.
The warranty of habitability also applies to cooperative apartments but not to
condominiums. Any uninhabitable condition caused by the misconduct of the tenant or
persons under his direction or control does not constitute a breach of the warranty of
habitability. In such case, the tenant must remedy the condition or reimburse the
landlord for the reasonable cost of repair. (Real Property Law 235-b)
If a landlord breaches the warranty, the tenant may sue for a rent reduction. The
tenant may also withhold rent, but in response, the landlord may sue the tenant for
nonpayment of rent. In such case, the tenant may countersue for breach of the

Rent reductions may be ordered if a court finds that the landlord violated the warranty
of habitability. The reduction is computed by subtracting from the actual rent the
estimated value of the apartment without the essential services.

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