What to do if during a hurricane the rental property I own lost power and the tenant wants a rentacredit for the days without power since the temperature could not be maintained at 68 degrees?

Does this law apply during a federal state of emergency?

Asked on November 7, 2012 under Real Estate Law, New Jersey

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If you were not able to provide habitable premises, including due a temperature drop, and even if the cause was a hurricane, then the tenant does not have to pay for those days the premises were uninhabitable. Failure to provide habitable premises breaches the "implied warranty of habitability" which is made a part of all leases by law and which requires that premises be "fit for their intended purpose," or habitable; essentially, a lack of habitability means you are in breach of the lease (written or oral) for those days. The fact that there may have been a state of emergency does not mean the tenant has to pay for space he or she cannot use. In the situation you describe, the tenant should receive a rent credit.


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