Can we get out of our lease if our landlord has not provided hot running water for 8 days due to a broken water heater which she has not replaced?

Asked on November 7, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Massachusetts


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You may have several options here. Every residential lease contains what is called an an "implied warranty of habitability". This is essentially a guarantee that a landlord gives a tenant that they will live in a clean and safe (i.e. "habitable") premises. Consequently, if your landlord fails to provide you with hot water, you can: 

  1. Repair the problem and then deduct the cost from your rent;
  2. Withhold your rent until the completion of the repair; or
  3. Terminate your lease and vacate the premises.

However, you should we aware that before pursuing any of these self-help remedies, you should consult with an attorney that specializes in landlord-tenant cases or a tenat's rights advocacy group.  Failure to follow correct legal procedures result in trouble for you.

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