What are my rights if my rental is no longer habitable?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

What are my rights if my rental is no longer habitable?

About 2 weeks ago the roof began leaking and it created a decent sized hole in the sealing. The same day water began seeping in from the basement, as well we have rodents living in the attic. The landlord has not fixed these problems and asked us if we would move out because he doesn’t have the money to make the costly repairs. I am not able to purchase a home and my children have been in the school district for 3 years and there are few rentals available. The ones I did find are $400 more a month which I can’t afford. Do I have to pay rent and what is the landlords financial obligation to us?

Asked on December 6, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Michigan

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

In every lease, there is an implied warranty of habitability which requires the landlord to maintain the premises in a habitable condition by complying with local and state housing codes.  The conditions that you have described, roof leaking, hole in ceiling, water leaking in the basement, rodents in the attic, etc. would constitute breaches of the implied warranty of habitability.  When there is a breach of the implied warranty of habitability, the tenant notifies the landlord as you have done and the landlord is required to make the necessary repairs within a reasonable time.  When the landlord fails to make the repairs within a reasonable time as has occurred, the tenant can make the repairs and deduct the cost from the rent or the tenant can move out and terminate the obligation to pay rent for the balance of the term of the lease or if the tenant decides to stay on the premises, the tenant can withhold rent and defend against eviction.  Another alternative would be to sue the landlord for breach of the implied warranty of habitability and recover monetary compensation.  The amount you can recover for a breach of the implied warranty of habitability may be limited by statute and varies from state to state. 


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 AttorneyPages.com 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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption