If my water heater is not up to state code is that grounds to breach my lease?

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If my water heater is not up to state code is that grounds to breach my lease?

About 15 months ago, my landlord replaced my water heat at the house that I rent from him. He was notified by a plumbing company that the water heater was not up to code. He did not use that company but instead used somebody else. We have asked for the name and a copy of the invoice. The landlord now does not remember who did the work and even lied about who did do the work. It is now over a year later and the water heater is not up to code even after numerous conversation about getting it up to code.

Asked on January 4, 2012 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If you do not have hot water, or the heater is dangerous, that might provide grounds to terminate your lease, since either could violate the "implied warranty of habitability," or obligation on landlords to provide rental premises that are safe and fit for their intended purpose. However, if the water heater works and is not unsafe, the fact that it is not up to code does not by itself provide grounds to end the lease early.


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