When can a defense of the warranty of habitability be used?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

When can a defense of the warranty of habitability be used?

My landlord is evicting me because of a past due oil balance over the previous winter of $364.63 oil bill (all of our rent is current). This bill was so high because of work that has not been done with the insulation and missing storm windows and screen windows. We also have a missing pane of glass that is still not fixed. We spend the entire winter last winter wearing jackets in our house, keeping the heat at 55 and it was still very cold inside. We still ended up paying $400 to $500 a month just for oil.

Asked on August 1, 2011 Maine

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

In an eviction proceeding, some tenants use the defense of deficient habitability conditions to help reduce the amount of monthly rent allegedly owed claiming that given the rental's poor habitable conditions warrant the monthly agreed upon rent be reduced because the amount agreed for the monthly rent is not what the property is worth.

For example of the landlord has been advised of poor conditions of the rental needing repairs and the repairs are not mad ein a timely manner, and eviction proceedings are then started by the landlord, the tenant can argue that even though rent was unpaid by him or her, the amount allegedly owed under the lease should be reduced due to the rental's poor condition.

The items you list could be factors in establishing a habitability defense, i.e., missing storm window and missing pane of glass.

Good luck.


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