It can seem like a blessing when one finally finds a place to live in New York, especially if the house hunt has been a long one. Due to this, people may find themselves quickly singing a lease agreement, without reading it through, understanding the responsibilities it entails and the promises it covers.
General implied warranty of habitability
Every lease has a general implied warranty of habitability. This means the rental is in a habitable condition. Vital services should be in working order, in good repair and that it should be safe and clean.
Landlords have to ensure that the relevant building codes are followed, including the general safety of the building, such as plumbing, electrical, and fire inspectors. Floors should be free from tripping hazards, the foundation structurally sound and waterproof windows and proper locks.
Repairs must also be completed by the landlord and be reasonable. Common areas of the building should be clean and safe and heat, hot water, gas, electricity and all vital services should be functioning.
Landlords have a reasonable amount of time to complete repairs that violate the warranty of habitability or pose immediate risks to safety. While the time limit depends on state law, some repairs such as a lack of running water or heat, are mot likely to have a short period of time to be repaired. If not done in a timely manner, the landlord may owe the tenant damages.
Landlord tenant law can be difficult to understand, especially if a tenant is afraid of challenging a stronger landlord. However, having an experienced attorney by one’s side, can be helpful when fighting for one’s rights.