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You Make The Call: When Does “No Heat” Mean Uninhabitable?

A landlord is required to maintain habitability for a property, but what constitutes ‘habitability’?

An “implied warranty of habitability” exists in most residential leases that requires the landlord to provide premises fit for human habitation, as well as to maintain that condition throughout the lease. This implied warranty is built on two aspects. First, local governmental regulations on necessary services, including heat, water, and plumbing. Second, local court decisions that determine habitability.

With this in mind, we pose the following question as temperatures plummet and heating sources may fail:  How long is considered “a reasonable time to repair or replace” a heating source in rental properties? Your Real Property Management team knows, but do you?

A. 24 hours

B. 48 Hours

C. 7-14 Days

D. 5-7 Days

Answer:  Any could be correct, depending on your area’s habitability codes.  If an issue is neglected for longer than the law dictates, most government agencies will strictly impose expensive fees and allow tenants and others to recover damages.

The professionals at Real Property Management understand laws in regards to heating issues and have experienced maintenance staff to resolve issues quickly and cost effectively. So relax in your own warm home this holiday season and know that Real Property Management will treat your tenants fairly and prevent an expensive nightmare for you.