Warranty of Habitability

All residential leases in Pennsylvania include what is known as the “implied warranty of habitability.” This means, in general terms, that the landlord is guaranteeing that an apartment or other rental property has the basic features which ensure that it can safely be occupied. These features generally include electricity, water, heat (during the winter months) and other essential services vital to the life, health and safety of tenants. Generally speaking, this also means that the condition of the rental property must be safe and sanitary.

If an apartment or other rental unit does not have one or more of these elements, or if the utilities become disrupted, the tenant has various options for addressing the problem. Likewise, the landlord also has certain rights in this situation.

There are a variety of means available to resolve a claim involving the implied warranty of habitability. Some options allow for the continuation of the lease, while other options enable the tenant to modify the terms of the lease or even to terminate the lease and move out. However, regardless of the chosen remedy, several specific legal requirements must be met. Therefore, it is extremely important to obtain competent legal advice if you are involved in such a situation.