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Are tenants entitled to a warranty of habitability?

Once a Maryland property owner accepts payment for the rent of a home or apartment, they’re considered to have entered into a landlord-tenant agreement. While the laws regarding landlord and tenant relationships do vary slightly from state to state, one thing they all have in common is the right to a warranty of habitability.

What is a warranty of habitability?

Maryland tenants’ rights entitle them to a living space that is both safe and secure. Each state has its own set standards for the health and safety of a rental unit. These standards are called the habitability of the unit. The warranty of habitability ensures that a landlord provides certain amenities that allow for a secure and safe environment for their tenants. Some of these amenities include appliances, trash disposal, air conditioning, heating and pest removal.

What happens when this right is breached?

In the event that a landlord does not comply with the warranty of habitability, a tenant has various remedies that they can utilize. The specific remedies available to a tenant will depend on the state that the rental unit is in, but most states include remedies like breaking the lease early and withholding rent from the landlord.

Tenants have responsibilities under the warranty of habitability as well

Under the warranty of habitability, tenants are obligated to keep their rental space safe and clean at all times. The definition of clean and safe will again depend on the specific state laws. However, a rental unit must be kept clear of permanent damage due to a tenant’s actions.

Whether you’re renting a unit for the first time or you’ve been a longtime renter, there are various rights that you need to be aware of. The right to a warranty of habitability is one of the most important to ensure a safe place for you to live. If you believe that your landlord has breached this warranty, is it advisable to speak to an attorney to understand what your potential options are.