A lease agreement is a legally binding contract between a landlord and a tenant.
Both parties have certain responsibilities outlined in the lease, and one important aspect is maintaining the property’s habitability. When landlords fail to provide adequate living conditions, they may be in violation of the lease agreement.
1. Inadequate repairs and maintenance
Landlords have an obligation to keep the rental property in good repair. If they neglect essential maintenance tasks, such as fixing plumbing issues, addressing electrical problems or repairing a leaky roof, it can result in poor living conditions.
2. Pest infestations
Pests like rodents, insects or bedbugs can quickly turn a rental unit into an unlivable space. A landlord’s responsibility includes ensuring the property remains pest-free.
3. Mold and mildew
Excessive moisture or leaks in a rental unit can lead to the growth of mold and mildew, which can pose health hazards to tenants. Landlords must promptly address these issues and ensure proper ventilation to prevent their recurrence.
4. Inadequate heating and cooling
Maintaining a comfortable indoor temperature is important for a habitable living space. If a landlord fails to provide working heating systems in cold weather or cooling systems during hot months, it can lead to unsafe living conditions.
5. Unsafe structural issues
Structural issues such as unstable floors, crumbling walls or hazardous staircases are serious concerns. A landlord must address these problems promptly to ensure the safety of their tenants.
In Maryland, renters occupy approximately one in three homes. When landlords contribute to unsafe and poor living conditions, it may mean a violation of the lease agreement and grounds for seeking compensation.