In Idaho, tenants have the legal right to secure housing that is safe. Unfortunately, there are times when landlords may not be honest and might rent housing with poor living conditions to unsuspecting people. However, laws dictate that there is what’s known as the implied warranty of habitability.
What is the implied warranty of habitability?
Real estate owners and landlords are required to ensure that their property is livable for the safety of their tenants. There are laws that set forth the implied warranty of habitability. This means that there must at least be minimum living requirements in place for tenants. This includes services that are considered basic necessities, including heat, plumbing, and water. If these things are not in place or need repair and the landlord refuses to comply, the tenant has the legal right to not pay rent until they fix them.
Housing is expected to be habitable. As a result, if you have moved into an apartment or other property and there are issues regarding your living conditions, you have the right to refuse to pay your rent and cannot be evicted.
What if the lease doesn’t mention repairs that should be made?
Regardless of what’s in the lease, landlords are required to repair basic necessities on their rental property. For instance, if a tenant complains that there is no running water in their apartment, it’s not a livable situation. They can request that the landlord make repairs or send a plumber to fix the problem. However, if the landlord refuses due to the lease not specifying that they’re responsible, the tenant can take legal action. Not only can they legally stop paying rent, but they can also file a lawsuit if the landlord tries to retaliate against them through eviction, raising the rent or deliberately shutting off utilities. This can happen even if the landlord verbally threatens the tenant with one of these things but doesn’t carry through with the threat.
If your landlord has breached this warranty and refuses to fix things in your home, you have the legal right to complain and withhold rent until they take action.