Most of the jurisdictions require that the residential lease contains the implied warranty of habitability. It requires that landlords maintain their property in sanitary and safe conditions (Crane, 2007). In case the landlord fails to maintain the property in a condition that is liable, then the tenant may remain in the residential unit but pay the reduced amount as rent. The landlord should correct the defects which interfere with the tenant’s ability to live in the residential property.
The landlord has breached the provision since he knew about the defect but did not do anything about it. Billy is liable for Steve’s injury since he had known all along about the faulty step, but he did not do anything to repair it. In such a case, there are several actions that Steve can take. The tenant can vacate the premises, file an action for breach of contract, or repair and deduct the cost from the rent (Crane, 2007).
Billy had also received complaints about the heater for months, but he did not make repairs. Thus, Billy did not live up to his legal duty to maintain the rental property. Steve has several legal remedies for the faulty heater. The first thing that Steve can do is to call the building inspectors and report the problem (Hallenborg, 2002). Secondly, Steve can do the repairs and deduct the amount from the rent. Since Billy has refused to repair the heater, Steve can fix it and then pay a reduced amount in rent. Finally, he can sue the landlord (Ceko, 1998). It was during winter, and the tenant needed the services of the heater, thus by using the landlord, he can recover any damages suffered as a result of not having the heater.
Ceko, T.C. (1998) Landlord’s duty to maintain. Retrieved from http://www.nairlawllc.com/uploads/1/3/2/2/13222392/landlords_duty_to_maintain.pdf
Crane, F. (2007). California real estate property management. Zyrus Press
Hallenborg, M. A. (2002). New York tenant’s rights. Mary Ann Hallenborg.