What Makes an Apartment Uninhabitable?

When you are living in an apartment unit, things can go wrong!  Sometimes it may take days, weeks even months for some owners to get around to fixing something in the unit.  The delay usually happens due to an owner's money problems, personal issues, or just because a tenant doesn't take his or her suite seriously enough to report an apartment problem more than once.  Sometimes residents don't bother reporting any maintenance issues because they don't want their privacy disturbed.  However, the longer you put off the issue the worse it will get and unfortunately in many cases, residents have lost their security deposits because they neglected to report damages they may have caused. 

Now there are those issues that residents are not responsible for.  Bad managers and owners know this, but will not address problems in the unit because they are hoping to save money.  Some may wait around before tending to an issue in the hopes that the resident will go ahead and get it done.  Sometimes problems in a unit can worsen and make the residence uninhabitable.  So the following is a list of conditions that would make a rental unit legally uninhabitable.

1.  Bad waterproofing and weather protection of roof and walls.  This would include broken windows and doors.

2.  Bad plumbing such as inoperable hot and cold water or no connection to a sewage system.

3.  Gas and heating facilities that don't work.

4.  Electric systems that are fire hazards such as lighting and equipment that doesn't work or frequently goes out.

5.  Unclean buildings, garages, rat and insect feces, and filth.

6.  Trash receptacles that are broken or no longer hold garbage.

7.  Bad flooring, stairways and railings.

8.  Toilets, wash basins, bath tubs and showers that don't work.

9.  An inadequate kitchen sink such as a leak or hole in piping.

10.  Windows that don't open or allow natural lighting.

11.  Inoperable deadbolt locks.

12.  Broken or absent smoke detectors.

Always check that these things are taken care of BEFORE you move in.  Don't trust property owners to ensure that issues get fixed after you have signed your lease and handed over your money.  Also, if you are already living in the suite and a major concern has yet to be addressed, seek legal counsel.  No one should have to live in an unfit unit.

Nicholl McGuire
Click on my link to read other work by me at a blog for parents.

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Over 20 years office work experience, six years completed college coursework, background in print media and communications, recognized for exceptional attendance and received merit increase for past job performance, self-published author and part-time entrepreneur, Internet marketing and social media experience. Interned for non-profit organization, women's group and community service business. Additional experience: teaching/training others, customer service and sales. Learn more at Nicholl McGuire and Nicholl McGuire Media