Atlanta Property Management Blog

What Makes A Rental Property Uninhabitable?

System - Monday, January 10, 2022

Are you searching for more information on what makes a rental property uninhabitable? If so, you come to the right place.

Since it's winter, it's easy for some tenants to wonder if they are living in rental properties are habitable or not. The reality is that a rental property can be classified as being habitable if it has electricity, water, sewer, gas, or cooling.

If a rental property meets the basic classification of habitability, it can definitely be deemed as being a habitable rental property, and a good place to live

When Is A Rental Property Uninhabitable?

A rental property can be classified as being uninhabitable it has issues with pests including bugs or rodents.

Even if an investment property doesn't have an issue with pests, it could also be classified as being uninhabitable if it was built using materials which could be classified as being potentially hazardous like asbestos.

Mold, Mildew, and Water Leaks

Not all water leaks amount to a “major issue” or immediately make a property uninhabitable. The scope, severity, and actions, or lack thereof, taken by the property owner come into play here. A roof leak caused by a recent rainstorm that your landlord resolves quickly with the help of a professional roofer is very different from a persistent leaking pipe that your landlord does nothing about, even after written notice.

Mold and mildew growth are the typical byproduct of unresolved water leaks or flooding in a property. This is more than just a nuisance: many forms of mold and mildew can be dangerous for humans and animals to be around. This falls into the category of environmental hazards, which can also include exposure to lead paint dust (common in older properties) or asbestos insulation. 

In most jurisdictions, landlords have an obligation to address such issues promptly and may be required by local or state codes to take other steps such as putting the tenant in alternative housing until the hazard is resolved. Lead and asbestos are also subject to U.S. federal law, which requires property owners to warn you about known lead or asbestos problems before signing the lease. Check your lease paperwork to see if there are any details about either.

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