Habitability is the conformance of a residence or abode to the implied warranty of habitability. A residence that complies is said to be "habitable". It is an implied warranty or contract, meaning it does not have to be an express contract, covenant, or provision of a contract. It is a common law right of a tenant or legal doctrine.
In order to be habitable, such housing usually:
- must provide shelter, with working locks
- must be heated in the winter months (typically between October 1 and May 31 in the Northeastern United States)
- must not be infested with vermin, such as mice, roaches, termites, mold, etc.
- requires the landlord to stop other tenants from making too much noise (as measured by the decibel scale), second-hand smoke, or from selling narcotics
- must provide potable water
- each jurisdiction may have various rules.
New York law
- Lobby attendant service by a concierge or landlord 
- Elevator mirrors 
- Smoke detectors
- Window guards
- Intercoms and self-locking doors
- Protection from lead paint 
Violation of the warranty of habitability results in constructive eviction, whereby the landlord or lessor has, in effect, evicted the tenant or lessee. The tenant may remedy the problem, or complain to local government authorities for remedies.
- In New York, see N.Y. Multiple Dwelling Law § 79.
- Mold in condominium: Negligent maintenance: Breach of warranty of habitability: Settlement: Verdict | Law Reporter | Find Articles at BNET.com
- generally, United States
- District of Columbia
- Vermont (form).
- See N.Y. Attorney General's Website, q.v., and in External sources.
- N.Y. Multiple Dwelling Law §50-c
- N.Y. Multiple Dwelling Law §51-b; NYC Admin. Code §27-2042
- N.Y. Multiple Residence Law §15; Buffalo Code Ch. 395; NYC Admin. Code §27-2045, §27-2046
- NYC Health Code §131.15
- N.Y. Multiple Dwelling Law §50-a
- NYC Health Code §173.14;
- Nolo Law
- See N.Y. Real Property Law §235-b.
- Warranty of Habitability (rev 7/96)
- N.Y. Multiple Dwelling Law (MDL) §78 and §80; Multiple Residence Law (MRL) §174. (Note: The MDL applies to cities with a population of 325,000 or more and the MRL applies to cities with less than 325,000 and to all towns and villages; from N.Y. Attorney General's Website.
- (Note to editors: merge with this article?)