The examples and perspective in this article deal primarily with the United States and do not represent a worldwide view of the subject. (August 2019)
Habitability refers to the adequacy of an environment for human living. Where housing is concerned, there are generally local ordinances which define habitability. If a residence complies with those laws it is said to be habitable. In extreme environments, such as space exploration, habitability must take into account psychological and social stressors, due to the harsh nature of the environment.
Habitability in law
Habitability is the conformance of a residence or abode to the implied warranty of habitability.[circular definition] 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. There was no implied warranty of habitability for tenants at common law and the legal doctrine has since developed in many jurisdictions through housing laws and regulations. Habitability is a common law doctrine that is largely synonymous with tenantability. In Architecture, the term habitability is understood to be an umbrella term for the suitability and value of a built habitat for its inhabitants in a specific environment over time.
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, roaches, termites, or mold
- 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.
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.
Habitability in extreme environments
Human factors and habitability are important topics for working and living spaces. For space exploration, they are vital for mission success. One of the critical characteristics for living and working in extreme environments the dependency on the habitat, its technological capability as well as the sociospatial framing. Inhabitants who are exposed to remote and hostile environments, not only must overcome the challenges posed by the dangers and limitations imposed by the particular environment itself, but also experience significant distress from being confined indoors and isolated from civilization and social contact.
Components of the system include: The setting, the individual, the group or (microsociety) and the time. Support and evidence for the need of integrating habitability can be found in every decade. Thomas M. Fraser suggested "that habitability can be considered as the equilibrium state, resulting from man-machine-environment-mission interactions which permits man to maintain physiological homeostasis, adequate performance, and psycho-social integrity".
Habitability of islands
In 2020, the island of Kökar in the Baltic Sea, not satisfied with common sustainability methods and tools, created a tool called habitability to measure their own attractiveness as a place to live. Important characteristics of island societies which have previously been overlooked are, amongst others, the extreme seasonal shifts in human pressure, the need to define distances in time, the intricate business ecosystem of islands, and the transition to renewable, locally produced energy. The tool includes 45 indicators grouped into seven areas that can be used to test the habitability of an island society. The Finnish Ministry of Economic Affairs end Employment has commissioned Åbo Academy University to implement this tool among the 600 inhabited Finnish islands, and the toolbox is presently being translated into Croatian. 
- "Landlord-Tenant Law". Wex. Cornell Law School. Retrieved 16 December 2017.
- "Duties of the Landlord". LawShelf. National Paralegal College. Retrieved 16 December 2017.
- Cudney, Kevin (1975). "Landlord and Tenant--Tenantable Condition of Premises--Relation of Landlord's Statutory Obligations to Common Law Warranty of Landlord's Statutory Obligations to Common Law Warranty of Habitability". Case Western Reserve Law Review. 25 (2): 371.
- Häuplik-Meusburger, Sandra (18 October 2011). Architecture for Astronauts An Activity-based Approach. Springer. ISBN 978-3-7091-0667-9. OCLC 863786893.
- 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
- "Second hand tobacco smoke - warranty of habtability - cooperative - single broker - antitrust - excessive interest - usury". Archived from the original on 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2007-05-02.
- generally, United States
- District of Columbia
- Vermont (form).
- TITLE 10.COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT Part 7. TEXAS RESIDENTIAL CONSTRUCTION COMMISSION Chapter 304. WARRANTIES AND BUILDING AND PERFORMANCE STANDARDS Texas Residential Construction Commission
- Josephson, Richard C. (1971). "The Implied Warranty of Habitability in Landlord-Tenant Relations". William & Mary Law Review. 12 (3): 580. Retrieved 16 December 2017.
- 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 Archived 2007-03-12 at the Wayback Machine.
- (Note to editors: merge with this article?)
- Häuplik-Meusburger, Sandra; Bishop, Sheryl (2021). Space Habitats and Habitability: Designing for Isolated and Confined Environments on Earth and in Space. Space and Society. Springer International Publishing. ISBN 978-3-030-69739-6.
- Fraser, T. M. (June 1968). "NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)" (PDF). ntrs.nasa.gov. Retrieved 2021-04-27.
- Abo Academy. "Habitability". www.abo.fi. Abo Academy. Retrieved 28 April 2021.