Business, Legal & Accounting Glossary

Definition: Habitability

Full Definition of Habitability

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:

  • must provide shelter, with working locks
  • must be heated in the winter months (typically between October 1st and March 31st in the Northeastern United States)
  • must not be infested with vermin, such as mice, roaches, termites, mould, etc.
  • the landlord stops other tenants from making too much noise (as measured by the decibel scale), second-hand smoke, or from selling narcotics
  • provides potable water
  • each Jurisdiction may have various rules.

New York Law

Some states, such as New York, have given additional statutory protections in addition to those created by case law. These statutes include:

  • 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.

Cite Term

To help you cite our definitions in your bibliography, here is the proper citation layout for the three major formatting styles, with all of the relevant information filled in.

Page URL
Modern Language Association (MLA):
Habitability. PayrollHeaven.com. Payroll & Accounting Heaven Ltd. September 21, 2021 https://payrollheaven.com/define/habitability/.
Chicago Manual of Style (CMS):
Habitability. PayrollHeaven.com. Payroll & Accounting Heaven Ltd. https://payrollheaven.com/define/habitability/ (accessed: September 21, 2021).
American Psychological Association (APA):
Habitability. PayrollHeaven.com. Retrieved September 21, 2021, from PayrollHeaven.com website: https://payrollheaven.com/define/habitability/

Definition Sources

Definitions for Habitability are sourced/syndicated and enhanced from:

  • A Dictionary of Economics (Oxford Quick Reference)
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Accounting
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Business & Management

This glossary post was last updated: 23rd April, 2020 | 6 Views.